Odette Carney11 March 2015

Odette started her career in the Graduate Program in Finance/Accounting at General Electric. Realising she wasn’t cut out for the finance world in the long term she made a transition into the marketing team. Read how UQ Business School helped her with her career journey.

Where are you working now?  Describe your current role and what you do.

I work for a software start-up company iasset.com which automates asset and service renewals for B2B companies. I have only recently joined the company, so my role as Marketing Manager has been to relaunch the website, develop new branding and write lots of content material.
As well as being very on trend right now, content marketing is a great way to connect with prospects so I spend at least one day a week writing blogs, brochures and white papers.

What is the best part of your job?

For me, the best part of my job and marketing is the ability to have a greater impact on sales and business performance. Marketing is becoming much more involved in the sales process from the very beginning through digital channels, and with technology you can quickly see the results of your campaign efforts. It makes the hard work worthwhile when you see good results.

What is the most challenging aspect of your role?

My biggest challenge is coming up with unique value propositions and messages that are meaningful to customers, but also that really differentiates us from our competitors. My company is a very small player that has a handful of very large competitors, so we are constantly trying to achieve cut-through and get noticed with a lot fewer resources.

Can you give us a bit of an overview of your career journey?  How did you come about getting to where you are in your career today?

I actually started out in the Graduate Program in Finance/Accounting at General Electric (GE) when I finished university. I wasn’t really cut out for finance long term and fortunately being in a large company, it was relatively easy to switch functions and I was given opportunities and roles to shift into marketing.

I initially started doing what I call “Finance for Marketing”, basically marketing analytics, forecasting market size, share etc. Then I moved into a marketing communications role, where I managed the execution of marketing programs across all product lines with a small team.
After 7.5 years with GE, I left in the middle of this year and started my new position in September. I actually feel fortunate that I started out in finance as it gave me a really good understanding of how the financials of a company are managed and reported, which becomes more and more important as you climb the career ladder.

What is your proudest career achievement?

Having the opportunity to pitch out to the global Chief Marketing Officer of my previous organisation on a project I’d led locally. To be able to engage with senior leaders at that level can be really inspirational as they challenge your thinking on the spot and you have to have quick answers! It was a real privilege and great learning experience.

How does the future look for you in your current role/industry?

I’m excited about the future of the technology industry; there are many new products/services that you need to be constantly monitoring the pace of change to keep up. Now that I’m embedded in the IT industry, I’m learning a lot about how IT can create efficiencies and drive business productivity. My view is that this will underpin changes that we will see in organisations in the future, for example, how we perform our roles and what skills are needed to do them.

What mentor or inspirational figure has guided or influenced your career/life?

I think Sheryl Sandberg from Facebook is very inspirational. I finished reading her book Lean In and have taken her advice to heart. She suggests women are partly responsible for holding themselves back in their professional lives. In particular, her thoughts about “Taking a Seat at the Table” – i.e. be present and available for any opportunity that comes along no matter what stage you are at in your career I think is really good advice.

What piece of advice would you give to anyone wanting to do a Business degree at UQ Business School?

Studying business gave me a great foundation to build a career in the corporate world. With UQ Business School’s strong brand awareness and reputation it really helped me secure my first job. I would highly recommend students who want to pursue a similar path to select the degree that not only aligns to their career goals but is also in an area that they are passionate about.

UQ Business School’s tagline is “Challenging the future”. For you, what will be the most challenging business topic in the next coming ten years?

With technology driving such a fast pace of change, an ability for companies to stay agile, keep up with market and customer expectations as well as continue innovation and delivering products and solutions that cannot be easily commoditised I think will be a significant challenge.

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