In the hot seat

Ella Thackray, digital media manager, MXB

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF

I’m a postgraduate with an MSc in Digital Marketing from Northumbria University, and moved back to Belfast in 2017 to explore career opportunities within the marketing industry. I am the digital media manager at MXB, based in Belfast and I have been with the agency for over two years now, working on a roster of clients within the FMCG, Retail, Tech and Property sectors. I’m a book lover, wine enthusiast, sushi addict and a 4.9 star uber passenger.

WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY INVOLVE?

My day starts at 7am, first things first I make an iced coffee (it doesn’t matter the season, always iced) and listen to a podcast. I’ve recently really got into podcasts, I find that they’re a great way to start my day; recently I’ve been listening to The Joe Rogan Experience podcast. I then hop onto my emails at around 8.30am; in agency life, no two days are ever the same so depending on the day, I could be in an ideation meeting, a new business pitch or working on digital strategies for my clients. I aim to finish around 6pm and I try and take a screen detox in the evenings. I usually finish off the evening making dinner and spending time with my family.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER TO DATE?

I’m pretty early in my marketing career but I have had some great experiences both in Belfast and Newcastle upon Tyne; a key highlight to date would be getting shortlisted for The IDM National Competition in 2017 where I placed as a finalist and had the opportunity to pitch towards The Economist in London. I’m a great believer in the best is yet to come and I still look forward to extending my experience within the industry, with hopefully a lot more highlights to come.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?

The people. I really enjoy working within a team and I’ve been lucky enough to make some really great friends within the agency. I’ve also learnt so much working with industry experts and networking over the last few years.

WHAT IS YOUR MOST DIFFICULT TASK?

Switching off. I love what I do and it makes it difficult to say that’s enough for today.

WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

One of my previous lecturers always told me ‘the only constant is change’ and it’s been something that has stuck with me over the years, and most importantly my mum has always told me to ‘be kind’.

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST GRIPE?

Negative people.

WHAT TALENT WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE?

Throughout lockdown I took up knitting (my first time learning). I definitely haven’t mastered it yet but it’s safe to say everyone will be getting a scarf for Christmas. I would also love to be bilingual. I’m trying my best to learn how to speak Spanish… but it’s a lot tougher than I thought.

WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS/AMBITIONS?

Personally, to become a homeowner. Professionally, I would love to delve into web development.

WHOM DO YOU MOST ADMIRE?

My Granda; his sheer work ethic has been something I’ve admired for as long as I can remember.

WHERE IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE?

Cambodia and Vietnam have a really special place in my heart. I spent a lot of time in South East Asia a few years ago and I cannot recommend it enough. I also recently spent some time in Canada, a favourite would have to be Banff – again another amazing place.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE FOOD PRODUCT?

Hot sauce of any kind. Anyone who knows me will tell you I eat it with every meal.

HOW DO YOU RELAX?

Pre-Covid: I love hanging out with friends and trying new places. During-Covid: I love taking my dog for a walk and heading to the beach (no matter the weather). I love having a chilled-out night with some good food, family and did I mention I’m a mean margarita maker in my house? So, it’s taken full advantage of on most weekends.

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