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Au’Guest’ Blog post – Curiosity, Pirates & Tea

Written by Digby Killick, Insights & Analytics Executive at Beyond, as part of the Wired Sussex guest blog month

I came to Brighton when I joined the University of Sussex to study Neuroscience. An unusual choice of degree which I had chosen from a variety of biology based courses I had applied for, purely because I could. All I knew at that point in time was that I was curious, was capable of University, and I most certainly wasn’t ready for the real world. So I spent three years learning about brains, which as it turns out, are rather interesting.

I reached the end of my education and had the sudden realisation (as many do) that despite having a BSc (hons) Neuroscience degree I had no intention of using it for its original purpose... cue ambling around the internet looking for something more commonly referred to as a ‘career’.

I came across Wired Sussex in the summer of 2010 when working part time as a ‘Retail Assistant’ in Brighton (a part of my job history I won’t go into here) and was intrigued by the idea of working with ’The Internet’. I applied for work with Oxbow Media through the Wired Sussex Internship Programme. The internship which appeared daunting at first turned out to be one of the most useful (and fun) learning experiences I have ever had. The training days were a particular highlight, during which I absorbed a huge amount of knowledge and got to meet other interns as well as certain ‘characters’, many of which I am still friends with today.

Oxbow Media are a design agency in Chichester, and were the ones kind enough to “give it a go”. As an entry level intern this was my first experience of digital marketing. Oxbow provided me with the ideal environment for to grow and learn, offering the perfect balance of hands on guidance and self directed learning. My role there was largely search engine optimisation (SEO); helping clients with their online brand by making them more visible to search engines - done through a mix of on-site optimisation, link building and a little bit of social media on the side, not forgetting tea making (absolutely essential). I was hooked, my natural curiosity and thirst for knowledge had a new thing to obsess over - websites.

A year later my first encounter of Content & Motion was all of them dressed as pirates at Brighton Twestival. It was a match made in heaven and soon enough I was settling in as a Research and SEO Executive in Lewes. Since joining C&M the company service offering has become more specialist, focussing on content creation, social media and PR. Personally, my role has evolved into an Insights & Analytics Executive and day-to-day I provide performance reporting for our clients. Broadly speaking this is providing insight into how people are interacting with their brand and I work with the teams to decide on recommendations for what we do next. The role encourages curiosity, having to determine the causes and reasons behind changes in figures and patterns of behaviour, which in turn encourages a broad knowledge base.

This has meant the scope of my work has changed, and I am now responsible for more than just observing how customers behave on site. I now look at how people interact with brands across multiple channels and campaigns, a much broader and interesting environment!

A year since I joined C&M and my career has experienced another change. The success of the company and its approach to digital is reflected by our recent acquisition by Beyond. We are now, together, a multi-disciplined agency able to provide everything from the research, creative and build; through to the search, content creation and engagement for multi-territory brands. That’s not to say that now we’re international we don’t have Sussex close at heart - Beyond are the primary sponsor for TEDxBrighton this year and with their help I am leading online marketing for the event, which is nice!

For me this means I will be able to broaden my knowledge base even further, for a new set of projects, disciplines and brands. I am still making plenty of teas.

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