Kizzie believes communication is key

​​​​Kizzie Nicholson, Founder and Director of Social Fireworks Ltd, has seen her career go from strength to strength since graduating with a degree in Marketing, Advertising & Communications in 2010. 

Having completed a placement at Microsoft, she went on to work in a London-based advertising agency and has since managed social media for many global brands. In 2022, she won Digital Business Of The Year, was a finalist for PR & Marketing Woman of the Year and was recognised for being an inspiration to other women in business.

And today, she is also a TED X speaker, speaking to a wide range of audiences and helping them understand the power of social media. Last year she spoke on the topic of social media and relationships, which has now been released on YouTube and

In the talk, her opening story refers to her meeting a friend at university, and the hallway Kizzie refers to running down was from Eildon and Merridown, which were her first year halls at the University of Gloucestershire.

Kizzie was completing a foundation art degree in Kent before deciding to come to the University of Gloucestershire. “I’d had a realisation in my year studying art; you can be the best artist in the world but if you can’t sell yourself and communicate that, you’ll never get anywhere,” she said. “I made the big decision to move towards business and I chose this degree at the University of Gloucestershire because it combined the professionalism of business (marketing), the creativity (advertising) and theories (communications). Also, no other university offered this degree at the time.”

Kizzie was delighted at how much of the degree allowed her to compose and construct her argument and reasoning in essays, presentations and projects.

“This wasn’t like school where teachers told you what to do, this was an environment where you were left to learn something,” she added.

Kizzie also found the work experience, and a placement at Microsoft, invaluable both personally and professionally.

“Microsoft taught me one thing”, she said. “It’s the people that make a work environment, not a name. When I finished university, I was adamant about what work environment I wanted to be in and where. I wanted to work in an advertising agency in London, preferably Zones 2-4 so that I could afford the living and commute. Whilst my peers all jumped into fantastic jobs a few months after university, it took me 10 months after graduating to get what I wanted.”

And she would recommend others take the opportunity to gather experience in a range of environments, to develop their skills.

“My experience working as a waitress at TGI Fridays on a Saturday night, when people are hungry, getting fed-up with waiting for food, and you’re dealing with your tables, customers, chefs and manager, certainly made me grow in terms of communication, due diligence, accuracy, confidence and self-esteem. Get experience in an environment where things won’t always go right and you will learn a lot. 

“And for skills, it would be face-to-face communication, to be able to explain how you feel or a project status, and to ask any questions. Emails do not capture urgency in a voice, the joy of a tone. Face-to-face communication and voice communication win everyday.” 

And together with the learning styles and professional experience, Kizzie found university the source of happy lifelong memories, after graduating in 2010.

“All I can remember are the laughs! The laughs in lectures, from students and projects, things going wrong. One highlight would be having an open debate amongst my peers in my third year on a topic – you wouldn’t have thought we’d been studying for 3 years together with how much we were ripping each other apart with facts and arguments. To say we’d blossomed with our own knowledge and confidence would be an understatement.”

Phot credit Santiago Pilgrim | 42 South Films