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Vicky Carter

Marketing Programme Manager

4 minute read

In her own words, Vicky Carter, Marketing Programme Manager, tells her story.

I did a BA honours degree in history of art and design but instead of going into the art world decided to go into a job where I worked for one of the largest IT firms in the UK, if not the world. 

From university I started there as an admin support. I worked for them for about 10 years and built my experience up to work with the sales team. I was responsible for supporting the resellers that the sales teams worked with, being the first point of call for all sorts of enquiries including troubleshooting any issues.  

My job involved site visits to the IT resellers, understanding their needs and their problems and identifying areas where we could grow business.  After supporting the resellers for a couple of years I then had the opportunity to join the marketing team, being responsible for managing partner programmes and events.   

Whilst in the marketing team I was able to continue my career development by attending workshops and Chartered Institute of Marketing courses. I learned that there is no substitute for working as a partnership with your customers, building a strong relationship based on trust and understanding of objectives. 

I decided to leave the IT business after having my second child. Although a great environment for starting a career, it was at a time when there was no work life balance. Juggling child-care and constant travel did not fit well. I continued as a part time freelance marketing contractor and I also opened my own business. I had an image consultancy business for six years, doing personal shopping and colour and style analysis –brilliant for making outfit shopping easier, more cost effective and fun!  

In 2014 I saw an advert for NPL and had always found the location and lab fascinating.  I came to NPL where there was an opening for a project manager role within the analytical science team. Although not trained in science, my experiences had enabled many transferable skills and I have been very happy at NPL ever since. 

When I started my working life back in the 1990s, I had no previous experience in IT or sales and marketing. It was one of those things you had to learn as you went along. By having mentors, attending courses, and just by getting involved with what was going on proved to be the best way of getting ahead. 

Being in the IT world sometimes presented challenges with it being such a male dominated environment. I would say two out of ten members of staff were women in the early 90’s within that company and it was one of those times when you really had to raise your head above the parapet to get noticed and be taken seriously. 

It's all about having the belief in yourself at the end of the day - to clearly communicate to your peers and know where you want to be and what you can offer. It’s making yourself visible. I've got a strong drive to deliver and get things done but am aware you need to bring people on the journey with you. Commercial awareness from being in the corporate environment really helped as well. 

It was a massive difference coming to NPL from corporate land, coming from the big American IT companies. The NPL environment was much more embracing, considerate and really had a strong focus on wellbeing for the employee.  

Whereas in corporate world you were only as good as your next deal and the money you bring in. It’s been a few years now since I was in that world and things have definitely moved on. It was very much that women were still second-class citizens. It’s almost like we were being asked ‘what the hell are you doing in this industry?’ 

Shortly after I started at NPL, I had to deal with bereavement. NPL were so accommodating. They were really supportive and made sure I was okay. My first priority was to my children and I was able to maintain a good work life balance for them. I was extremely grateful for NPL’s support at the time and subsequently have found the support, the employees and the community NPL offers to have been invaluable over the 10 years I have now worked here. 

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