IMDb founder and alumnus welcomed back to the University to inspire students

Alumnus, Col Needham, was welcomed back to the University this week to talk to students about his journey from computer science graduate to founder and CEO of film and entertainment website

The session was open to students  on the BA Management with Marketing, and International Business with Marketing programmes, as well as to those electing marketing as an option and those on international exchange programmes.

Col talked about how his passion for film and how information surrounding his favourite films led to him developing an internet movie database before collaboration with Amazon started in the late 1990s. He also shared how IMDb has grown through the years to take account of the demand for information as the internet gained in popularity.

Victoria Norman (BA Geography) commented: “I really enjoyed the lecture with Col Needham. I am a huge film buff and avid IMDb user so it was right up my street! 

I found it inspiring to hear how Col was able to merge together his different interests in computer science to and film to create a career path where he has been able to pursue both. As a geographer I am passionate about sustainability and finding solutions to the climate crisis however I am also very creative and have a big passion for film, TV and theatre so I would love to merge my interests in my future career, similarly to Col! 

“It was great to have our questions answered at the end and understand the how the company grew through word of mouth even before it was a website, and later develop a more formal marketing strategy.

I'm a really enjoying taking this marketing course through the Discovery Module programme so that I can pursue this interest and develop these skills outside of my core degree. Thanks so much for organising!

Sally Chan, Lecturer in Marketing, added: “It is humbling to see the effects that such an event has had and is continuing to have on our students, particularly one given by an alumnus. The talk generated tremendous buzz on campus and am sure students will remember this event for many years to come”.

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