By day Victoria’s a metrics and results driven marketing and operations strategist with business development achievements spanning more than two decades. By night, she has the coo-lest hobby going – racing homer pigeons! Here’s her story…
Firstly, thanks for agreeing to speak to us Victoria. To get us started, please could you tell our readers how you started working with Manning Global?
I had just finished an assignment at another company and was just starting to look for my next role when I received a call from your Senior Project Consultant Kresimir Zebic about an intriguing marketing role with Huawei Technologies.
Speaking of marketing, how did you enter this profession?
Well, prior to getting my MBA, I was actually an accountant. When I went to Business School, I initially planned to go into finance as it seemed like a natural transition. However, while on a tour of an oil and gas company in Dallas Texas, I came across an office that was full of charts and graphs – it certainly grabbed my attention. I asked the tour guide what department was this and was told it was the market research team… and that was it: I switched my course work to study marketing and business intelligence straight away!
What is your advice to someone considering a career in this profession?
Marketing is a diverse discipline with so many facets that can be attractive to people who are a right-brain creative or a left-brain analytical type. I am definitely the latter. Play to your strengths. Find out what you enjoy doing and go with it! I love that I am part of the creative crowd while I can also provide the analysis or numerical side of marketing.
What are your main duties for your role as Head of Marketing Operations (UK) for Huawei?
Marketing operations is a mix of my accounting and marketing skills. I manage team planning, processes and maintain the marketing team budget. My focus is to help streamline internal stakeholders to make sure the team is able to deliver our campaigns on time and within budget.
What are your top three KPIs for this role?
- Acceptance Managing the settlement process to make sure vendors have provided proof of work and process invoices within 45-90 days of the PO end date
- Budgets Tracking the team’s activities are within budget and tracking the ROI
- Process and Planning Create and manage marketing team processes and ensure planning is done according to the HQ requirements
What’s a typical working day like in the Huawei marketing department?
A rollercoaster ride! It’s fast-paced and has lots of twists and turns. No two days are the same.
You’ve been with the company 10 months – what were your emotions on your first day in the role?
Excitement. I was looking forward to joining the team that was being built and really jumping in with both feet.
You’re based in the UK, however, are there any other countries where you’d like to work?
I’m American, so I have worked in the US. I have also travelled and worked with people in other countries. I have thought about where else I would like to live, and a warmer climate is always in the back of my mind. However, I love living in the UK (see below for my morning view!)… but would not rule out Spain, South of France or California in my home country.
As Truphone’s Global Marketing Operations Manager you coordinated the successful launch of three countries in one day. Please could you give our readers a quick summary of how you achieved this…
That was a real challenge. We had three markets that were ready to start selling: Germany, Poland and Hong kong. All different and time zones were an issue – making sure press releases were coordinated and the launch demonstrations were choreographed to be shared by the markets. Using my project management skills and many video meetings, we were able to make sure the events happened effortlessly.
Let’s talk about tech. What are your thoughts on artificial intelligence (AI) and how it will affect people’s careers going forward?
AI is great when used to enhance people’s lives, but, not to replace things that require human thought. While Huawei did a cool demo of a driverless car controlled by the AI on our phone – in a controlled environment, I am not sure that we, as a society, are quite ready for driverless cars on public roads.
What is your opinion of 5G and how do you feel it will benefit the telecommunications industry?
I think 5G will only make what we can do with mobile devices even more prevalent.
What was your first ever job?
Working for a local business in my hometown as a file clerk. I was 16 years old and worked for minimum wage after school.
What’s your biggest professional goal for 2019?
To work from home more. I live on the English Channel and it’s so peaceful. I get more work done in my home office with that gorgeous view than I do commuting to London and working in the office.
Who do you look up to most in life?
My grandmother. She’s 97 years old and still going strong. She worked until aged 65 in the local cannery and raised a family. She’s my hero!
Name your coolest work trip…
I was sent to Hawaii to conduct product training for our sales team in Kauai. My hotel was on the beach… it was great!
Finally, what are your hobbies outside of work?
I love to read, knit, play piano, take long walks on the beach and spend time at home with my husband and our two German Shepherd dogs, Migs and Sasha. Also, my husband and I have over 200 racing pigeons. He is an avid pigeon fancier and I help him caring for them. We sent a Strawberry Mealy to Barcelona – he came home in 11 days!