Email Marketing Portfolio Manager - Safiyyah Gareeboo

Email Marketing Portfolio Manager at uniQuest
BA English and Philosophy, 2015

What does your role involve?

I work with a number of UK and US universities to help maximise their International Recruitment. My role involves managing a portfolio of email campaigns for our clients. This covers all aspects of the process, from planning to implementing and reporting both for internal colleagues and external stakeholders. Day to day my role involves creative, data and platform development elements, which build on skills in HTML, CSS, CRM admin and much more! 

How did you get your role? (i.e. when did you apply, how did you find it etc.)

I started at UniQuest as a temp, applying for a few months' work before I went travelling a year after graduation. I very quickly found that I enjoyed the company culture and wanted to progress here so I told my line manager that I would like to be considered if anything came up when I returned from my holiday. To my great fortune, she was offered a secondment elsewhere and a position became available to me, I was offered it a week before I was due to leave, accepted it and came straight back into the new role almost three months later. 

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy the opportunities to learn that are available through working for a small company. I have been able to progress and develop in my role pretty quickly as a result and this is a key priority for me. There has been plenty of skill sharing across the company so I have been able to learn a lot about CRMs and database management, which I find particularly interesting even though it's not directly linked to my job. 

What’s most challenging?

Another element of working in a small company is that there can be a lot of responsibility concentrated into roles. Shortly after taking on the role of Email Marketing Executive, my line manager left the company and so I became the resident expert. This was a lot of pressure at the time, but throughout the process I was able to learn at a much faster pace than usual. Whilst challenging at times, it was incredibly useful and has now definitely paid off an taught me a lot. 

How did your time at Birmingham help prepare you for this role?

Whilst at Birmingham I worked a number of roles through Worklink, Jobzone and my College. All of them helped me a lot with time management and interpersonal skills. Working in the CAL Marketing Team gave me an introduction to Hobsons (our old competitor!) and taught me more about automated marketing campaigns. This and an internship in the Alumni relations office gave me a lot of insight into the inner workings of a university, which has really helped inform my understanding of our clients. 

What advice would you give to graduates? What about those interested in working in a similar area to you?

I would advise graduates to be open about the jobs they apply to and take up. Prior to this role, I worked at John Lewis and Koko, neither of which I would call my dream job but both valuable in their own way. What I've learnt in the last few years is that there are always a surprising number of transferable skills in every role. Trying new things has opened up paths that I didn't previously know about. For anyone interested in working in Higher Education, I would suggest getting involved in the countless jobs available on campus and to follow news sources like the PIE on Twitter to be aware of recent developments in the industry.


Professional Services