Daniel had a somewhat unconventional path into the creative industries. He read history at Leicester as an undergraduate and then did a lot of jobs after ‘which paid peanuts’. He did a Master’s in Merton College, Oxford and he now has a job at Brainlabs as Head of Marketing.
How did you land your first job in the creative industries?
A stroke of luck. The day before I had just quit an internship in the Commons. Next day I was pissing about, feeling smug, and a mate told me to go to a careers fair round the corner.
"I read a small blurb about a company that enjoyed Mario Kart"
I read a small blurb about a company that enjoyed Mario Kart, and started speaking to the people at the stand. Brainlabs was small then, only five or so people. I went to London the next week. Dan decided to hold my interview on a basketball court. He was in shorts. I was in a badly fitted suit. I think I missed every single shot. He then offered me an internship.
Did you expect to be working in digital marketing?
No, but I suppose as an undergraduate one does a lot of imagining. I once went for an interview at IBM. The lobby was filled with self regarding graduates, including me. We were all imagining. IBM spoke about the perks of the job which included a flash company car. That afternoon, I imagined progressing from sharing my mum's car to an executive Audi or whatever. Then you move to London and realise the money is better spent on going out.
What does a Head of Marketing get up to?
I'm fortunate because I work within a fucking great team. I'm responsible for events, branding and new business. This role entails leaving the office, going abroad and meeting new people. Though as everyone else does, I send many emails.
What is the best and worst part about your job?
Is this where I sell Brainlabs as the best place to work in the world? I just came back from the Euros with clients, and watched a decent game (Wales vs Belgium).
"Day to day, the best part is autonomy. You're not micromanaged."
Day to day, the best part is autonomy. You're not micromanaged. You're left to think and deliver. The worst part - well, the air conditioning is on the blink.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
There's more to life than a formal education.
Who would you most like to share a desk with?
Dave Trott. I think he's recently retired. You won't find a brain in advertising much sharper or as honest.
And finally, are you any good at Mario Kart?
There's a rumour, with a lot of substance, that the standard has slipped since I left the tournaments.
You can watch a talk Daniel gave at FutureRising in 2014 here about his journey into the industry.
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