Lily Palmer-Clarke

Country: United Kingdom
Sector: Biotech & Life Sciences
Job title: Head of Sales
Subject of study: Economics and Politics
Year of graduation: 2018
Type/Level of study: Undergraduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name

Gaia’s Farming Co

What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?

The year I graduated, I was accepted onto a highly competitive commercial graduate scheme with Reckitt-Benkiser in the pharmaceutical FMCG sector. I then moved to a high growth workspace accelerator brand, Huckletree, and built their inbound sales team up for two years. Whilst at Huckletree I co-founded Fynder, a flexible workspace search platform and brokerage company that specialise in consulting on hybrid workspace strategy. In 2021, I was poached by an entrepreneur to work for a plant-based milk brand set to disrupt a rapidly growing industry. We launched two months ago after 6 months of pre-launch work and are growing very quickly.

Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?

My work today involves all sorts of tasks across multiple disciplines; just the way I like it. My day to day came vary hugely from tracking and reporting our end-to-end sales funnel and closing new clients, to product packaging and design. I love organising chaos and a start-up environment is a chaotic one; scaling brands from a handful of founding team members, to large organisations with multiple rounds of funding is my passion. Most importantly, I choose to only work for companies that totally align with my ethos and values, and who have products or services that I would use myself. Hybrid working, flexible working hours and complete trust to get my job done is the only environment I work in.

Please tell us if you were a member of any societies, groups or sports clubs?

I was the student ambassador responsible for changing our Economics and Politics degree from a BA to a BSc. I also took part in a handful of societies, including the debate society and the economics society.

Were you part of the Exeter Student Ambassador Scheme at any point during your studies?


What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?

The best part was getting up on graduation stage, at such a prestigious British institution, and receiving my degree alongside my peers. It was an honour to study under the Exeter name and our course was very up to date on relevant micro/macro economic theory and politically issues.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

The quality of education. The later in your degree you get, the smaller classes are and the more intimate the learning becomes. Exeter’s level of educators is exceptional with really motivating teachers who have original thoughts to share and refreshing content in their courses.

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

It’s a world university. It’s recognised by employers, co-workers, entrepreneurs everywhere I go, as one of the best university in the UK. The quality of teaching and education is exceptional, and many intelligent, hard working students choose to go Exeter University because of this. It means that you’re surrounded by people who take their higher education very seriously. It also has a beautiful campus, beautiful city.

What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?

I always seek out plenty of opportunities to be in the thick of it and learn on the job. You have to be comfortable with the ‘unknown’ and confident in your ability to manage anything that comes your way. With that experience comes an ability to organise lots of information – to cut through noise and get to the crux of an issue very quickly and working with a team to come up with solutions. Having a hard-working attitude and going above and beyond in any task is definitely useful too.

What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?

Staying positive, working hard and owning up to not knowing or understanding something right away are great traits. You can always learn something, so people will look for employees who have great foundations of skills, everything can be learnt as you grow within the company. Choose work that you enjoy and are passionate about, that aligns with the way you want to work. Somewhere where you feel respected and valued is crucial too.

What are your plans for the future?

This year Gaia’s Farming Co are fund raising over £2m in seed round, after which I will be building out our sales function further, hiring and training up a team, and continuing to grow our overall revenue. Fynder will also be growing this year as our targets double. I’m in talks to build a no-code web design agency specifically working with Webflow after successfully building our Fynder website on Webflow last year. Long term plans, I would love to work with several other incredible brands to scale their operations across the UK and worldwide. Eventually, the plan is to own other businesses as well as consult/coach for start-ups across multiple industries.


Similar Alumni

Akari Nakamoto

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Isabelle Edwards

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