Summit and Hull University: Partnership Explained

12 June 2023

For around 10 years, we have worked closely with Hull University Business School to nurture and grow this relationship. From giving course specific talks to the students, to offering placement years at Summit as part of their degree, there have been lots of benefits to both the University, Summit- and the students!

Many of our current Summiteers are Hull University graduates and our aim is to support them at the beginning of their digital marketing career, teaching them everything they need to know to help them progress through the business and become marketing experts.

We recently welcomed the Hull University team into our new C4DI office space to speak to some recent (and not so recent!) graduates and here’s what everyone had to say:

Summit and Hull University: Partnership Explained

An established relationship between Hull University Business School and performance marketing specialists Summit is boosting students’ career prospects and expanding the company’s talent base.

The Business School and Summit – whose digital marketing expertise within the retail sector includes working with leading national and international brands such as Joules, The Range and Three – have been working together for a decade, creating valuable student opportunities within the rapidly growing digital marketing industry.

The partnership includes supporting students through placement years and graduate career opportunities, in addition to a range of masterclasses and lectures delivered as part of the Business School’s Business Management and Marketing degrees. A significant number of graduates have gone on to secure employment as a result of the partnership, and around a third of Summit’s workforce are University of Hull graduates.

Martin Corcoran, CEO and Co-Owner at Summit

“Many of the people that work at Summit are developed and grown through the University of Hull. Our top talent are invariably Hull graduates, so it’s a formula we’re keen to keep going with.

“We like to think of ourselves as deeply entwined with the University and very much part of its community – this gives graduates and undergraduates a pathway to great jobs. Digital marketing is a burgeoning, future-proofed industry but there’s a lack of talent within the market, so our philosophy is work with the University to grow our future business leaders and we’ve done that to great success.”

Emily Redfearn, Head of Operations at Summit

It’s a proven recruitment model for Summit, and one that also includes clear programmes of support and development for students on placement and graduates beginning their career at the agency, Emily Redfearn, explains:

“Placement students and graduates usually join a client team straight away, getting to work on some of the UK’s biggest brands. They have a three-month onboarding plan; we take them from being a complete beginner to being up and running and delivering work within three months. After that, they get a full progression plan for where they can go in the business. Whether it’s down a more strategic route or an account management route, they have a range of opportunities, and we make that really clear to them from the start.”

Vicky Barker, Senior Account Manager at Summit

It’s a partnership that Vicky credits with playing a big role in starting her digital marketing career. Vicky completed a placement year at Summit as part of her degree at Hull University Business School and started working at the agency directly after graduating, progressing to her current senior role.

Vicky said:

“My degree helped me prepare for my career in so many ways including inspiring me to pursue the industry I work in now. It gave me a good framework for coming to work at Summit. I didn’t feel like I was starting from scratch, I felt like I had a good knowledge base to bring with me. I still draw upon that knowledge now. My placement year at Summit was one of the absolute highlights of my degree. I was really prepared when I moved into full-time work after graduating. I had not just the skills and the knowledge to apply to the job, but the confidence I needed to go into a workplace and speak to clients too. The opportunity played a huge part in me starting my career here.”

Summit specialise in digital retail marketing and have been increasing online visibility and sales for some of Europe’s biggest brands and retailers for over 14 years. It’s a sector that Vicky endorses as great career destination for students and graduates:

“I’d definitely recommend this sector to students as a career because digital marketing is such a rapidly growing environment – it’s developing all the time. There’s so much to learn, and it feels like a more modern way to do marketing. My advice for students and graduates looking to get into digital marketing would be to keep up to date with what’s happening in the industry, look out for trends in marketing and digital marketing, reach out to contacts and network, write some blogs or posts on LinkedIn on the areas you’re interested in. As an employer, we’re looking for people that can show they have a passion for digital marketing and that they’re driven to start a career in the industry.”

Emily added:

“We’re looking for people that are going the extra mile ahead of their application. Getting involved in projects outside their course for example, or completing free Google courses – something that’s going to give them a heads up on what the industry is like and what they need to and want to specialise in. We’re looking for people who are passionate about their clients, the areas they’re working in, and for colleagues who are really going to take opportunities and get stuck in. That’s something that makes applicants stand out and something that we look for in our graduates – it shows us how they’re going to come into the business and make a difference quickly.”

Yvonne Morgan, Director of Hull University Business School

“Our partnership with Summit is an excellent example of our unique Authentic Business Learning approach which engages students with real business issues throughout their degree through activities such as placements, internships and live business projects. Our strong relationships with industry mean our students have fantastic opportunities to practice and develop real business skills and gain valuable work-based experience which enhances their pathway to a future career.”

For further information on studying Business Management and Marketing degrees at Hull University Business School is available on our course pages. You can find more information about joining Summit on our recruitment pages or get in touch with us today at

Ready for change? Let's talk

Speak to Summit