Chris M.

Marketing Manager
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Chris M.
Language and Linguistic Science
Linguistics
Undergraduate
Vanbrugh
2015
United Kingdom

My employment

Marketing Manager
Vodafone
United Kingdom
Advertising, marketing and PR

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A day in the life of a Marketing Manager in the United Kingdom

My biggest piece of advice would be to focus on your USP: what sets you apart? What personal traits do you have which will catch an employer's eye?

Briefly describe the organisation you work for

I'm a part of Vodafone's UK division working on their VOXI brand. Vodafone are the world's second-largest telecoms provider, operating across 72 markets globally. VOXI is Vodafone UK's youth-focused challenger brand and is the fastest-growing segment of our UK business.

What do you do?

Working as part of a small team on VOXI, my role touches multiple areas of marketing, including proposition development, customer relationship marketing, through-the-line comms and commercial marketing.

Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?

I realised during my time as a Linguistics student at York that I was fascinated by people's interests, motivations and reasons for behaving in a certain way; linguistically, this meant things like dialect and accent, but my interest grew into a passion for marketing and communications.

Whilst finishing university I accepted a role on EE's Brand & Marketing graduate scheme and had the opportunity to work in a number of placements at the UK's largest mobile network. Now a part of BT Group, the UK's 3rd highest-spending advertiser.

Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?

Like many people, my view of marketing whilst at university was very execution-focused: the idea that 'marketing' is effectively the creative and comms department whilst other areas of a business handle the more commercial and strategic decisions that affect how a business operates and performs.

What I immediately found though was that marketing is the engine room of any organisation, and the execution element is a small part in a much wider machine. Good marketing teams set the long-term strategy for their organisation and drive growth through customer-focused product and pricing decisions brought to life through eye-catching marcomms.

Describe your most memorable day at work

The launch of 5G at EE: over a years' worth of work culminating in the thrill of being the first to launch the new technology in the UK, making national news and changing the face of our market.

Are there any challenges associated with your job?

In marketing, things change frequently and rapidly. Case in point, I'm writing this during the coronavirus lockdown in April 2020: the virus has fundamentally changed our operating model, our immediate marketing plans and long-term strategy and is something which happened completely unexpectedly.

What’s your work environment and culture like?

I work in an office in central London with the option to work from home once a week. It's a youthful environment and being part of the youth segment team has a relaxed attitude to dress code!

What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?

I took part in a number of extracurricular activities, including
- Vice-Chair of Events for Vanbrugh College
- Editor of Music for Nouse
- Ran and marketed various student clubnights
- Created and managed the social media presence for various student organisations and societies

As Vice-Chair, I created the 'Vertigo' Vanbrugh event - the first branded off-campus clubnight of any college which sold-out Mansion nightclub and turned a four-figure profit. This was my first experience of creating a 'brand' and marketing it across print and digital - and most importantly, taught me never to underestimate the importance of word of mouth.

As Music Editor, I learnt the importance of strong relationships through making connections with local and national music promoters and learnt the mechanics of strong written communication. I developed the section into a more opinionated and reader-focused operation.

What would you like to do next with your career?

Having worked in telecoms for almost five years, I'd like to explore an industry undergoing a sustained period of disruption such as fintech or TV/Content.

What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?

My biggest piece of advice would be to focus on your USP: what sets you apart? What personal traits do you have which will catch an employer's eye? Don't be afraid to be authentic and bring some personality to your applications and eventual new roles.

What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?

Off the top of my head: marketing; graduate schemes; working at a large organisation; extracurricular activities and opportunities at York

Next steps...

If you like the look of Chris’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Chris a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Chris to be your mentor.

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