Written by Student Nannies
In the latest of our series of Career College articles we take a look at Marketing for Health Tech.
Brigitte West, 25, Marketing Manager, Wellvine
1.Tell us a bit about your job, what the average day looks like and what’s involved…
I’m the Marketing Manager for WellVine, the UK’s first on-demand healthcare platform for pregnancy, baby and mum. My role is to develop the marketing strategy for the company and manage all the day-to-day marketing activities. WellVine is a start-up so my role spans across multiple business areas and each day is very varied; from speaking to customers, designing digital marketing campaigns, to setting up partnerships with leading parenting brands – each day is different and that’s what I love. I get a chance to get stuck into lots of other business areas too – start-ups are great places to learn and get a lot of experience.
2. How did you get your first job in this industry and what tips would you give to students for routes in?
Whilst I was at university, I founded a beauty tech start-up and growing it from idea to profitable company was great experience for my CV. I studied science so the transition into business meant that I had to develop new skills and learn what I was good (and terrible!) at. This hands-on experience helped me to figure out what I wanted to do and also helped me to get my role at WellVine. I think my top tip for routes in is to try to speak to someone working in the department or role you’re interested in and to get some work experience. People already working in the industry will be able to advise you on the best experience to get and potentially even connect you to some key people.
3. What one piece of advice would you give to someone/a student wishing to forge a career in Health Tech?
Try to get some work experience and a mentor. It’s the best way to get to know the industry and make connections.
4. Who was the one person who had the most influence on your career to date?
My mentor – she has given me some invaluable advice over the years. She’s a commercial director at a global company and has grown many businesses successfully throughout her career. A family friend called in a favour and asked if she would go for coffee with me to talk about my business idea (Beauty By The Geeks). When we met up I asked if she would mentor me (I had no clue about business!) and thankfully she said yes. She has helped me to create and implement business strategies, has connected me to key people in the industry/other mentors and has given me lots of sound career advice over the last few years.
5. Considering all the people you’ve met in your field, what personal attributes are essential for success?
Problem-solving and being adaptable are key. If you enjoy solving problems and can keep your cool in fast-paced environments, working in a start-up may be for you!
6. What do you wish you’d known (but didn’t) when you first contemplated this career as a student?
At uni I didn’t even contemplate what I do now as a career. To be honest I had no idea what I wanted to do! It was only through getting experience in different areas that I started to figure it out. I wish I had not worried so much about it.
7. What is the best bit of career advice you ever received?
“Shy bairns get nowt”… Geordie for never be afraid to ask. Many people are be happy to go out of their way to help, all you need to do is ask them.
8. What is your career highlight to date?
It would have to be pitching and winning investment and a place on an incubator for the start-up I founded at Uni. During the 6 months of the incubator, I got access to training and mentoring from a range of industry experts and this learning accelerated my career progression.
9. What are the best and worst things about your job?
WellVine is at the forefront of digital health and I am really excited about what we’re developing and each of the projects I’m working on. The best thing is that I get to meet and work alongside amazing people and I’m learning tonnes from them. The only downside is, like with any start-up, you often need to put in long hours but if you love what you’re working on, it’s always worth it and I do!
10. What do you think the industry will look like in the next ten years and what skills do you think graduates will need to stay ahead of the game?
There are loads of exciting things happening in digital health that will transform healthcare as we know it over the next 10 years. It’s a really exciting space to be working in at the moment. Being proactive and keeping up to date with innovation in the sector and being willing to learn about new technology and it’s applications are key for staying ahead of game.
Jobs before uni:
2009-2010: Healthcare co-ordinator, Fundacion Arco Iris
2010-2011: Customer service advisor, Santander Plc.
University 2011 – 2014, Biomedical Sciences (Bsc), Newcastle University
Jobs during uni:
2013 – Beauty buyer internship, Selfridges
2013 – Wellcome Trust, Biomedical Vacation Scholarship at Bristol University
2013 – Launched Beauty By The Geeks (continued to grow throughout uni and then work on it full-time when I graduated)
2014 – Fundraising Officer and Events Manager, Disability North
Jobs after uni:
2014 – 2016: MD of Beauty by the Geeks
2014 onwards: Guest lecturer at Newcastle University (Science Communication)
- 2015 – 2016 Chief of campus programmes, Scientista
- 2016 onwards: Marketing Manager for WellVine