Hi Jordan, can you tell us a little bit about your background and your main interests?
I'm 24 years old and was a graduate of the University of Aberdeen in Film Studies. After graduating I started working in the film department at The University of Aberdeen as a tutor offering technical and narrative guidance to Honours students. Soon after I moved away to New Zealand for a year, where I picked up an internship in Marketing and Communications for DocEdge festival which is a documentary film festival based in Auckland and Wellington, NZ. It is the largest of it's kind in Australasia and was a fantastic introduction to marketing.
Before joining Company Connecting I also managed a designed boutique called MADE in Auckland where I was also involved in buying new products for the store. A combination of my studies and my recent work experience landed me in my role at Company Connecting. My main interests in terms of marketing are probably, design, writing content and looking at the foreign investment angle and how Company Connecting may begin to move towards foreign markets in the future.
How did you come to work at Company Connecting? What were your main roles?
I got in touch with Janice through The University of Aberdeen's alumni careers emails, I had not long returned from New Zealand and needed a new direction to go in. My contact didn't get off to the best start as I actually addressed my CV to a different company, but this must have been endearing as I had a brilliant conversation with Janice and quickly drew up some (in hindsight rather lofty) goals and I began work soon after. Initially, I was just managing social media channels and growing our presence there, whilst another intern dealt with the content aspect. After my three-month internship was up, I was offered further employment as the main marketing person. I effectively combined the two internship roles and streamlined the process, then started looking into other elements of the business and develop our advertising and sponsored content offerings.
As this role was your first in the IT/tech industry, did you develop any opinions or observations on the industry?
I did develop some quite strong opinions about the kind of characters that tend to be involved in IT actually. Coming from an entirely non-IT background, with no major understanding or interaction with the tech community I found the way that many work to be quite at odds with my own approach. I am more of a 'let's get it done' kind of person and often found myself asking 'why can't we do that?'. This is part and parcel of working in the industry I think, as someone from a non-tech background it can be hard to grasp the pieces of technology, pieces of code, and various other limiting factors involved.
This is not really a reflection of the IT industry, more of a reflection on the difficulty of interaction between those with a working IT knowledge and those with a non-IT background. Company Connecting actually developed a consultancy package recently to help to try and address this miss-match!
How do you feel you benefited from your time at Company Connecting? What did you enjoy?
What I touched on in my previous answer was essentially my biggest goal. Unlike my internship at the film festival, I knew coming into this position that I didn't have an in-depth understanding of IT and Tech. What I wanted to get out of my time was to challenge myself by marketing something that I didn't fully grasp to challenge myself and grow. I think that has been achieved, whilst some of the lingo still goes over my head, I could talk to you about Digital Health, Cyber Security, Financial Technology, AI and Big Data at length!
More importantly, however, I think it's being around the team here which has added the most benefit. Janice is a very inspirational and truly driven businesswoman and working for her has a been both a pleasure and a real lesson. Community Manager Robin is a passionate, interesting person who was also a pleasure to work with, bouncing ideas and the occasional funny YouTube video around with him were also a real education. Board members Paul and Graeme have a huge wealth of combined experience and knowledge and it was fantastic being in marketing workshops and meetings and seeing that experience manifest itself.
What are your plans now?
I am spending the summer in the South of France renovating some very old chateaus under the sun and exploring the French countryside and Riviera! After that, I am resuming my studies at The University of Aberdeen to do my MSc in Strategic Studies. My interest is looking at issues related to 'soft power' and theories of constructivism, as this plays heavily into my Honours in Film Studies.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
In ten years I hope to have achieved something which I consider truly significant, both experientially and in terms of some tangible benefit for something bigger than myself. More literally, I hope to be stable, with property abroad and the ability to keep moving around the world. exploring whilst still working hard and adding value to projects that I am passionate about. A beautiful Mediterranean wife would be alright too.
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