BA (Hons) Business Administration and Marketing, 2009
I had a great time at UEL, at the time we were based in the Barking campus. It was a very interesting time to be at university and studying a marketing course because we were learning all these great new ideas about advertising and marketing. My most memorable experience at UEL is of an old housemate of mine who I am still friends with. We had left home for the first time and had a bedsit in Dagenham right by the ford factory, it was very special - mould on the walls and green wallpaper. My friend lived in his dressing gown and I remember one day he really wanted some chips, he had some old jogging bottoms on and his dressing gown, but put his coat on top, and his slippers on and went down and tried to buy some chips with a cheque. He has been my inspiration at JustEat, he is who I hold in mind, I need to service him so he doesn’t have to go out in his dressing gown to get chips – we can bring him food.
“ Having the DIY mentality, doesn’t mean starting your own business – After graduating, I got a job with an internet security company in Cambridge, responsible for marketing but also in charge of running the website which was brilliant, I continued with my geeky ‘nerdishness’, and was still playing online games (Quake 2 at this point) and one of my friends told me about his start-up business called gameplay.com which became a big portal for the gaming community. This is where my career as a dot com ‘monkey’ really kicked off. Gameplay. com was amazing, with a lot of investment from Sky, Dixons and BT, we floated on the stock market just nine months after the company was born (ridiculous I know). It had so much money, I’ve never started my own business.” We had our own television programme on a Saturday morning on Sky – a complete dot com bubble company. From there I then went to the Financial Times as the Head of Internet Marketing, where I was a big part of driving subscriptions of FT.com. I then went on to become a Marketing Director for another start-up called Top Table which was a restaurant booking site (now Open Table). I worked here for 3 or 4 years and then met the people at JustEat and the rest is current history.
Working here at JustEat, building a company, floating it on the London Stock Market in 2014 – it really doesn’t get any better than that – to build a brand up that people really appreciate and value what you’ve done as a team is fantastic. In terms of marketing, ‘Don’t Cook Just Eat’ as campaign would have to be a career highlight because it’s just so naughty. The most important thing when starting you career, is to focus on something that really interests you, and something you can get really passionate about. Beyond the passion, the other thing that’s really interesting in the modern job market [do I worry if my children get a degree or not or do I worry if they’re a self-starter] there’s a lot of TV programmes about being an entrepreneur, dragons den. Having the DIY mentality, doesn’t mean starting your own business, I’ve never started my own business, [but] I did leave UEL and start building websites whilst looking for a job. The ability to do DIY; build an app, a website, a game – if you want to get into working for king.com marketing the next candy crush, go and build a clone of candy crush, understand the dynamics of the business a bit better. Passion and a DIY mentality are really crucial.