Last month we featured London’s Student Support Group celebrating 20 years of helping the Institute’s students to pass. We heard from Andrew, Lynda and Sharon who told their stories, and this month, Malika and Ann tell us about their experiences.

In addition to the wide scope of services for studying members from the Institute’s headquarters at Moor Hall, the Greater London region provides local support by working with various study centres, including the Student Support Group (SSG).

Current student, Malika

Marketing Executive, Malika Joaille, is currently studying for a CIM qualification. Here’s her story.

Which CIM qualification are you studying for?

I am currently studying for the CAM/CIM Diploma in Digital Marketing.

How long have you been studying for?

I started to study for this qualification in September 2011. I have taken 2 modules and I have another one to take.

How are SSG helping you?

I studied for a CIM qualification previously with another provider and struggled to find the time to study or work on my assignment. I then gave up when I was pregnant as I couldn’t see how I would manage to get the qualification.

SSG has a different approach and helps with planning my work to ensure I get things done but also to ensure I stay up-to-date with new digital marketing trends. They have a very practical approach that helps you grasp the concepts and theory really well. They are also very good at motivating you to find the time and get the best out of you.

How has your career progressed since you took your exams/assignments – where are you now?

I started my current job last July, so although nothing has happened yet on that level, the skills I have acquired studying for this Diploma in Digital marketing with SSG, I use them on a regular basis and they also help me for personal projects. I have just finished the second module and will be starting the last one in the next few months, still with SSG.

Please give a message of support for The Student Support Group in its 20th year

My message will be really to thank The Student Support Group for their help, congratulate them for all the good work they have done over the past 20 years and encourage them to carry on. They are a lovely team, very approachable and friendly but still focused on the success of their students.

A Tutor’s perspective

Ann Prayle is a SSG Tutor and Chartered Marketer, and has been involved with the Institute since 2002. Here’s Ann’s story.

How SSG helped me

Initially I did a couple of postgraduate retakes with SSG in 2002/3. In particular, I enrolled on the case study course at the time when SSG was the only study centre accredited to support re-takers. They helped me in two distinct ways back then.  Firstly, great revision classes to retake a Post Graduate exam, with focused content on key concepts with a knowledgeable and enthusiastic tutor. They also got me through the case study exam which was another retake. SSG’s style is very different than the college I’d originally enrolled on – not only better quality of teaching but opportunity to work in groups, rehearse the key concepts and do a mock exam.  SSG offers affordable, one to one tuition too which helped ensure I was fully prepared on my weaker areas. I also remember the calm, helpful and reassuring voice at the end of the phone which was Caroline!  It was very useful to have direct contact with one person.
More recently in 2006, I successfully completed the e-marketing award with SSG.  This has long-since grown and evolved from revision only into individual study support specialists without losing any of the original appeal.

How my career progressed

The skills and qualifications I developed helped me land my first senior marketing role and I quickly utilised a lot of what I had learnt. CIM qualifications had a positive effect on my CV because, unlike a lot of my marketing manager colleagues, I hadn’t been to university so only had GCSEs and a college diploma before I added CIM to the list of qualifications.

My involvement with SSG

Just after graduating in 2003, I was asked by one of the tutors, Jon, to do a short presentation to upcoming studying members about life as a student combining studying with a full time job. It was one of the first times I’d ever spoken in public and was terrified!  Apparently I did well – so much so that Jon asked me afterwards if I’d ever considered a career in teaching! Well, I hadn’t at that time but just over a year later that’s exactly what I did – although I have to be honest it was with some trepidation!

So I started doing some certificate classes as a trainee tutor with SSG as well as more studying member events so they quickly helped me get to be a confident public speaker. I practised what I was preaching at the time as I combined part-time teaching (rather than studying) with a full time job.

Without realising it, much of the knowledge and skills I need today were learnt at SSG. My early teaching experiences were all around assignment subjects, so quickly became knowledgeable of not only the different subjects but the assignment process and this without doubt helped me land other teaching roles. Jon also invited me to join the CIM GLR Branch and my involvement led to arranging studying member events and producing a range of podcasts on studying skills for the CIM website to benefit all CIM students.


These days, I am a regular tutor with SSG and sit on the CIM GLR Board. So, almost 10 years on from my CIM student days, I continue to work with them to this day. I’m still teaching, now very much a career choice with a young family. I also spend time on marketing consultancy work through my contacts made through association with CIM and the study centres I work for.  I enjoy my work very much and am very glad that Jon spotted the potential for something which I hadn’t!!

Find out more?

To find out how Student Support Group and the other study centres across the country can help you with your CIM studies, please call Caroline on 01784 463057 or email


We are pleased to tell you that Greater London has been selected as a pilot region for the national CIM Mentoring Network. Mentoring offers incredible satisfaction. Many of our members sign up for our mentoring scheme because they want to give something back. In a very real sense, sharing skills and knowledge with a less-experienced professional makes those skills even more valuable.

How to become a mentor

Members who have current Chartered Marketer status held for at least two years and at least eight years of working in a marketing position, are being invited to apply to become a Mentor. If you meet the requirements and are interested in participating in the scheme, please complete the mentor application form and send it to If you’d like to find out a bit more, please call the CPD team on 01628 427273 or by email.

How to apply to have a mentor

The Mentoring Network is structured so that you can learn from members with proven knowledge and experience, to enable you to develop based on specific needs and requirements. You will be mapped to a mentor who has achieved Chartered Marketer status, ensuring that the best of the marketing community is helping your career progression.

As long as you remain a current member and are on the Chartered CPD Programme, you are eligible to be mentored. If you’re interested in participating in the scheme, complete the mentee application form and send it to

If at any time you’d like to contact us, or if you’re not yet registered on the Chartered CPD Programme, please call us on 01628 427273 or e-mail

We look forward to welcoming you onto the CIM Mentoring Network.

Take a look at our profiles and case studies which will give you a picture of what you can achieve.


Achieving Chartered Marketer status is the mark of an up to date, experienced and qualified marketing professional. As more and more members register for Continuous Professional Development every year on the course to achieve this status, we take a look and congratulate the Greater London members who have become chartered this year.

Philippa Seal
David Millar
Abigail Hobden
Carole Luck
Kelly Atkins
Patrick Ladbury
Susan Lowndes
Amanda Dyjecinski
Rachel Scott-Baker
Anna Richardson
Frances Bayley
Agnes Koo
Kirsty Jones
Rachael Kinsella
James Amos
Emma Corless
Florentina Baranga
Catherine Crinnegan
Paul Jackson
Wipula Weerasinghe
Khyati Savani
Ian Musyani
Chiekling Su
Colleen Williams
Amanda Kilgore Baker
Kim Mellor
Simon Timmis
Emma Alam
Charlotte Barry
Toni Moawad
Paola Masperi
Benjamin Jarrold
Jacqueline Hall
Rebecca Reid
Charles Head
Alexa Wilson
Vicky Mills
Koffi Allaglo
Nick Porter
Michele Kelly
Daniel Fulbrook
Sue Brough
Rob Heerdegen
Talal Al-Maghrabi
Leona Shepherd

List correct as of 6 September 2012.


In addition to the wide scope of services for studying members from The Institute’s headquarters at Moor Hall, Greater London region provides local support by working with various study centres, including the Student Support Group (SSG).

Founded and run by Jon and Caroline Twomey, this autumn SSG will be celebrating 20 years of helping CIM students to pass! To mark this milestone we’ve been in touch with a handful of the 18,000+ students who have walked through their doors to tell us about their experiences and where they are today.

How did SSG get started?

Jon writes: “Having successfully completed my own CIM studies in June 1992 (and won a prize as West London’s best student); I was asked by my local CIM team to speak at an event for students and pass on the “secrets of study success!” Following encouraging feedback I was asked to attend another event, this time with separate sessions for each of the three CIM study levels. Student feedback again was favourable and it was suggested that a revision session for each of the twelve subjects would be helpful – a small charge was made for each session and most were a sell out….and so the Student Support Group was born.

Demand for our services grew to the extent that CIM London offered to promote our services and I recruited my wife Caroline, an experienced Customer Support specialist, to work with me. I decided to commit to Marketing teaching and training full-time, qualified as a teacher and CIM Chartered Marketer. We then carefully recruited a team of CIM Tutors with real Marketing Management experience; each has CIM subject specialist knowledge, they are all Chartered Marketers and they share our passion for providing study support.

Although we originally focused on providing exam revision for re-takers, we quickly evolved to become a leading provider of individual student support (mostly via email and telephone) for CIM Assignments (and the odd exam) from Introductory Certificate to Chartered Postgraduate Diploma level. We also offer support for the CAM Diploma in Digital Marketing.”

5 years on…

Andrew Celia is Marketing Manager – Data & Digital, for Letchworth Garden City’s Heritage Foundation in Hertfordshire.

This is what he had to say about the support he received from SSG.

“Absolutely fantastic! I started learning with SSG at a postgraduate revision class in 2007, right through passing the new CAM Digital Diploma in Marketing in 2011. Their teaching style, approach and support from start to finish is excellent. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the SSG team to anyone.”

How long did you study for?

They helped me for about three years.

How has your career progressed since you took your exams/assignments – where are you now?

Since completing my Digital Diploma, my role has adopted more of an eSpecialism. Learning new skills and doing new things – putting my learning into practice. Bringing a different approach and a breath of fresh air to my work.

What, if any, is your involvement with CIM now?

I’m not taking on anymore CIM study for now so I’m not learning with SSG at the moment. However, I’ll keep telling all my colleagues and fellow marketers about SSG – and thanks to my recommendation, someone else in our team has just completed a set of revision sessions with SSG.

10 years on…

Lynda Robinson BA (Hons) ACII DipM ACIM studied with the SSG from November 2001- June 2002.

Which CIM Qualification did you take?

Following a BA Hons degree, I took further Chartered Insurance Institute exams becoming an Associate then completed The Chartered Institute of Marketing Postgraduate Diploma in June 2002.

How long did you study for?

I studied the Diploma for about a year and a half. I was running a small marketing team as Marketing Manager in a leading specialist, sector specific, business to business Lloyd’s insurance broker in the City. At the time I was told that to progress further in my role, I would need to undertake the CIM Postgraduate Diploma. I have to thank my boss of the time greatly for suggesting I studied for this qualification.

How did the SSG help you?

I was passionate about the work I was doing and really enjoyed the Diploma as it created a structure and clarity to what we were trying to achieve in our working environment. The SSG came along at the right time for me for several reasons. Firstly, I had put a lot of time and effort into my studies and wanted to ensure that I had not missed any important areas. The SSG gave me the opportunity to do this. Secondly, I wanted the chance to revise the work with exam papers and discuss the Modules from a different perspective. Again, the SSG provided this opportunity with a friendly and fun approach. Thirdly, as an SSG attendee I learnt and put into practice hints and tips for getting through those exams, and quickly gained a clear understanding of what the Examiner expected. Finally and most importantly for me, SSG offered one to one coaching which was invaluable as it helped me to look at my work from a critical viewpoint. It is easy to set off on a single minded track without looking at another perspective. This was of particular relevance with the Case Study paper. I was proud to obtain a Distinction in this Module.

The SSG programme was an invaluable tool for me and also very enjoyable. I made some very good friendships on the SSG courses which are still going strong today. Interestingly, these friends have also progressed quite rapidly in their Marketing careers.

How has your career progressed since CIM – where are you now?

As promised, I was promoted following my achievement of the Postgraduate Diploma to Marketing Director and my role expanded to incorporate a larger team with greater responsibility. This was a fascinating challenge for me and one I felt ready for; as I was confident with the knowledge I had gained through my CIM studies and was already applying it in my day to day work.

I took a career break to have a family in 2006 and have run some smaller projects through my own consultancy. I am now also working in a marketing role on a voluntary basis for a Tennis and Sports club with a tiny budget but huge enthusiasm. The role involves applying for funds through organisations offering grants and attracting young people from all types of backgrounds to enjoy sport. My marketing knowledge has proven itself very worthy indeed!

What is your involvement with the CIM now?

The SSG asked me to speak at a seminar they were running to talk about their services and I remember talking about my positive experiences, but also saying that studying with the SSG is really a ‘no brainer’ if you are serious about doing well and consolidating your knowledge. I would love to support the SSG in any way I can. I hope they will get in touch with me again in the future.

20 years on…

Sharon Bidder was one of the original SSG students from 20 years ago who Jon helped to re-sit her CIM Diploma (or CIM Advanced Certificate as it was then). Sharon has had a successful Marketing career, specialising in Crisis Communication and also heading up Customer Service training programmes and communications teams for a number of acquisition companies all around the world. She now lives in Vancouver, Canada with her husband (also a CIM graduate) and their two children.

Find out more?

To find out how Student Support Group and the other study centres across the country can help you with your CIM studies, please call Caroline on 01784 463057 or email


The Pitch London 2012 was held on 7 June at BPP London Proctor House. Each team pulled off ‘the pitch of their career’, with the contest seeing talented London marketers pitching their ideas in response to a ‘live’ brief from Bauer Media.

It was a hugely successful day with the teams pitching to Bauer Media with tactical brand awareness driving campaigns for Magic 105.4 FM along with a TV creative concept to sell Magic’s USPs in the cluttered London commercial radio marketplace. It was also a  great CV boost for all those studying members who took part.

Congratulation to the winning team:

The winning team was Bright Lights from University of Westminster; Valentina Bellemo, Anastasiya Matrokhina and Svetlana Berezentseva. Their pitch was titled ‘Light up your day with Magic FM’ and included the creation of a cheerful TV advert character whose aim was to entertain and brighten the smile of anyone he met, carrying the Magic Music Magnitola with him. The same character was to be used for street entertainment events with listeners finding out about his next venue by listening to Magic 105.4 FM. Social media, magazine advertising, and advertising in tube stations were all used as part of the campaign to create the buzz and drive brand awareness.

The Runner up teams:

The Marketing Chefs from the University of East London with their pitch titled ‘Go Tribal'; Thomas Bak Andreassen, Johannes Mauder and Martin Seidel.

New Talents from Middlesex University with their pitch titled ‘Be Magic'; Anca Bratu, Patricia Castello and Valeria Papettil.

Details of The Pitch London 2013 will be available soon. Visit to find out more or follow us on Twitter @CIM_glr


Study Success? Whether you passed everything in 2011, or not, there are some big decisions to be made.

For our studying members, Assignment and Exam results have recently been announced (for December 2011), so it’s time to take stock and decide what your next steps might be. It can be an exciting or difficult time, but regardless of whether you passed or failed, plenty of helpful support is available for marketing students in and around London.

I passed – what next?

Congratulations! If you’ve just passed your Introductory Certificate in Marketing then the Professional Certificate in Marketing is ideal for you. If you’ve completed the Certificate, then the Professional Diploma in Marketing is the next logical step to support your journey up the marketing career ladder. This covers 4 Modules and can typically be completed in one year when studied part-time alongside work. If, however, you’ve just completed your Diploma, then next up may be the Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing.

The Institute’s Learning Zone provides lots more information about the relevant syllabi (course content and fees) whilst the Student Support Group (SSG), based in London, can offer free personal advice on what to do next and how best to fit these studies around your busy professional life.

Alternatively, if you’re interested in digital marketing, then the CAM Diploma in Digital Marketing is a popular choice. If you’ve now completed the Certificate, Diploma or Postgraduate Diploma you’ll be exempted from one of the three digital modules, so you’ve already given yourself a head start!

Wherever you are in your marketing career you can never afford to stop learning. Continuing with your studies is a great way to demonstrate to employers, prospective employers or clients, that you are serious about your marketing career. CIM puts you on the right path to develop your learning, acquire CPD points and become a Chartered Marketer.

I failed – how can I move forward?

Failing an assignment or exam, or perhaps having to defer, can be disheartening, but there is plenty of support available from the Institute and the Student Support Group to help you turn a negative into a positive.

Step 1 – find out how the Institute can help you. There are 3 options you can take, available from the Assessment re-marking and feedback service through the Learning Zone.  They can either check, re-mark or offer valuable feedback, and some fees apply, please check.

Step 2 – call Caroline at SSG on 01784 463057 for a free telephone conversation which aims to shed light on what may have not gone to plan.

Step 3 – SSG will then offer you a free diagnostic quiz (usually £10) which will test your subject knowledge and help you identify any knowledge gaps which you may need to fill.

Step 4 – SSG can review a failed assignment/discuss your exam performance and help you see where you went wrong (some fees apply). Then they can provide you with a choice of support services to help you pass next time. These range from a syllabus overview tutorial; assignment briefings; feedback on assignment draft work and mock exams with feedback – so everything you need to get started, get unstuck, and get finished up to, and beyond, CIM standards.

Once you’ve made some choices from the options above, you’ll need to register for the May or September re-sits. It’s usually advisable to sit just one CIM subject at a time so you can focus your efforts. The Institute allow you up to 10 years to complete a qualification so there is no need to panic! Take your time, enjoy the learning and develop your marketing career at a pace that suits you.

Further free advice on all aspects of CIM study is available via a series of SSG podcasts.


Right now, many of our London studying members will be waiting for their assignment and exam results, due at the end of August. So now may be the ideal time to take a short break and think about your study plans for the Autumn.

Download 8 free study podcasts

To make an interesting change from attending college or reading textbooks, listen to our free CIM student podcasts which are provided with supporting fact sheets. These are available to download from the GLR and SSG websites.

Podcast topics covered include:


  1. Life as a Chartered Marketer with Mark Batchelor
  2. How to get on in Marketing – Simon Basset, Head of EMR
  3. How to stay motivated in your CIM studies – Polly Grant
  4. CAM digital marketing qualifications
  5. How to pass the CIM Professional Certificate
  6. CIM Professional Diploma in Marketing
  7. Study tips
  8. Your CIM.

Library and resources

Or, if reading is more up your street, now’s a great time to broaden your marketing knowledge by focusing on your background reading and research, available from the Institute’s website.

5 key resources

  1. Information and Library Service – a dedicated marketing collection making it an essential specialist source of information for books and online
  2. Online journals, books and reports – members can log in to enjoy fast online access
  3. Cutting Edge – the weekly digest of marketing news from across the sectors
  4. Research papers – for the latest paper, Ambush marketing and the law, plus Shape the Agendas, policy papers and white papers which set out the latest thinking
  5. Case studies – real life studies which show how marketing theory works in practice.
If you’d like some help with your personal study plan, or like to chat about any other aspect of CIM study, Student Support Group can help with free advice on their:

  • Exam/assignment feedback service (ideal if you have failed and don’t know why?)
  • CIM subject knowledge tests (free service)
  • Syllabus refresher sessions (discuss hard to understand aspects)
  • Assignment and case study briefings (expert advice on what to do and how to do it)
  • Checking assignment drafts and exam four pagers (check you are up to CIM standard)
  • Mock exam papers & feedback service, all designed to help you pass next time!

SSG can develop an individual study package to suit your study needs and budget. To find out more call Caroline on 01784 463057 or email (see SSG website for details & fees).

The venue for Women in Marketing

In just one weeks time, the fifth annual Women in Marketing event will be taking place. Have you booked your place yet? This year, the date for your diary is Wednesday 3 March, and the focus is Digital.
 You will hear from knowledgeable experts, including Sarah Speake, Head of Sales and Marketing at Google, on The Future of Search, and Tiffany Arntson from The Future Laboratory, discussing the female web and Womenomics. Plus find out more about the JWTwitterclock and hear about trends in mobile marketing from Tracey Isacke at O2
This years’ event will be taking place in the heart of London’s West End 76 Portland Place. With outstanding facilities, this venue and the exciting programme of speakers, make this event a must in any marketers’ diary. Plus get 3 hours CPD in the process. Book your place today - see you there.

Jon Twomey 

It may sound a bit odd. But when you’re most stressed out about studying, I think it’s a good idea to stop and reflect. Why did you start studying for qualifications? Daydream for a few minutes about how you’ll feel when you’re qualified. How will you celebrate? Who will you call? Take a short walk or get some exercise.  A change of scene could also help. There’s plenty of other things to try as well.  What works for you? I’m always looking for new ways to help Studying Members. So go ahead and spill the beans.

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