21 October 2021
From CS to Marketing: how I transitioned to a new role at Unibuddy

I joined Unibuddy in November 2019, after a string of poor-fit careers…

Straight after graduating in 2018, I enrolled in a 1-year PGCE course to learn to be a Primary School Teacher, but after just 3 months, I decided teaching (in the traditional capacity) wasn’t for me, and I dropped out. I then worked as a Lettings Agent at a local property firm, but my heart wasn’t in it and this wasn’t the fulfilling career that I wanted.

*Enter Unibuddy*

Starting out at Unibuddy

I first heard about Unibuddy from a friend who worked in the Sales Team, whom I had previously worked alongside during my time at university, in the student engagement department. She had a lot of good things to say about Unibuddy and encouraged me to give it a shot…

I applied for both a University Partnerships Executive (Sales) and Customer Success Executive role at the London campus. I wasn’t quite sure where I’d fit best in the company, but I knew that I related to the company’s values and the company mission really resonated with me. I hoped that my cover letter had communicated just how passionate and enthusiastic I was about working at Unibuddy; as this felt like the fulfilling career I’d been waiting for.

After several rounds of interviews, where I was made to feel welcomed by every team member I came into contact with, I was offered the role of Customer Success Executive!

Obviously, I accepted and started working for Unibuddy in November 2019.

Adapting to the pandemic

2020 struck and things looked a bit different, but the Customer Success team were just as supportive as they’d been in person, and we all learned to adapt to home-working. As time went on, and our university partner base grew, so did our Customer Support function — gaining 3 new colleagues over a year and a half the Customer Support Team began to flourish.

My colleagues in the Customer Support Team are absolutely wonderful, and we worked really well as a team, however, although I enjoyed helping university partners with their technical queries, I started wanting to help partners in a slightly different, more creative, way. Within my role as Customer Support Executive, I started considering how else we could build relationships with partners outside of our Support ticketing system… I started helping the Marketing Team with case studies, hosted best practice webinars and workshops, built out a customer newsletter, created a community for our student ambassadors, and hosted and produced 5-minute videos on how to make the most out of Unibuddy.

It wasn’t long before people started to notice that these projects I was taking on alongside my everyday tasks were filling an untouched niché for our university partners. After many conversations with members of the Marketing Team and a huge amount of support and encouragement from my managers in Customer Success, we started to build out a plan to transition into the Marketing Team.

However, I wasn’t automatically granted a golden ticket to the new role… I wrote a cover letter, as any applicant should, and was interviewed by the then Head of Marketing, our Product Marketing Manager, and our Content Marketing Managers (in the US & UK) to ensure I was a good fit and that expectations were aligned on both sides. This was a slightly bizarre experience as it took me back to my initial interviews at Unibuddy, 1 year and 8 months prior!

Shortly after, I was offered the position of Customer Marketing Executive! The role of Customer Marketing perfectly encompassed everything I’d been working on in addition to my Customer Success role over the last year or so; creating that extra level of support and communication from Unibuddy to our partner base, that I’d been able to identify as a place we were lacking. It’s also exciting to me as a combination of two worlds; Customer Success, a landscape I’d become well-versed in, and Marketing, a new territory I’m excited to explore.

My manager, Unibuddy’s Product Marketing Manager, had been incredibly supportive and helpful during the first few months of the transition period. The wider marketing team has also been so welcoming, and it’s really exciting to be collaborating with them within their specialist areas. We’ve got a few socials (a mix of online and in-person) lined up soon from dumpling-making to cocktail mixing — which I’m looking forward to, but even just being in the office (optionally) and getting to know everyone in my new team has been really nice.

Moving forward I’m really excited to learn even more about the wonderful world of marketing, particularly customer marketing — as we continue to build out this function at Unibuddy and I continue to expand my knowledge in this field! I’m forever grateful for the opportunities Unibuddy has afforded me and would love to see my colleagues in other teams progress internally as I have, whether it’s upwards, sideways, or diagonally! It’s all about finding what you’re passionate about, carving out that niché, and providing that impact to our university partners and the company as a whole.

Check out all of our open roles here!

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