Simon N.

Digital Marketing Company Director/Entrepreneur
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Simon N.
Electronic Systems Engineering
United Kingdom

My employment

Digital Marketing Company Director/Entrepreneur
Periscopix/Merkle Inc
United Kingdom
Digital and IT services
Medium-size business (50-249 employees)

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A day in the life of a Digital Marketing Company Director/Entrepreneur in the United Kingdom

I'd wanted to have my own business ever since I was an undergraduate. Studying at York gave me a firm grounding in technology and an interest in business, which were enormously helpful in the early stages.

Briefly describe the organisation you work for

After 15 years in IT and telecoms consultancy, in 2004 I co-founded a digital marketing agency. Over the following 12 years I grew the business to 250+ employees and £30m turnover before it was acquired by a US corporation.

What do you do?

While running the business I managed client relationships, company finances, recruitment, personnel, training and general management.

I have managed company recruitment and interviewed a lot (probably several hundred!) of new graduates and people at an early stage of their career (typically no more than three years work experience). I'm delighted that several York graduates started their careers in my organisation.

Today I invest in early stage businesses, work for various non-profit organisations and spend time with my young family.

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

I'd wanted to have my own business ever since I was an undergraduate. Studying at York gave me a firm grounding in technology and an interest in business, which were enormously helpful in the early stages.

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

Absolutely! The internet didn't exist when I graduated, let alone digital marketing. I clearly recall someone from BT telling me that he "didn't think that sending video signals digitally would ever be possible"!

Describe your most memorable day at work

Every summer we would hold a long weekend fun/social event for all our employees. At one of these I was talking to the partner of someone from our team. She told me that he had had a series of other jobs prior to working for my business but hadn't enjoyed any of them or felt that they offered real long term career prospects. She told me how much he enjoyed working in my company and how much he had changed. Finding and hiring great people, and seeing them develop into a fantastic team, was a huge privilege for me.

Are there any challenges associated with your job?

Managing a fast growing business in a rapidly evolving sector was always challenging in lots of different ways, but also great fun.

What’s your work environment and culture like?

We worked really hard to try to make sure everyone in our organisation enjoyed their work and valued being part of a great team. We all worked hard but I feel proud of what we achieved together.

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

I was in the rowing club but overall probably didn't do as much as I should have while I was at university. It's fantastic experience to be involved in teams of any kind - sports, music, arts etc.

What would you like to do next with your career?

I'd love to give back some of my learnings and whatever wisdom I've picked up in the hope that they will be of some use to those at an earlier stage of their career.

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

Be determined and stay positive. Don't spread your net too far - focus on a limited number of roles that you're really interested in.

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

Job applications, interview preparation, interviews, working in digital and/or marketing.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

I once slept right through a fire alarm and evacuation in the early hours of the morning whilst living on campus. Fortunately it was a false alarm!

Next steps...

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

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