Keele alumnus Stephen Barber has held a variety of roles since graduating from Keele in 2006, culminating in his current position as Communications Manager for BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing.

Stephen Barber v2

I attended Keele between 2003 and 2006, studying Politics and Sociology.

After leaving Keele, I moved to London after earning a place on a two-year graduate scheme with Orange. During my time on the programme I underwent a number of placements, which ultimately helped me to identify that I wanted to pursue a career in communications. In 2008 I then moved into a permanent role within the company as Communications Executive at EE.

In 2011, I then moved into a role in corporate communications at ITV, which formed a brilliant foundation with which to build my career. After two years in this role, I was then fortunate enough to move over into the ITV programme publicity team working across entertainment and factual programming on shows such as I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! And Love Island.

In 2016, I jumped broadcaster and joined the BBC. The first year was spent as a publicist for factual documentaries before moving over to being a publicist for global brands including Doctor Who and Top Gear. This year I then moved into my current role as Communications Manager on Strictly Come Dancing where I manage the Press Team behind the UK’s biggest entertainment show on BBC One. This role involves managing the publicity campaign for the show across multiple platforms, managing appearances on TV and Radio shows such as Graham Norton and This Morning, and crisis communication management.

Keele prepared me for my future as I had the opportunity to get involved in some incredible extra curricular activities such as Model UN. This undoubtedly helped me in my early career as the skills in debating and negotiation were so valuable when it came to doing assessment centres for graduate schemes. I would definitely advise students to be open to every opportunity that comes their way!

I was fortunate enough to live on campus for all three years and it was amazing to feel like part of the Keele community.