Jeff Lakusta (MSc International Marketing Management 2011)

Jeff Lakusta

Why did you choose Leeds University Business School?

Leeds University Business School has a great international reputation, but in addition to this, I wanted to have a truly unique experience obtaining my masters rather than a cookie-cutter. Leeds offered diversity in student makeup, a challenging curriculum, and the added benefit of an awesome college town and access to international travel.

Tell us about your course – why did you choose it? What elements of the course inspired you to choose the Business School/University?

I studied science and peace during my undergraduate. International Marketing Management provided the connecting piece to that love for science and non-profits with a tangible marketing experience and knowledge. At the end of the day, marketing is at the heart of everything, be that in the business world, medical profession, nonprofits, government, etc. 

Do you have any noteworthy achievements from your study at the Business School that you can tell us about?

My group won Best Presentation for our consultation course in which we assembled a full marketing plan for a real small business.

Were your career aspirations expanded by studying here? 

Yes - there have been several times where real subjects that were brought up in class come up in day-to-day meetings, and I smile to myself remembering where I learned it.

How has your career progressed since leaving the Business School? Have there been any notable highlights?

I went straight to work for a social media startup in Silicon Valley (California) which was then purchased by Google. During my time at this startup I began and managed our social advertising business. I also published a sci-fi book (!

What is your current role and with which employer? What is your job remit?

Manager, Programmatic Video at Google. I work in digital advertising, managing our services team, helping clients use Google's technology stack to optimise their ad performance.

What did you learn/experience at the Business School that has helped you in your current role?

Understanding the jargon of the core principles of marketing helped me hit the ground running and standout from peers who were less able to "talk-the-talk".

It's more than semantics though - some of the constructs we used to analyse businesses marketing moves have been useful in helping determine market segmentation, competitive advantages etc in my real job.

What are your ambitions for the future?

I want to stay on the cutting edge of digital advertising be that through social, video, programmatic, etc. I love the constant pace of change and day-to-day challenges it presents. Also hoping to publish several more books and take my hobby to the next level.

Do you think your experience and skills gained here will help you in your future career plans? In what way?

Yes - not only will the knowledge I gained at school continue to help me frame the work I do, but also just having an advanced degree is a great thing in and of itself.

If you are not from the UK, how was the transition to a foreign country?

I had lived in the UK before (London), so moving to another - more British city - was great. There was definitely a transition time, but everyone is going through it, because most people are from other countries; so it's easy to make friends.

What was your impression/experience of the facilities, the staff, your peers, the student union, the City of Leeds and the region itself?

Leeds is a great college town! So many other students and lots to do. Loved participating in activities put on by the student union and my peer group in class was really fun and nice.

What would you say is your defining memory of studying here?

Friendships! One of my best friends from Leeds (who lives in Germany) just came to my wedding!