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How I got here Siobhan McDonagh

Lingerie brand Triumph’s digital marketing executive is a self-confessed Jack of all trades.

What does your diary look like today? I’m back-to-back with meetings as we’re just about to launch several digital initiatives for the Christmas season - one is a new app, another an integrated retail and digital event - as well as meeting lots of exciting people to get our spring 14 project underway.

This is one of the busiest times of the year for us but also one of the most exciting. It’s great to look back at all the success we’ve had this year and examine how we can really push for something even better next year.

What meeting are you most looking forward to today? Definitely all the spring 14 meetings. We’re just in planning mode at the moment but there are big things in store for next year.

What task do you wish you could postpone? Booking my travel to Vienna next month for a work trip. I’m going to miss one of my best friend’s 30th birthday. Ordinarily I love to travel.

How did you get to where you are today? I really love what I do and always endeavour to ensure that comes across not only in the work I do but in the relationships I build at work. The old saying ‘work hard and be nice to people’ was instilled in me very early on in my career. At the London College of Fashion (LCF), my course tutors really made us work at this, making sure we all interned at every opportunity and kept good relationships with the contacts we made, and the course was structured so there was a lot of group work. I’ve had so many colleagues and peers over the years tell me about missed opportunities because of a grudge or something silly in the past.

What has been your career highlight? Leading the Bluewater store opening at Ted Baker. It was one of the last offline projects I worked on but we did so many cool things for the opening, as it’s a flagship and concept store. There were meat cakes by experimental cake maker Lily Vanilli, a bespoke village newspaper for the opening - complete with paper boys handing it out - and an amazing time-lapse video of the store being built.

If you could change one thing about your career path, what would it be? Sometimes I feel like I’ve chopped and changed on my path to do things. I started out in journalism, then styling, then PR, then thought I wanted to be a graphic designer for a bit, before settling in marketing. Strangely, I’m glad I’ve been a bit of a Jack of all trades up to this point. I feel I have a respect for people I know and work with in the industry because I understand a lot of different disciplines.

Who is your mentor? I’ve had several mentors throughout my career, but I’ve always looked up to the strong women I’ve worked with. They founded their own businesses. In particular, Sacha Lynch-Robinson [founder of Marmalade magazine]; Liz Matthews [founder of the eponymous PR agency]; and Kristjana Williams and Kate Harwood Bonhôte [founders of London womenswear boutique Beyond the Valley, which closed in February last year].

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? Early on, I was taught to be a true brand ambassador. To live and breathe the brands you work for or with, to really achieve the greatest results. This is something I was taught by my LCF tutor Sacha Lynch-Robinson, and then Urban Outfitters’ head of press and communications Sophie Barrett.

How do you see your career progressing? My passion is storytelling through digital. I’d love to pursue something more specialist in content - either agency or client-side. I’d like to add more strings to my bow by working with a beauty or luxury brand at some point - I’ve got a lot of apparel and now lingerie experience.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow in your footsteps? Try lots of things; work out exactly what you want to do. Make sure you’re doing what you love. You have to do it every day and in this competitive industry it shows when you’re anything less than passionate.

Salaries for this position range from £26,000 at entry level up to £34,000 for an established senior executive (estimate by Success Digital)

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