My Fashion Career: Rob Hughes, Digital Marketing at Jacamo
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Whether you dream of being a designer, fancy yourself as a photographer, or are made for marketing, we’ve spoken to individuals currently working in various areas of the fashion industry to find out how they made themselves stand out from the crowd in this increasingly competitive industry, and what their job is really like!
Rob Hughes is part of the Digital Marketing team at top men’s fashion retailer, Jacamo. He spoke to The National Student about his role within the company, and how he got there…
‘I didn’t go to university, but I did a start a part-time HND in aeronautical engineering. I was never particularly good at traditional classroom learning and much preferred a hands-on approach, which is probably the route I’ve taken with the majority of my education – trial and error!
‘From a young age I always expected myself to go into engineering of some sort, despite having some natural skills with computers – particularly developing websites and then promoting them. It wasn’t until my fourth year of working for an engineering company that I thought working with computers or in the digital field might be fun, so I started looking for opportunities – a digital marketing agency gave me my chance, and I’ve never looked back.
‘I worked at marketing agencies of various sizes and across different sectors for around nine years before coming to Jacamo. Before that, I was working for an aeronautical engineering firm for four years – a drastically different field, but a lot of the troubleshooting, problem-solving and project management based skills I gained there were a great help.
‘Digital marketing is such a wide field with individual specialisms, each of which have a vast range of skill variance. The key, initially, is to understand what you enjoy and where your strengths are; for example’ are you more “pictures” or “numbers” focused? As well as having the specific skills required for your field, it’s good to have a basic level of understanding of all other aspects of digital (and offline) marketing – cross-discipline competence with deep individual-discipline expertise.
‘In my role with Jacamo, each working day is really varied. From digging into details and understanding the performance of individual campaigns (and of course looking at what we can do to better them next time – always think bigger, faster, stronger), to getting your hands dirty in the day-to-day activity and getting individual tasks complete or projects progressed, it’s always busy!
‘It’s also important at times to step back and look at the wider marketing focus and company strategies, to make sure we are thinking consistently across all aspects of the business.
‘The best moments in the job are those times where something finally comes to fruition, and you can start seeing the impact of all the hard work that has been done. The ability to sit back and think to yourself “yes, I was part of that”, that’s a great achievement in my eyes.
‘For anyone looking to pursue a career in digital marketing, whether they take the university route or not, my advice would be to read as much as you can about various digital areas to get a thorough understanding of opinions; but, remember, they are just opinions not necessarily the right answer.
‘Try and get some relevant work experience or internships in marketing, as this will really help you to differentiate between the theory and the reality.
‘When it comes to interviews, at Jacamo we like to know you’ve done your research into the retail market and niche areas that we operate in. Other than that, just be yourself – we are not looking for machines, we are looking for people that are confident enough to be themselves, pull the teams together and drive everybody to a common goal. As well as the baseline skills, we are looking for personality and passion to succeed and progress.’
Click here for more careers advice from Jacamo, on everything from getting to the interview stage through to how to dress on the day.