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Navina Bartlett

Alumni Profile: Navina Bartlett

Navina Bartlett, BA Media and Cultural with Film StudiesFounder, Coconut Chilli

BA Media and Cultural Studies with Film Studies


What made you choose Middlesex University?

I knew I wanted to work in the media industry and I felt Middlesex would be a good choice given its London location as this meant I would be able to look for work experience in the industry whilst I studied.

What attracted you to your course and made you apply?

The Media Studies course at Middlesex had an extremely good reputation.

What aspects of your course did you enjoy most?

I had several part time lecturers who worked in industry and they provided some very real insights into working in the field. It certainly wasn't a purely academic course in that respect.

What is your fondest memory of life at Middlesex?

I had an amazing time at the 48-hour parties to celebrate the end of term, complete with top DJ's and set in the beautiful, rural grounds of Trent Park campus.

What one piece of advice would you give to a prospective student interested in studying at Middlesex?

Take the time to go and visit the campus and talk to the course tutors. Also, research the alumni website to see what careers graduates went onto. I studied with the rapper M.I.A and a BAFTA award-winning director.

How did your course and time at Middlesex help you to get where you are professionally today?

I met lots of people from all walks of life including international and mature students. I had friends from Ghana, Spain, Greece, the UK and of Jamaican, Pakistani and Turkish heritage.

How did you get your foot on the career ladder post university?

I started out doing freelance reception/administrative work for a couple of recruitment agencies that specialised in media companies. I worked for Kiss FM, Virgin Radio and Channel 4.

What has been your defining career break or highlight to date?

My career break came when I was employed as an Account Executive at Teamspirit, an integrated marketing agency in Clerkenwell. I learnt about advertising, direct marketing and digital media. To this day, I use lots of the skills I learnt there.

What does the future hold for you?

Coconut Chilli is actually a marketing company with a few core members of staff. We outsource much of the manufacture and concentrate on what we're good at. I'm glad that I can use my marketing skills to drive my business as well as get creative in the kitchen. Content marketing will be a key strategy and I'm keen to explore the potential of this.

What are the top three career tips you would give to current students and recent graduates?

Attention to detail is key, especially on CVs. Also don't forget you need to work hard to prove yourself, so always go the extra mile and become a YES person.

What one piece of advice would you give to the 17/18 year old you?

Think things through properly before making decisions – don't act in a rash manner. Go to sleep on it, then properly consider your actions in the morning.

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