Current Employer/Organisation Name
Mobius Strategy Limited
What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?
I have had a career of nearly 30 years in marketing; initially in a market research company, then in brand management for Kraft Foods (now Mondelez), St Ivel (dairy foods) and Barclaycard. I then switched to work in marketing agencies, mostly working with well-known brands, developing their digital strategies, websites, apps, advertising, CRM and other marketing (basically everything except TV ads, although I did that occasionally too). After being made redundant during the COVID Pandemic Lockdowns, I have been freelancing / self-employed since August 2020, trading under Mobius Strategy Limited. I provide marketing consultancy to a number of clients; both through marketing agencies and working directly with an SME to shape their marketing strategy.
Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?
As part of my degree I did an ERASMUS year in Chambery, France, where we were able to take courses in marketing and psychology (not part of my Economics & Politics degree!), which got me interested in what makes people tick… why do they buy the things they buy, what matters to them (and so on). I love the variety I can get: in the past few months I have worked with a smaller business selling Fleet Management Software, a Baby Teething brand, a fast-growing Italian Food brand, The Freemasons, and I’m about to start working with Go Compare.
Please tell us if you were a member of any societies, groups or sports clubs?
I played French Horn in the University Symphony Orchestra (where I met my wife!). I studied for a year on the ERASMUS scheme in Chambery, France.
What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?
Studying abroad was brilliant – it really shaped my career choice, and we went skiing a lot.
What did you enjoy most about studying here?
Exeter is a great place -loved the easy access to the coast and the moors.
Why did you choose to study at Exeter?
Honestly, it was my 2nd choice after failing to get into Oxford. And I chose it over Durham because it’s much closer to where I grew up in Gloucestershire, and I had at least been to Devon a few times! Back in the day we didn’t visit universities – I’m not even sure there were Open Days.
What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?
Think around the question – see all sides of a challenge. Think like the people you’re trying to market to – they’re the customers, not you. Be practical – theories and models are only as useful if they reflect or work in the real world.
What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?
Get in touch and I’d be happy to talk about your specific circumstances, ideas and ambitions. There are so many different options and career paths that would be the best use of your time and mine! That said, if you’re not interested in what makes people tick, and why they choose to buy some things over other things, then maybe marketing isn’t for you. It’s really important to be able to put yourselves in the mindset of people who aren’t like you.
What are your plans for the future?
I’m one year into my freelancing/self-employed adventure and it’s been more successful than I had thought when I started. I want to make this a real success for the rest of my career, so I can shape my work-life balance better than I have done in the past!