I work for Rackspace Hosting, running their International Marketing department. Rackspace is a billion dollar IT services company, we run the web sites for companies like Confused.com and the Vue Cinemas.
What is the most exciting aspect of your work?
I love my job, Rackspace is a company with a strong family culture, we work hard but have fun in the office whilst driving a new industry and growing fast. Marketing is also a great job full stop. Don’t let people fool you into thinking that marketing is all about logos and t-shirts. Marketing is at the forefront of everything any company does. Marketing is central to gaining new customers as well as keeping your current customers happy and getting them to spend more money with you.
Would your classmates from school be surprised at what you’re doing now?
I don’t think so. Although never the most artistic I was always an outgoing people person and a bit of a trouble maker, marketing is the perfect fit.
Was there a teacher who had a particularly strong influence on you and if so in what way?
If only I could remember that far back. As I wouldn’t want to offend any of my old teachers I’ll stick with, “they all had a positive influence on who I am today.”
What school subjects were you good at and have any been surprisingly helpful later on?
I have always been numerical and was therefore strong in Maths, Economics and Accounting. Mathematics is an essential foundation for any senior role, in marketing I’d take an aptitude in maths over a creative subject any day of the week. Mathematics allows you to have a firm understanding of which investments or projects are working and which aren’t, an essential element to running any part of a business.
How did you decide what you wanted to do after school?
I decided at university that I wanted to be in marketing and doggedly stuck to that decision. After university I turned several roles down until the right one came my way.
Did you take a gap year? Did it influence any decisions later in life?
I was a good boy and went straight to university. Much better to go travelling when you have a little money in your pocket.
If you went to university what was your university experience like?
I studied European Business Studies and specialised in Marketing. It was a four-year course with a sandwich year spent in Italy. It was a wonderfully diverse course with elements in finance, marketing and organisational behaviour. This allowed you to see which elements of business you liked the most and then specialise in that area. As it was an international course as well, we had a great mix of people. A year abroad too, can’t be bad.
What has been the proudest moment of your life so far?
I joined my current company when it was just a handful of people, over the last 10 years we’ve developed this company into a billion dollar business and hire 1,000 people here in Hayes, London. Now, I didn’t do that all by myself but my part wasn’t a minor one.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
Hopefully creating another billion dollar organisation.
What advice would you give someone still at school who wants to do what you’re doing now?
Work hard, be lucky, take risks.
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