An employee update with Nicole Allen, Marketing Executive at SaltDNA.
Nicole completed her university placement year with SaltDNA, as part of her degree studying Communication, Advertising and Marketing at University of Ulster. Nicole worked alongside her degree part time during her final year and recently started full time with the company having completed her placement year with SaltDNA in 2018/19.
In lots of different ways my degree has helped me with my profession in marketing. Since my degree was in CAM I find a lot of these different aspects mould into marketing. My degree was very creative and practical in terms of developing real life advertising and marketing strategies, content planning, media planning and everything that comes with working on campaigns.
I was always working to a deadline every month, therefore it is very similar in terms of pushing marketing content out by a particular deadline. It has given me a base and structure of managing my time effectively which is so important in the marketing world no matter what you are working on.
Finally, my degree really developed my teamwork skills through team projects and presentations. In my job I work on coordinated campaigns which involve many different elements and media. I work closely with my team and surrounding colleagues to ensure the work going out is cohesive and as a result of a collaborative effort.
I carried out my placement year with SaltDNA and honestly just loved it. There are so many reasons to pursue a career in cybersecurity. Across the board, growth opportunity, job security, exciting day-to-day tasks and the chance to make a difference. What isn’t attractive about that to anyone let alone a graduate? I have got so much exposure that a lot of other graduate roles simply wouldn’t have.
What I love about my job is that I came from a background never imagining I would end up where I am today and it's probably very similar for a number of people in this sector. There are two main things that I find attractive, unlimited growth and plenty of variety.
In both my career path and learning opportunities, there is an ever-expanding scope that cybersecurity presents with the ultimate growth potential. You will learn from being in this industry that learning never stops. Which is exactly what I need and want as I knew I never wanted to be in a repetitive position day in day out. And secondly, the variety; which is such an exciting career prospect, bored is not a word you will use often when you’re in my role.
I was contacted at the beginning of my second semester of my final year of university and that I was being offered a role as a marketing executive full time. I said yes straight away as I knew if I had not accepted the job I would regret it and it would be a lost opportunity if I had not.
I began working part time with SaltDNA again during my final year at uni and now am working full time within the marketing department here.
If you don’t have a part time job that is relevant to your professional career during university, seek one now. A part time job is an asset to any graduate's CV but if you can gain paid employment in a role that will benefit your CV it’s a win-win. If you can’t find a paid role that is relevant to your degree while studying, work for free, do whatever you can to bulk out your CV and your own personal experience. The more experience you have the easier it will be to find a placement and then a graduate role.
It is important to note that everyone in your working life you encounter may potentially support you in the future, whether that be a colleague or a visiting executive. You may well be asked 'what are you planning to do in the long term?’ - And then plan a brief reply – and a longer one, if anybody seems interested. They might offer advice or bring you in contact with someone who works in that field.
Lastly, whatever the position, make sure that you develop a reputation for being reliable, punctual and helpful; this will result in the sort of employment reference that graduate recruiters love.
SaltDNA is a multi-award winning cyber security company providing a fully enterprise-managed software solution giving absolute privacy in mobile communications. It is easy to deploy and uses multi-layered encryption techniques to meet the highest of security standards. SaltDNA offers ‘Peace of Mind’ for Organisations who value their privacy, by giving them complete control and secure communications, to protect their trusted relationships and stay safe. SaltDNA is headquartered in Belfast, N. Ireland, for more information visit saltdna.