My degree was in Commercial Photography at Derby University. There were a lot of digital elements, though that’s not how I got where I am today. At Uni, I took a part time job at a local clockmakers to organise their 150 year old image library, which took a long time! When I was done, they kept me on to pick up things their workforce didn’t have the skills to do. I managed their social channels, website, and wrote press releases too.
I said yes to a lot of things in the early days, which really helped broaden the work on my CV. The amount of opportunities I had was crazy, just because I said yes and got to know people.
It’s all about confidence. Every person I’ve met has struggled with this at some point in their lives. It’s the most important thing to nail, as everything else follows. It allows you to take more risks, do bigger things, try different things and put yourself out there.
Play to your strengths, for example if you know you thrive by organising things, find a role that lends itself to that. Life is so much harder when you’re battling something that’s not natural to you.
When I finished uni, I had enough experience to pick up an entry level job at a marketing agency after doing some voluntary work with a local charity. I was at the agency five years, then ended up at N21, which is where I am today five years later.
My first big promotion to ‘Head of’ was July 2020, the world was changing fast - as most will remember, and I was in this new position finding my feet. The positive of that, is that I became used to ‘the new normal’ very quickly and learned to adapt. In general for digital marketing, a lot of businesses who weren’t online, had to get there fast. The market has boomed and our industry has done well from it too.
I absolutely love my job as I’ve had the opportunity to mould the agency from day one, and the role I’m in too. The elements I love most are leading the team in the direction I want to go - getting out of the day-to-day detail and focusing on the future.
I followed my gut throughout my career and found a role and company that fits in with my skills, strengths and values.
If I were to do it all over again, I would probably give myself some more business experience. A bit of formal foundational knowledge would have helped me get where I am today much faster.