7 June 2011
Virgin Media Executive Director Jeff Dodds undertakes Professional Doctorate of the Creative Industries at BU.
Jeff Dodds has become the first in the UK to study for a Professional Doctorate in the Creative Industries, which he started at Bournemouth University last week.
Having joined Virgin Media as Brand and Marketing Director for one of the company’s TV channels, Jeff is now Executive Director of Corporate Communications, looking after communicating corporate strategy, employee engagement, employee experience and reward and policy.
Jeff said: “We’re in an organisation that was formed in 2007 out of the merger of NTL and Telewest. We’ve been on a really sharp trajectory around growth and change because we’re a relatively new business. Doing a Professional Doctorate means I can explore some of the academic theory around the changes and put it into practice as part of my day job.”
Professional Doctorates are at the top end of academic study and the researcher uses his or her usual working practices and data as the basis of study. Jeff will be researching the Virgin Media brand values and brand ambassadorship.
“Obviously the Virgin brand name comes with a strong set of perceived values,” he said. “We took on that brand name in 2007 and are a relatively new and young company in terms of being a Virgin company. I’m exploring those core Virgin brand values, looking at our organisation, looking at how we deliver against those values and seeing whether we can live up to those value even more than we do today.”
BU already has a strong track record in Professional Doctorates in other areas, but this is a UK first for the creative industries. It was the brainchild of Dr John Oliver, Senior Lecturer in the Media School, who will supervise Jeff throughout his research.
He explained the reasoning behind his idea: “If you look at economic growth in the UK and across Europe, creative industries are outstripping wider sectors in all those economies. Nobody has taken advantage of it in terms of academic and practice based provision. Jeff’s hopefully going to be the UK’s first graduate. This is a really exciting opportunity for us, Jeff and Virgin Media.”
Jeff cited BU’s excellent reputation within the creative industries as his reason for choosing BU, saying, “This was the name that everyone kept giving me.”