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Marc Shelkin

Marc Shelkin
Course studied:
Product Design
Year of graduation:

Social success started at Staffordshire

It’s a good thing Marc Shelkin doesn’t judge his time at Staffordshire University by his team’s success on the squash court.

Marc, who had represented England at squash as a youngster, was president of the team, but during his three-year BA(Hons) Product Design course, they played 27 competitive games – and lost all 27…

Despite the lack of on-court success, Marc, who owns social media marketing agency The Social Shop, qualified as a level 2 squash instructor while at university, which would have been his fall-back plan if he couldn’t find work after graduation.

“We had a great time travelling the country playing other unis and making lifelong memories,” says Marc, who is now 30 and lives in London. “The friends, skills, girls, food, experiences and memories from my time here will stay with me forever and I wouldn’t have ended up working in the creative industry or being a qualified squash coach if it wasn’t for Staffordshire University.

Good reputation

After graduating in 2005, Marc worked in recruitment for advertising, marketing, digital, design and branding agencies.

He worked his way up over eight years working for three recruitment agencies and eventually became a director, before deciding to set up his own business.

“Having recruited for almost every agency in London and understanding how they operate I decided to launch my own marketing agency,” he says. “Social media had been something I was passionate about and I had built a small reputation for myself in that field, especially on LinkedIn.”

The Social Shop launched in January 2013 and aims to help new and established businesses create a digital and social presence. Clients include travel agencies, fashion labels, bakeries, law firms, hairdressers and many more. The team also plan to launch new venture The PR Shop soon.

Marc has been so successful that he has been back to the University as a guest speaker almost every year since graduating.

“I work with my old course leader helping third year students prepare for the working world,” he says. “The Uni is almost unrecognisable now, as it has had huge investment and modernisation. It looks much better!”

Best decision

Marc knew nothing about Staffordshire University when he applied for university from his Jewish school in Essex.

“All of my friends were going to Manchester and Leeds so they could continue to be together whereas I wanted to break away and meet new friends, and be far enough away from home so I could learn to live without relying on Mum and Dad,” he says. “I was one of three Jewish people at Staffordshire which I loved, and being a small uni I got to know almost everyone over the three years I studied there.

“I knew nothing about Stoke on Trent or Staffordshire before deciding it was the place for me and it was the best decision I ever made.”