Samantha Hockney

Head of Marketing and Admissions, Stockton-on-Tees

Sector: PR and Marketing

Samantha Hockney was always a “homebird” and found herself questioning whether leaving home to go to university was for her – but she went and hasn’t looked back since. Today, she is head of marketing and admissions at Teesside High school. 

Where do you call home? 

Stockton-on-Tees, but I have been a “Boro girl” all my life. 

Tell us about your role?  

Head of marketing and admissions at Teesside High School. 

How did you get to where you are today? 

I studied English, French and media studies at A-Level and English language and media communications at Newcastle University. I went on to land a graduate job in Manchester at a marketing and PR agency, where I worked for two years before moving back to my beloved North-East to take on a marketing manager’s role at my old sixth form college. Fast forward four years, I am on track to achieve an MBA at Teesside University and have held my current role for almost six years. 

What struggles or obstacles did you face along the way? 

It’s a bizarre one, but I struggled massively with homesickness when I was a child. I see it now in some children at school and know exactly how they are feeling – when they get upset about leaving mum and dad! I hated the prospect of leaving home to go to university. I am an only child and only ever felt comfortable at home – a proper “homebird”! That all changed when I received my place to study at Newcastle – close to home but far enough to feel ‘away’ – and lived by myself from 18. It was a massive step and at the time I felt sick even thinking about it, but I’ve not looked back since. 

Describe the moment you first got a feel for success? 

Leading the development of a team in my current role. It might sound cheesy but marketing something well is essentially solving a problem for someone – a parent might not value their child’s current school, so they come to me to find out more. Guiding them through the admissions journey and seeing their child flourish just months later is a really rewarding feeling.  

Do you have any advice to aspiring young females? 

How many people will say this – but you really have to believe in yourself. I used to sit in rooms of interview candidates and hear people talking about their career and life experience and think “why am I even trying to compete against these people”? And then I would be offered the job. It’s not always the ones who speak the loudest who have the most to offer, or the best thing to say. I questioned myself every day – am I good enough? What if I fail? I laugh now at feeling like I would get “found out”! This is such a common and detrimental thought process – self-belief can change this.  

What advice would you give to your younger self?  

You are good enough. 

What three words inspire you and encourage a positive path?  

I don’t say anything if I’m honest, I put on a motivational song or playlist. 

Other Stories

Here you can find other stories that you might find interesting

Anne Spetch
Sector: Legal As the first member of her family to go into a legal career, Anne Spetch now works as…
Amy Pounder
Sector: Personal Training After tackling her own mental health struggles, Amy Pounder set up her own personal training business. Today,…
Catherine Devereux
Sector: Legal / Charity Catherine is a qualified solicitor, specialising in employment law and HR, and runs her own consultancy.…
Jane Armitage
Sector: Legal Jane Armitage is a successful solicitor and consultant with Jacksons law firm. She has taken several career breaks,…
Chloë Clover
Sector: Digital and Media After dropping out of school at 15, Chloë Clover now co-owns Wander Films with her partner…
Danielle Blakey
Sector: Surveying It was third time lucky for Danielle in her choice of career – but she now enjoys her…