Grace Taylor, Senior Marketing Executive at Global Reach Partners writes about her role in a thriving London-based Foreign Exchange business.
I applied for a Marketing Assistant position at Global Reach Partners (GRP) in 2013 while I was completing a four year sandwich marketing degree at Bournemouth University. My studies had covered various modules such as consumer psychology, international marketing, social communications and marketing management. As part of my uni course I’d also had some very valuable work experience in a couple of marketing departments and was keen to work in an in-house rather than agency role.
The job at GRP was the first I applied for. While excited about the opportunity I was also a little apprehensive as I had never worked in such a male-dominated environment. While things are beginning to change, Foreign Exchange (known as FOREX) is typically a very male dominated industry. Women are still more likely to be found in marketing, finance, compliance or administrative roles, supporting the front of house sales and dealing teams.
While I had little knowledge of the FOREX industry, I did, however, anticipate marketing would be fast paced and reactive. At that time GRP were building a new marketing team, so I also suspected there was scope to progress quickly, should I perform well in the role which I was offered after a rigorous interview process.
GRP and its sister company FCE, which we acquired last summer, provides corporate foreign exchange and payment solutions to a variety of businesses and individuals with overseas currency requirements. For our business clients who are mainly importers and exporters, we put tailored strategies in place, designed to help them avoid the impact of currency fluctuations, when carrying out international currency transfers. Our private clients may be buying property abroad, emigrating or transferring payments overseas – we provide a very personal and supportive service to all our clients and this is what sets us apart.
When I first joined I was responsible for running the client events programme, as well as supporting wider marketing campaigns and initiatives to support the sales team. Just over a year ago I was promoted for the second time, from Marketing Executive to my current role of Senior Marketing Executive, where my remit includes managing campaigns, events, client communications, PR activity, client referral schemes and the execution of satisfaction surveys.
A typical working day for me starts at 8am when all the traders and dealers are keeping an eye on the TV screens whilst conversing amongst themselves and booking trades. There are market updates at 8am and 1.30pm, which are critical in terms of sharing intelligence to ensure we deliver up to date market information to our clients. Throughout the working day there is always a lively atmosphere and a great buzz within the office.
There have been a lot of great highs since I joined GRP. One of the biggest was planning and executing a successful client event in central London last November. When you see something go from concept to delivery stage, you get a great sense of achievement. Being recognised and promoted for my efforts has been another high point for me.
The major shift in our market which preceded the vote for Brexit has been one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced since joining the company. Workload has increased and put pressure on the marketing team to ensure we keep client communications up to date
My future aims are to further develop my role and continue to deliver great results. Parallel to this, I am also keen on furthering my broader marketing knowledge by participating in training courses to support my role – through GRP, I completed my Chartered Institute of Marketing Diploma this year and would like to make further development progress. I certainly see myself remaining an integral part of the GRP marketing team moving forward.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this job to other aspiring marketers as well as any capable women who were keen to become part of what is currently a male-dominated domain.
Despite the on-going rapid growth of the business, GRP has retained its culture as a small, family orientated business where the people are really dedicated in what they do. I would describe most of my colleagues as ambitious, forward-thinking, results driven, energetic and strategic. Those characteristics have certainly helped drive the growth of the business and they sit very well with me in terms of what I want from my own career.
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