Aaron's journey since UWA
A few months before graduating from UWA in 2016, I was scouted by a publicly listed tech company. They found me on Twitter - for which I can only attribute to luck. But it was my former manager’s reference that sold me - a reference only a mother can beat.
Being a curious go-getter, I started co-organizing hackathons for the government. Doors instantly opened that helped me to start a consulting side-hustle, and was also where I met my co-founder, Chris. Two years ago, we launched a construction software startup, and we now have a team of seven.
One of my fondest memories at UWA was the time our lecturer started shredding on his electric guitar in the middle of a lecture.
How did you choose your specialisation?
Like a lot of freshly minted job seekers, my specialisation options were open. Still, I was uncertain about what I wanted to commit myself to. The driving force that led me to take on digital marketing, which has now transformed into product and marketing management, was my passion for creativity, technology and business. As I settled into this new specialisation, I realised that its intersection of my passions and technical skills made it a good fit.
Before digital marketing, I was curious about advertising and agency digital account management.
What was your interview process like?
The interview process involved an invitation call, an in-person interview and a reference interview. During the in-person interview, I was asked about my work experience and the results I delivered in these roles. I was also asked to demonstrate my familiarity and understanding of digital marketing process and tools.
Suppose a student was considering your career. What would you advise them to study?
At the core of both digital marketing and product, management is empathy, clear and complete communication, and domain knowledge.
Study whatever empowers you with knowledge and practise about the specialisation's processes, tools, challenges and intricacies. I found that my double major in communication and media studies and marketing were appropriate. Still, I do recommend a good understanding of basic economics and finance and developing skills in graphic design and copywriting. These skills make you well-rounded practitioner. In my experience, these roles are actually more generalist than a specialist.
The great thing about digital marketing or product management is its accessibility to everyone. Anyone can be a 'digital marketer' or 'product manager', but what's truly important and sought after is being an exceptional one. Don't let this intimidate you. Internships and formal roles are great avenues to create results. You can also employ yourself and market your own goods and services. Entrepreneurship is fun, and the possibilities are endless.
What does your employer do?
Norwood Systems develops software that enhances the way we communicate. We license our flagship app, World Voicemail, to telecommunication companies across the world.
What are your areas of responsibility?
As Marketing & Product Manager, my responsibilities cover various areas. My marketing responsibilities include managing our website and sales and marketing collateral. My primary objectives here is to equip our sales team for success and market our consumer apps.
My product responsibilities include designing and organising new product features and fixes, working with the engineering team to implement them, and finally testing and deploying what's new. My primary objective in my product role is to create the best app in the world, given our resources. Across these roles, I regularly coordinate and engage our CEO and managers.
Can you describe a typical workday?
I spend a third of the day in discussion with engineers and managers to coordinate their requirements and deliverables. I then plan and prioritise new and ongoing work. Finally, when the team is on track, I work on marketing and creative tasks such as refining sales decks and design user journeys and product features.
What sort of person succeeds in your career?
The kind of person that succeeds in my career is curious, takes calculated risks, and is hungry for results. You’re so passionate about making a business or product successful that you will never say that a task ‘not in my job description’. If you don’t know how to do something, you’ll learn, and do it creatively.
If you could share one piece of advice with an international student at UWA, what would it be?
Pursue your Ikigai - your reason to jump out of bed each morning.
It's the intersection of what you love, what you’re good at, what you can get paid for, and what the world needs.