Digital Marketing Executive
How did you find out about and what made you choose the maritime sector?
Following my Masters at the University of Aberdeen, I was not specifically looking for a role in the maritime sector. However, I was strongly interested in innovation as well as marketing and communications. While starting applying for jobs, I quickly realised the maritime industry could be truly innovative with some fascinating technologies that were having a positive impact on the world. For example, technologies enabling businesses to improve safety and reduce their carbon footprint were truly compelling to me. I was also impressed by the diversity of the sector. From oil and gas, renewables, to marine and defence, I find the industry quite exciting professionally speaking. These represented interesting career opportunities and encouraged me to choose the maritime sector.
Starting my career at the innovation hub of a leading provider of specialist services to maritime industries, I was lucky enough to discover a wide variety of sectors and technologies, making it an enriching experience. From corporate communications, business development, marketing to data science, there were a lot of professional development opportunities. This diversity of disciplines made it a truly enriching experience for both young and more senior professionals, so I decided to persevere in the sector.
Who has been the most important person to you in your maritime career so far?
Not only one person, but a number of individuals have been hugely important in my journey so far. They are directors, managers and colleagues (they will recognise themselves) who have continuously brought support and advice in my career, which is critical when starting out. They help you advance and reach different professional milestones.
The ones I should particularly be thankful to are the managers who, at the start, gave me the opportunity to run and manage projects. They allowed me to leave my comfort zone and show what I was capable of, helping gain confidence and grow as professional and as a person.
As part of International Women’s Day, I feel I should also emphasise the positive impact some of my female colleagues have had. Some have been at leadership positions and their enthusiasm and passion for their work in an industry that is still predominantly male were inspiring. In their own ways, they demonstrated professional success in maritime can be achieved by anyone through hard work, perseverance and teamwork.
Did you study for any maritime-related qualifications and, if so, what and where?
I didn’t study a specific maritime course. However, I did undertake two marketing qualifications a year ago. Studying both the Certificate in Professional Marketing and Professional Digital Marketing with nesma has enabled me to progress in my career and the industry. As CIM qualifications recognised internationally, they allowed me to develop strong marketing skills that are critical in maritime and other sectors.
I likewise had the opportunity to expand a robust knowledge in new technologies such as virtual reality while studying a postgraduate degree in France and Aberdeen. Even though my degrees were more focused on artistic and cultural practices, they led me to acquire expertise that I have been continuously employing since I have started my career.
What have you found most challenging in your maritime career so far, and how did you address it?
I have found Marketing and Business Development/Sales to be two siloed departments sometimes, leading to misunderstandings, project delays, and misalignment of objectives. These can decrease the quality of work for both disciplines. However, when the different teams are communicating through regular catch-ups, meetings, and even presentations, they really manage to produce effective campaigns and generate leads. By collaborating closely together, they are also becoming more agile, helping them take swift action when strategies need to change. I have noticed that addressing the elephant in the room is sometimes the best way to move forward.
I have found networking to be quite challenging in the beginning too. As you might guess with my name, I am originally not from the UK and English isn’t my first language. I used to feel anxious and uncomfortable when networking and talking to complete strangers. But yet, it was not something I was ready to give up on. I went to more events and left my comfort zone. I joined a professional association, Aberdeen Young Professionals, who supported me in finding a mentor who gave helpful advice. Eventually, you realise networking can be fun, and the different individuals you meet aren’t total strangers. We all have something in common, and we all have to learn from the person you encounter! I have been extremely lucky to have mentors, managers, and colleagues who have been encouraging me in gaining confidence.
What does a typical day at work look like?
No two days are the same! Marketing can be fast-paced and we sometimes need to quickly adapt to unexpected situations. One day I will be planning and developing multi-channel campaigns, designing and writing content. Another I will be writing press releases, managing partnerships, conducting marketing research, looking at industry trends… It’s never really the same, which makes my role engaging.
What networks do you belong to that support your work?
I am a CIM affiliate professional, meaning I am a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. This body allows me to stay on top of marketing trends and continuously develop my abilities and knowledge as there’s so much to learn.
I am following the webinars and podcasts produced by OESMA, an organisation for marketing and sales professionals interested or working in the maritime sector. OESMA is a good way to explore the wider marketing and sales practices within the industry, with a focus on bridging the gap between the two disciplines.
I also used to be part of Aberdeen Young Professionals, a networking group with which I learned a great deal while participating in their AYP Mentor Scheme. I have been less active because of the coronavirus pandemic, but once things are going back to some normality it will be an organisation I will keep an eye on.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I have a real passion for sport. I have been horse riding since I’m four, and I used to compete on different levels when I was still living in France. I do enjoy cycling too, and before COVID-19 hit, I was part of a roller derby league, which I’m hoping to go back to whenever it’s possible!