George Sotiropoulos

George Sotiropoulos (MA Advertising and Marketing 2005)

Co-founder / Client Services Director, Linkwise

MA Advertising and Marketing 2005

Greece

Winner - Entrepreneurial Award, British Council Alumni Awards Greece 2017

Tell us about your degree - why did you choose it? What elements of the degree inspired you to study it?

When I graduated from the National Kapodistrian University of Athens with a degree in Mass Media and Communications, I decided that I needed an MA in order to specialise my knowledge in a specific field.

I chose to study in the field of Advertising and Marketing, because I was always fascinated by the ad world. Although the choices for such a course in the UK where many, I concluded on LUBS based on the ratings, the city (cheaper than London, but very lively) and the very good balance that the course offered between theory vs practice and creative vs business.

What was the best part of your studies here? What did you enjoy the most?

Romantic as I may sound, I really enjoyed the life there. The easy commute to the University, the amazing facilities, the people I met from all over the world, the modules, the beautiful walks in the city center, the pub food, everything!

What were your career aspirations when you arrived? Do you think the experience and skills you gained here will help/helped you in your future career plans? In what way?

My short term career aspirations at that time were to get into the ad business and specifically in an ad agency. Which I successfully did, shortly after I returned from Leeds. Studying in Leeds has helped me in many ways. Firstly, it was the key in entering the Advertising industry. Competition was really high, so an MA from a well-known business school in the UK, really made the difference. Secondly, the actual knowledge I gained from the courses was invaluable and couldn’t be obtained at such level in Greece. I still remember, that in the digital marketing module, we talked about ‘usability’ and ‘conversion rate’; terms unknown in Greece at the time. So that gave me an extra edge and sharpened my business acumen. Thirdly, my command of English improved substantially, which today allows me to deal with international clients, who still ask me if I am half British! Overall, studying in an open minded but very structured environment, has decisively contributed in cultivating my organizational, managerial and multi-tasking skills, which proved indispensable for setting up a new, challenging business, with very limited funds, which is something I did after working in Advertising for 4 years.

Where are you currently working, and what is your role?

Currently, I work at Linkwise, a company that I co-founded in 2008. Linkwise is the biggest Affiliate Network in Greece. I hold the role of Client Services Director, being in charge of all client relations as well as new business opportunities. In 2012, we launched our own proprietary platform, which was awarded as the best B2B platform in the e-volution awards of 2013. In 2016, Linkwise was awarded with the “Publishers’ Choice of Network or Platform: Rest of Europe” award, at the first European Performance Marketing Awards. I also participate as a tutor in all major digital marketing courses in Greece, teaching students and professionals how to set up and manage a successful affiliate program. I’m very often invited to partake in digital marketing conferences and to conduct workshops showcasing the benefits of Affiliate Marketing.

What are your ambitions for the future?

My plan is to continue to offer top notch services in the Affiliate Marketing sector and in Digital Marketing in general. We, at Linkwise always try to bring new, innovative tools and services to the market, that help our clients and affiliates to make the most of their traffic and of their affiliate program.

What was your impression/experience of the facilities, the staff, your peers, the student union, the City of Leeds and the region itself? What would you recommend to future students?

I very much enjoyed my life there. All the staff members were always very polite and willing to help and the facilities were amazing. Leeds was a very lively city, full of students and things to do all the time, but at the same time, very easy to walk around, it felt very safe. It is also, I think, strategically placed in “the middle” of the UK, allowing you to easily travel and explore other cities in the UK (London, Edinburgh), while at the same time very close to Leeds Bradford Airport for cheap flights to all of Europe!

What would you say is your defining memory of studying here? (eg friendships made, confidence in your abilities, or any single event that you will always remember?) And would you recommend the Business School to others

I would describe the year that I studied in Leeds as one of the greatest experiences that I’ve ever had. I met new people, I made very good friends, I traveled quite a lot, I stayed on my own for the first time, I gained valuable knowledge and I learned to overcome difficulties as they came. I would definitely recommend LUBS to others.

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