Profile picture of Nola Calladine.

Managing Partner - Head of Client Service, Wavemaker

My very first work placement led me on a very successful career path.

Why I chose to attend Leeds Trinity

I really enjoyed studying media at A-level and found that I had a thirst for more media knowledge. The practical nature of undertaking work placements also really appealed to me as I knew I could gain further insight and real-world work experience.  I decided upon Leeds Trinity as my place of study as I loved the overall location and felt a real sense of community on campus from my very first visit. 

My most memorable experiences from my time studying

First and foremost it was the people. I am lucky enough to say that the five girls I lived with in my first year at university are still firm friends of mine to this day. This in despite of marriages, children and geography! Of course, the social side of my time at Leeds Trinity has given me many great memories although I don’t think I can share those here. From a studying perspective, I enjoyed all elements of my course, from the theory behind cultural change to the group project work - getting to experience being behind and in front of the camera was a big highlight. I am also lucky enough to say that my very first work placement led me on a very successful career path. I was placed with a media agency called ‘CIA’. It has undergone a few more changes in name and ownership since then and is now called Wavemaker where I am a Managing Partner. If I hadn’t been placed here during my time at Leeds Trinity, my career path could have looked very different!

Nola Calladine professional image .

Invaluable placements

For me personally, I found the work placements to be invaluable. I did both my placements at Wavemaker (formerly CIA) and then went on to work for them full-time (post travelling). The real work experience I gained here in conjunction to the theory I learnt and studied in the classroom proved to be the best start I could have hoped for. 

Summarising my career

I started at Wavemaker in February 1998 as a TV buyer. I worked in this department for ten years where I learnt how to plan and buy all the elements of Audio Visual. During this time I built up my experience across lots of different brands including Morrisons, Vimto, Westland and Crown Paints and this developed me into a fully-rounded AV Account Director.  

I then transitioned into a client service role which allows me to cover all elements of media and content whilst ensuring that clients get the very best out of the agency by helping them to navigate the constantly changing industry landscape.  

I was promoted to the Executive Board becoming a Managing Partner at Wavemaker in 2015. I now lead the Client Service team and get involved in all elements of running the agency with a special focus on recruitment, talent development and client service excellence.  

My advice to those studying at Leeds Trinity

Make sure that you find a solid work placement, create contacts and use them to get a job! Most of all it’s important to find something that you enjoy and are interested in because that’s what makes work life a joy!