The FCDC was at BrightonSEO in April, and we spoke with the amazing Noémie El-Maawiy.
Noémie is a French-born marketer, specializing in Events and Communications. She is the Head of Marketing at Viaduct Generation.
Name: Noémie El-Maawiy
What She Does: Head of Marketing at Viaduct Generation.
Company: Viaduct Generation.
Noteworthy: Her passion lies in creating inclusive cultures in the workplace and communicating the needs of the wider community.
💡Exploring career options after university.
Noémie discusses her post-uni job search and the challenges she faced in Barcelona. She mentions that many people in Barcelona pursue master’s degrees, making the job market highly competitive. She had to start with an internship due to her qualifications, but she had savings to support herself during that period.
She discusses her transition from the internship to a role in event management and communications within the same company. She talks about taking the initiative to measure the effectiveness of events, track leads, and improve processes.
💡Lessons learned from working in event management.
Noémie reflects on the challenges and lessons she learned in event management. She mentions that she learned on the go and made some mistakes along the way, such as not reviewing contracts thoroughly. However, she credits the company’s culture of trying new things and learning from failures for allowing her to grow in her role.
💡Becoming Head of Marketing at Viaduct Generation.
Noémie explains that she joined Viaduct Gen after reaching a point in her previous company where she felt uncertain about her future. She wanted to explore new opportunities and felt that the next promotion in her previous company was too far away. The timing aligned well with the launch of Viaduct Gen, and she gradually became more involved with the company, eventually joining as the head of marketing.
Startup culture and freedom.
Noémie discusses the advantages of working in a startup environment, where there is room for making mistakes, learning, and redefining job roles. She highlights the freedom to shape her role and the company’s culture, even though it can sometimes be challenging to navigate without a predefined path.
Her Challenges with Confidence as HOM
Noémie admits that one of the most challenging aspects of her job is maintaining internal confidence in her abilities. She acknowledges moments of self-doubt and questioning whether she is the right person for the role. Overcoming these internal challenges and building self-assurance is an ongoing process for her.
Building and managing a remote team.
Noémie talks about the challenges of building and managing a remote team, especially since she is based in Barcelona while the rest of the team is in London. She highlights the importance of trust, independence, and effective communication when working with remote team members.
Connect with Noemie
Chima Mmeje 0:05
Hi everyone. Today we have Naomi on shoe with us. No new hardware pronounce your last name because I’m trying to make sure I don’t miss other people’s last name.
Noémie El-Maawiy 0:15
Chima Mmeje 0:16
El-Maawiy. Yes, Noémie El-Maawiy on the show. She’s the head of markets and advisors, one of the youngest head of markets if I feed the youngest set of markets that I know. And she is one of us. And that makes me so happy so that people can see that.
Like I always say the journey is not linear and nobody’s proof of that. So we’re gonna get into Naomi’s story. I want to understand how she started her journey before she got into marketing get into where she is, and this successful journey.
So as we always say, first question, what was the first ever job you did? Like, way back? When we were like eight or nine or 10 or something?
Noémie El-Maawiy 1:00
I mean, if we want to take it that far back, we used to have like a family friend. We’ve got like a golf course near our house. And we had a family friend who would come and play golf and if we like, went to go find his golf balls.
Chima Mmeje 1:13
if you were living near a golf course you guys have like money money.
Noémie El-Maawiy 1:18
It’s just a bit more green. It’s surburban. Yeah, it’s a suburbia
Chima Mmeje 1:25
Girl We just do. Yeah.
Noémie El-Maawiy 1:27
But ya know, so you give us like, Ten pee a golf ball to go like find them on the golf course. I guess that’s the first time I’m amazed.
Chima Mmeje 1:35
There’s a there’s a name for that. The people who do that on the golf course?
Noémie El-Maawiy 1:38
Like golf caddies? Yeah, that caddies are the ones that like carry the bag and stuff. And I was way too small to be carrying you. That was when I was young, because Ten pee made a big difference. Now property.
Yeah, exactly. Which felt like, you know, riches, because I didn’t really get I didn’t get pocket money from my parents.
Chima Mmeje 2:01
So that was like your pocket? Yeah, exactly. So
Noémie El-Maawiy 2:03
that was like, and back in the days. you’d get a lot with Ten pee. There were like two P sweets in the corner shop. Yeah. So Tempe, that’s five sweets. That’s Rich’s
Chima Mmeje 2:14
job. No getting paid to buy sweets. So after that, what was next job I did,
Noémie El-Maawiy 2:21
then I did babysitting a little while I had a bit of an empire. There were loads of French families in my area who would speak in French at home and stuff. So they wanted a French babysitter.
Can you speak, I speak French. It’s my first language. And my mum knew a lot of them because she worked at the, like the Saturday French school. So she had her like French network. And so one of them like, asked it and it just kept coming. And I made a lot of money from Baby sitting, sacrificed a lot of parties.
Chima Mmeje 2:58
How old were you?
Noémie El-Maawiy 2:59
I started when I was like, 14,
Chima Mmeje 3:01
with you are 14. And you’re already making money from babysitting and sacrificing going to hang out with your friends for parties to make money. Nobody’s thinking about money and money just
Noémie El-Maawiy 3:16
because I think get it from like, yeah, like, I feel like I have loads of friends around me who had like pocket money or whose parents would just like give them money. My parents were not like that. Like, yeah, pretty much like farther away. So yeah. And then I it’s a kind of thing.
Like, I feel like when you’re making money, you’re just like, I’m gonna keep making more. Yeah, and it was just yeah, it just afforded me things. It meant that I could, you know, I could go out and I could buy clothes or I could set up to your parents permission.
Exactly. Exactly. And like Westfield had just opened in Shepherds Bush, which was really exciting. So it was like weekend trips to Westfield looks good times. carefree time. But yeah, it’s I started a bit of an empire.
Chima Mmeje 4:05
When you say empire, do you have do you? Do you have like, employees or something? Not really, like,
Noémie El-Maawiy 4:09
I just had, I just had a little book with a lot of dresses and a lot of like, and like I could kind of negotiate between people. Like if there was like two people that wanted me that same night, then I’d be like, what if you pay me more?
Chima Mmeje 4:25
That was how you were making money. Like the
Noémie El-Maawiy 4:27
monopoly of the area. It was fantastic.
Chima Mmeje 4:29
So what did that teach you about? About business? 40 that teach
Noémie El-Maawiy 4:33
me about business? Don’t undercharge probably like one of the biggest things. And what else? Relationships are really important. It’s all about your network as well. Like half of the people I wouldn’t have met without my mom if I’m honest.
Chima Mmeje 4:50
So that was you tapped into your mom’s network. What we do with LinkedIn, yeah, this day.
Noémie El-Maawiy 4:54
Exactly. Exactly. And which is quite ironic, because I actually kind of hate networking. Like, it’s just not my thing at all, I feel so awkward in those situations.
Chima Mmeje 5:04
And yet, it was beneficial for you though, ya
Noémie El-Maawiy 5:06
know? 1,000,000% like, I’m like, Yeah, I’m a huge advocate for it. But the actual practice of it, I’m just like, cringe, because it’s not my thing.
Chima Mmeje 5:18
So this is very interesting, from Peking boss for Nike, running a babysitting empire. Now everything you need to know that comes next is your stereo DJ on top. What do you do after that?
Noémie El-Maawiy 5:31
So kind of actually. So basically, I did from like, 14, all the way up until I left for uni, which was 18. But in that time, as well, like 16, me and pretty much all of my friends, we signed up to like this hospitality, like zero hour contract, kind of staffing company, that’s the word.
And so it was like to just so you would have basically, they would post up jobs for like, cause society, like loads of really different ones. And you would kind of apply and it was a kind of obvious thing, like, the more you work, the more you get the jobs that you’ve applied for.
And I did that a lot. And that to be fair, the company itself trash, absolute trash, like the worst. The drops, though, were really fun. Like, I got to work in the Natural History Museum, like after hours behind the scenes, I
Chima Mmeje 6:26
got to see all the artwork like
Noémie El-Maawiy 6:27
all proud there was like a dinner like underneath, you know that there’s like that huge skeleton. I think it used to be a dinosaur, but now it’s maybe a whale, like fine dining experience. It was that that was like incredible. I did like a few like people would do like private parties. Those were just so fun to host or like
Chima Mmeje 6:46
you didn’t love this one in university. That was
Noémie El-Maawiy 6:49
no, that was sixth form. So that was during a levels, which to be fair, probably should have been focusing a bit more on that. I think I just I was just like, Yeah, I was I was about all about having a good time.
And I wanted the funds to be able to do that. It was about holidays going on your first like friend holidays. Yeah, that was it was good times. But yeah, that was quite jokes. So that’s not true. Yeah,
Chima Mmeje 7:16
that sounds interesting. Because you’re doing this job where you do like different things. You could be displaced today, tomorrow, you’re somewhere else. And you’re like just getting all these different experiences going.
Noémie El-Maawiy 7:26
Yeah, I mean, really different people as well, in the process. I think that’s what that taught me the most was like, people management was just, you know, like, you turn up on the job, you don’t know anyone. For the most part, you’re not going to know anyone else there. Because you’re constantly like rotating between people.
And so it’s just like about making it work. Like sometimes, like there was some events that were so disorganised like there was this wedding that we went to it was a huge Indian wedding, it was incredible. They’d like booked out like the money by hide money. And the father of the bride was a wedding planner. Like he owned a wedding planning company. So
Chima Mmeje 8:06
like, so he’s going all out. It was it was
Noémie El-Maawiy 8:09
oh, it was magnificent. But we literally we turned up like maybe like four or five hours before the wedding was meant to start. Chaos. Complete chaos. There were three different companies working that no one had coordinated. So like one company wants to do things one way like another one.
I like to there was like a bunch of us, like maybe 50 of us who were like, Okay, what, what do we do? So like a few of us who had like by that I maybe had like two years of experience of this kind of thing. I’d done a similar event before. And so like we just were like, right, we’re splitting split splitting to greet people in the dining area. People are going Yeah, yeah. And I really enjoyed that
Chima Mmeje 8:48
down. And how old were you? At this point?
Noémie El-Maawiy 8:50
I don’t know like 17 and
Chima Mmeje 8:53
taking charge. So do people 17 and being a boss bitch. Amazing. Yeah, and then the next year you go off to university
Noémie El-Maawiy 9:02
and I went to uni. Yeah. And at uni. Uni. I did work at uni. I liked him like my union bar, which was also really fun. It did mean sacrificing your Friday night but actually, I feel like in student while that’s not the worst because you go out a lot in the week every day.
And so I’d rather night because it was also in the union, like all of my friends would go and party there. Anyway. So I was that but just so we’re making money
Chima Mmeje 9:32
down. And that was what you did to like, get extra income we’re investing.
Noémie El-Maawiy 9:38
Yeah, yeah, exactly. So I did that first year and second year, went abroad for my third year and then came back and then four year, fourth year for some reason I just took on loads of jobs. While I was doing actually in second year, I started working for estate agents that like rented us,
Chima Mmeje 9:58
like the student housing while you’re in school,
Noémie El-Maawiy 10:01
that was uni Yeah, unit was a lot more chill though. It’s like I’m seeing like 15 hours of,
Chima Mmeje 10:07
there’s like a lot of workload for assignments. Every every class has like assignments and assignments and assignments. And yes, I mean, it’s like never ending. Yeah, and they have been all about this stuff. And you’re still like working your ass off to make money. And
Noémie El-Maawiy 10:22
to be fair, annoyingly, I get, I kind of feel like for me, I’m one of those people that I work a lot better when I’m busy. Like, if I’ve got like, I can organise myself, and I’m a lot more aware of time, like people who knows me well, I’m really bad with time, like, tend to be lay I like I try my real hard is to not be but I just, I’m not fantastic at that.
Like, if I’ve got a lot of things on, then I have to be organised. Like, there’s no other option. So like, you just get on with it, and you do it kind of thing. So I think that kind of worked in a good way for me, because it just meant that I could be more focused on things rather than like, if I was just doing uni, I would have had so much time and then I would have been like, last minute. So that’s a very interesting
Chima Mmeje 11:13
perspective. You walk you walk better, or you function better. When you have a full shadow. That’s basically what Yeah, yeah, that’s interesting. All right. Now you finished uni. Yeah. How did you get your first job after uni?
Noémie El-Maawiy 11:27
So I went, I moved to Barcelona after uni.
Chima Mmeje 11:32
Why did you decide to move to Barcelona? And
Noémie El-Maawiy 11:35
a number of reasons. First of all, Fabio is one of my best friends and CEO of viaduct gen. He is from Barcelona. So he’s always had, like, you know, like that soft influence, like whatever. Like, we’d go to Barcelona, like I’ve visited him a few times. And you almost see like the local version of the city, which is fantastic.
I went on a girls holiday at the age of 18, like a lot of people do, and like did the difficult thing of like, I’m gonna live here one day. And then I studied Spanish at uni, went abroad. Absolutely loved it. And I think as cliche as it sounds, it really showed me a world outside of London, if I’m honest, like I went to uni and leaves, which I absolutely loved, like, I love Leeds.
But I just didn’t really see myself having a life outside of London, just because of like, what London offered what London is the fact that you know, wages were higher, like all of that, like London, there was a lot going for London. And so I think my year abroad kind of pushed me to see that I could live quite differently. And that also money could go a lot further. Exactly. It goes
Chima Mmeje 12:47
yesterday, azeem was saying, so he said something he said when he graduated before he graduated from university, they had already like conditioned them to believe that if you want to get a job, you have to move to London.
And so he had to, like start saving to like, most expensive, you get a job. Yeah, it’s just like, the mindsets they are conditioned to have and if you’re if you don’t go abroad because you went abroad, so you saw that. London is my only option if I’m trying to get a job. So that was very good. That must have been a very good experience for you to have.
Noémie El-Maawiy 13:17
Yeah. 100% Yeah. Because on my yoghurt, I was working. And so I was in Chile. And so I was I wasn’t making much money. I was like maybe making like the equivalent of 400 quid a month. But that actually can go so much further.
Like I could do a lot with that money that so and so yeah, I just saw like, this other lifestyle like where you can still be comfortable, but you’re not like selling your soul.
Chima Mmeje 13:44
So you moved to Barcelona? Yeah, you get your first job in Barcelona. Yes,
Noémie El-Maawiy 13:48
I got my first job last summer, I had no idea what I wanted to go into part of my course at uni was management as well. Because I was trying to figure out where I wanted to be. I knew I wanted to be in something corporate like Office lives.
Beyond that, no clue. So yeah, so I just applied to a lot of different positions when I got to Barcelona. What’s difficult out there is that a lot of people do masters. And so you will do your job too. Yeah, but I they do but a lot less because it’s so much more expensive. To where it’s like I feel it’s more accessible.
Chima Mmeje 14:25 Many people have MS is Yeah. Makes the jobs very competitive.
Noémie El-Maawiy 14:29
Exactly. And so actually, me getting my foot in the door. I had to do it through like an internship because otherwise, I just my qualifications technically weren’t good enough. And yeah, and so I, I kind of had an idea that that might happen.
And so I put savings aside anyway. So like, I had like a six month buffer essentially. Yeah, because internships don’t pay. Yes. And so yeah, so I actually had a Troy is to go either down, like HR recruitment and path or marketing. And so I chose my
Chima Mmeje 15:07
Noémie El-Maawiy 15:09
I studied that at uni. I’ve done lots. Ironically, I saw I’ve done loads of modules at uni marketing, I hated it. Like I just ate, you know, I just felt like they just contextualised it completely wrong. And the way that they spoke about marketing was just so old school I was, you know, digital, I didn’t study any,
Chima Mmeje 15:32
because I just did. I’m literally doing my MSc right now in management and digital marketing. And the marketing that we did is most certainly not digital marketing. So it’s probably up to today.
Noémie El-Maawiy 15:43
Yeah, exactly. And so it just didn’t really interest me that much. He just made it sound like a really sleazy version of the profession. And so I was like, Yeah, nah, marketing is not for me. But yeah, but this internship, it was more like almost, it was to create or be part of like this internal magazine that they’d created and to like, speak to CEOs about their journey, and like their career path and how they got where they were.
And I found that really interesting. It was about, you know, calling up the CEO trying to get an appointment with them doing the interview, transcribing the interview all of that, and how do
Chima Mmeje 16:24
you we were using the stories? Sorry, how are you using the stories of the CEOs,
Noémie El-Maawiy 16:29
so basic, so it was actually it was part of like a marketing channel that we were doing in terms of like exposure, authority, all of that, like building trust, essentially. And so it was, particularly with people like that the sales team found really hard to contact, because there will be loads of gatekeepers, whereas it was a much easier thing to go via, like, almost like the PR route.
And just, and then we’d introduce the topic of what we were selling kind of in the interview. And as part of that, so yeah. And so like, it worked a little bit. It was quite a slow process, though. Because for the most part, they would say yes, because it’s kind of flattering their ego, but then they don’t really want to take the conversation further than that, which makes sense, right? That’s cool.
But when it did work, because in the interview, I’d also have like a salesperson would, because what we’re sending was really technical. Yeah. So there was no way I could talk about it in that much detail. And like so. But sometimes like, the Yeah, the salesperson CEO would just like hit off and they’d like really get into it. And then we knew that that was a pretty, we had a pretty good chance of like selling.
Chima Mmeje 17:39
That’s amazing. That is amazing. Yeah. So what did you learn from that job that you took to your next role?
Noémie El-Maawiy 17:45
So I was actually in that company for a while, like I, that internship was six months, at the end of six months, I stayed, but I moved into an event management and comms role there, which was really great. It was kind of it was like the very, very late, late stage scale up, it was like it had already done like three rounds of funding.
There was about 5055 of us when I joined good, no, no, it was a good number. And there was a lot of room to create new processes or to like, make an improvement to something. And we saw that with events like people were going to trade shows this was a b2b as well. So people going to trade shows and stuff. But we were realising none of it was being tracked or anything like that.
And so I was like, let me just start recording this. Like, let’s, let’s start asking salespeople How do you feel about this event? Do you think this was like, actually a productive event? How many leads did you actually get from it? Like, we just started measuring everything. And then I started doing a lot more research into the events that we wanted to go to which ones were worth going to, etc. Why should we have a stand? How much should we invest and really started that process?
Chima Mmeje 19:03
That’s interesting. Yeah, that’s amazing. I love that you’ve had like this consistent journey, which is actually, if you think about all of your journey, like, I hope you’ve had a very consistent journey of growth, because I feel like even from doing the first job, the second job, the third job, it’s been like this consistent growth and then going corporate starting with an intention of doing your first role during your second row.
And then you go to the second role, which is event management, which is probably one of the craziest industries that you can work in. It is quite true. It’s it is like working in an agency. It is like working in an agency that is the kind of that it is kind of environment that event management is it is not for the weak. Yeah. How did you even make it work? Because I know how remote management is. It is insane.
Noémie El-Maawiy 19:54
I just, I don’t know I kind of it’s funny that you do say that is it’s almost like quite a Lin like a path that makes sense because I feel like all of it, I’ve never really, very proactively, like sought out like these like specific roles, or just, it’s just, it’s something where I’m like, Oh, this feels like it makes sense. Let me try that or let me do that.
Which has been great, because I felt like there was definitely a point in my life where I was like, this is where I’m going to be at this age. So I’m going to be, you know, I’m going to do the graduate scheme, I’m going to be off 50k, within my second year, that did not happen. But like, that’s kind of like how I had it up until uni more or less, and then actually being a lot more open to like, what might happen, I think, has been really, really helpful. And like, has gave given me a chance to just like naturally, almost like fall into things.
Like, obviously, there’s hard work behind that. Like, we can’t deny that. But it’s great that like, it feels like things have worked out quite nicely. I feel like with events in terms of doing that, it was very much a learning on the go. Like there was some hard lessons definitely like some contracts that were like dodgy that I should have looked over better or should have just got the company lawyer involved in from the guy or like,
Chima Mmeje 21:17
so let him go basically learning
Noémie El-Maawiy 21:18
on the go. It was learning on the go, Yeah, I’m really luckily, because I think it was the culture of the company to try things. And like because they did have money. That was a bit of space to be like, let’s doesn’t work done. It doesn’t work. And at least we know, and we won’t spend more money than that when
Chima Mmeje 21:39
we just want to just dig into that. Because this is something that has been a recurring theme. You can reuse trying things fail school success becomes part of your process. What are some of the risk that you took when you were working for our company?
I want to get ones that did not pay off? Because I think it’s just as important most of the people who have been coming and talking about what paid off? That’s cool. Well, I think is we have to show like both sides of this for sure.
Noémie El-Maawiy 22:04
For sure. I mean, I think I mean, when I first started, we didn’t have like an official event budget at all. And so like, it was the first time that they’d done a stand. And, and so then like investment was, I don’t know, between two to 3k felt like a heavy investment. By the time that I left, which was like, after four years, we were investing in some events up to 40k, which was a huge jump to what we’ve done.
And so obviously, there were events in between where we were maybe paying 10 to 15k, that just didn’t reap any result, like it was a kind of thing, like because we had a long sales cycle, there was a good buffer period where you could say, we don’t know whether this event has been successful or not.
But we’ve got we’ve got breathing room, almost because we know that we’ve got a long sales cycle, but after a year, and you’re looking back at an event, and you’re like, we got screwed, like we got screwed, like they we’ve got some strong promises from event organisers or like,
you know, where they’d be like, we’ll have this person in the audience, or we’ll set you up in a meeting with this person, and then it just doesn’t happen. Or like, the person who turns up at the meeting is like, I’m not interested in this at all. Like, I don’t know why I’m here. And then you’re like, I spent 10k on this
Chima Mmeje 23:29
workout. And it didn’t know how did you start taking all of this, all of this? Oh, this event did not work out? How did you not start picking the right events that paid results.
Noémie El-Maawiy 23:39
So we will look a lot like the format of the event, we had also like a market intelligence team, which were so valuable, because essentially what they would do is like they will scrape these events attendees, like I would always try and negotiate with the event organisers to try and get a list of attendees, which post GDPR has been pretty difficult, because, you know, it’s a kind of it’s almost like this dance, right?
It’s like, I’ll give you this if you give me this if I then maybe get this like you’re just constantly like negotiating your way around something. And yeah, the first off on the table is never the first often the table there’s always so much room in it. That was a huge lesson.
It was like, you know, speaking to other people or events, and it’s like, yeah, we’ve paid this for this and I’m like, what, like I’m paying like three times as much like what the hell like we did the same thing we’ve got the same offer hair like so like yeah, that that was that was one that like, as soon as I knew that there was that buffer that buffer then you know,
you’re straight and with that and like what can you negotiate sometimes it’s not just on price like sometimes it’s actually what goes into the package like maybe like the event organisers like there’s no way I can move below this price. That’s like okay, cool. Well then what else can I get in that? Can I get like a half page advert? Can I Get a speaking slot. Can I try
Chima Mmeje 25:01
to like, get things for that price so that you’re getting value for your money? Exactly. That’s very smart. Yeah, maximise the spend as much as possible.
Noémie El-Maawiy 25:12
Yeah, sounds like okay, if you won’t, if you won’t go down on price, can you add this?
Chima Mmeje 25:17
Give it give us some admin slack. This is what it’s for us. Exactly. I love the fact that you guys spent that money to learn lessons. Yeah. I love that. I feel like that is basically marketing without fail, you have to spend money to learn expensive lessons. Because if it’s expensive, again.
I love that I love talking about taking risks. By doing we just talked about the side of taking risks where you end up being successful. I want to talk about also the side of taking risk where it doesn’t pay off because there are lessons on both sides of the coin. Yeah, now you’ve left this How did why did why did you decide to go to viaducts?
Noémie El-Maawiy 26:00
So good question. I definitely. So I got to a point, I think in my last company, where I wasn’t too sure what the next step was, like, I did, like, what’s the word? I did get promoted quite regularly in that company, like, at least on a yearly basis. And it kind of got to a point where I don’t think there was at all like a ceiling per see.
But I think the gap for the next promotion just felt a bit too far away. And I wasn’t 100% Sure, because again, it was something that I’d kind of almost fallen into. I wasn’t sure if that was 100% what you what I wanted to do, I was like, I’m gonna bandage up here. But was it really wasn’t.
Exactly. And so I started questioning that quite a lot. And then the timing kind of worked out really well with so with Fabio starting VG in 2020, he kind of officially like, I remember him sending a message on WhatsApp, we were like, Yo, I think I’m gonna do this, which, and everyone was like, so excited.
And so originally, there was three of them three of our friends and like, so they would ask a lot from a lot of feedback from us. You know, when they officially launched in January 21, you know, we would would see things and I’d like text me like, Hey, you can improve this, or you should work on this, or I think we should do this rather than this.
And we’d have like, you know, we like get gathered in like these big zoom calls. Exactly. So everyone, like our friendship group was just involved from the Go business. Exactly. And then they’re like former, like, Head of Marketing, kind of wanted to pursue his own things. He’s an artist and incredible artist at that.
And so then I just literally just got a call from Fabio like one morning being like, Yo, no, Amy, like, do you want to do a marketing and I was like, you can’t pay me at this point. Vici was broke, there was no money. Like we’re completely bootstrapped. So I think that’s like a really, I think we forget that as a company, that the fact that all of the money that we have, like all the people that we’re paying, genuinely comes off of the back of the hard work.
You’re doing. What we’re doing. Yeah. And the fact that we’re able, you know, it’s coming from our clients, it’s coming from good reinvestment of money within the company. So which I think is so admirable. But But yeah, so I was like, I’ll do it part time. Like, I’ll, I’ll do it like on the side, like whenever I have some time.
Yeah. We were working kind of like hybrid by that point. Anyway. And so it was like, Yeah, I’ll do like an hour before work an hour after work. So I did that for a year. working like that. And it was, it was not easy, but because it almost felt like a side gig. It was like, All right, again, to kind of maybe make mistakes or, you know, you see like freedom.
Yeah. Or like, for example, that you see a trend you’re like, Damn, how do we not jump on that trend? But it’s like, but actually, it’s okay, cuz I’ve got full time. Actually, okay. And then last year in April, so this is 2022. They were like, we’ve got the budget to hire you. And so yeah, so it just made it and it was a huge jump.
I went from like, so my last title in my last workplace with demand generation manager onto so I went from that to head of marketing, which for a really long time, and it kind of still now just makes me feel really awkward to say that I’m a head of marketing. It just feels like oh, no, it’s yeah, like a part.
I’m like, I’m very proud of what we’ve done. Yeah. And like, I’m like, Yeah, and I love the role that I had there. But if it felt like such a huge step up, and it was like I went from a specialist to very general Like my fingers in all the pies like trying to forget everything out, which I still haven’t. Like, that’s still a learning process.
I think that’s I think that’s what I love about startup style cultures is that there is so much room for mistakes for learning for development, like, all like we’re a young team, we’re literally all learning as we go like photos has never been a CEO like Deray has never like.
So a lot of us, we’ve never been in the positions that we are, which I think gives us this incredible freedom to almost like, rethink what that job title means, like, what really is that drop roll, like, we can make it, we can tailor it, you can make it anything you want it to be exactly which I really enjoy.
And I’ve really enjoyed, like, loved that freedom. Sometimes it does make it hard, because then you’re like, I have no idea what the next step is. And no one’s no one that I know at the moment. I mean, now I’ve kind of purposefully like sought out people that are maybe in similar positions to I am or, like, I’ve now also been mentored, like, looking for that guidance.
Because if I ask people next to me a lot of time that we’re gonna we’re gonna be like, who kind of making this up? So like, I don’t know what the right decision is like in terms of the next step. And sometimes, yeah, there’s nothing wrong with that. But it’s also it’s fine to acknowledge that it’s a daunting thing, and it can be overwhelming.
And in some in that, in that in those moments, you just need to like rate yourself and just like have people that are like, right, this is what this decision means. This is what that decision means. Let’s commit to the decision. And what happens happens
Chima Mmeje 31:40
now brings me to my final. My final question, what has been the most challenging parts of this job?
Noémie El-Maawiy 31:47
Oh, I think it’s twofold. I think part of it, I think it’s like this idea of like this, like internal confidence of like, whether I’m able to do the job, like, I’m not gonna lie, like, there are definitely been some moments where I’m like, I’m not the right person for this job.
Like, this just feels like a lot. Like, I think that’s probably been one of the most challenging things. And also building a team actually, I think, like finding the right people, finding people that you that you have, like this natural way of working with, like all of the team is based in London, and I’m in Barcelona.
So I think that creates an additional dynamic, and it’s like, I want to know that I can absolutely trust my team when I don’t see them. That you know, people can work independently can take initiative, but also can also take instruction and can respect the dynamic that we’ve created. So yeah, so I think that those have been like those two bits.
Chima Mmeje 32:49
The challenge of walking remotes, yeah, yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s, that’s a good one. That’s a good one. Because I don’t think we acknowledge that, you know, everybody tends to romanticise remote working.
Yeah, well, yeah, getting along with people that you know, seen face to face, there has to be a structure or how to finding the right people that can fit into that. And I think you guys are doing a great job you’re doing that. So this is your chance to like plug what you do and what’s bad is and where people can find you.
Noémie El-Maawiy 33:19
plug plug plug, okay, so why don’t generation We’re an independent SEO agencies who provide or SEO services. And we’re a mission based agency. So our whole thing is uplifting people of colour and their allies as well.
We really want to support those businesses in particular. You can find us on Instagram that’s at Viaduc Gen on Twitter at viaduct underscore Gen on LinkedIn, just via our generation YouTube too, if you want to see our faces.
Chima Mmeje 33:52
Thank you so much.
Noémie El-Maawiy 33:53
Thank you for having me. Bye bye.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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