I never thought that I would be writing a blog, but once again my adventures in the study of Geography at Royal Holloway have sprung yet another surprise. I hope to use this blog to inform you of my thoughts about my upcoming placement with ‘Truth Consulting’ in July as well as giving updates about my time there and my dissertation.
I first heard of ‘Truth’ in a casual conversation with a current PhD in the Geography Department at Royal Holloway during my first year. I was talking about how I was interested in the culture behind how certain food and drink products associate themselves with places, particularly through formal ‘Protected Designation of Origin” status. We were discussing whether the actual quality of the product or the place of origin was the main factor in the decision of consumer to purchase. They pointed me in the direction of ‘Truth’ as a firm where I could be interested in working. To my surprise, during my second year, I found out that there was the opportunity of doing a placement linked dissertation, so naturally, I applied.
I have formulated my dissertation leading on from that initial discussion with the PhD student. I will be going to Catalonia in Spain research how the rising popularity and reputation of Priorat wine has impacted on the region of Priorat. Usually products are shaped by place, but in this case place is being re-shaped by product. In terms of this project, I will explore how the very rural Priorat region has exploited its wine’s new found fame to market and re-shape it as an upmarket tourist destination.
I am very pleased to have Professor Phil Crang as my supervisor because he is a hugely respected and influential academic in the field of Cultural Geography and has been very helpful in his advice helping me keep my feet on the ground and stay focused. He took Steve and I to meet ‘Truth’ director and former research colleague Mark Thorpe at their City of London headquarters in late May. I was impressed by the variety and scope of their work. The meeting gave me a few new things to think about in terms of my dissertation planning. The placement will only open up new thought paths and help me think about my research from a marketing industry perspective.
Overall, I am very pleased to have been granted this opportunity, and want to use it to gain experience in the industry and hopeful build a successful career off the back of my experience. Three years ago while working on a building site in South London, I could not have predicted that I would be going to work for a respected company like ‘Truth’ in the City of London. Bring on the moment of ‘Truth’!