Sector: Marketing and Business Development
From admin assistant to marketing and business development manager – Emily Bentley tells her story about how she made the jump and everything in between.
Where do you call home?
Teesside is home. I was born and raised here and have lived here all my life.
Tell us about your role?
I wear many hats, so here goes:
I’m marketing and business development manager for an IT, telecoms and Cyber Security company called Communicate Technology.
I am co-owner of Bentley’s Coffee Shop, which has 3 outlets across Teesside.
I am a director of the Tees Valley Business Club, a vibrant, modern business club with 45 years’ experience of helping businesses grow, which is run by a dynamic group of volunteers.
I am a trustee of The Teesside Charity, a registered charity, set up by Teessiders for Teessiders. We help businesses and individuals join together to make Teesside a better place in which to live, work and do business, Bridging the Gap.
How did you get to where you are today?
I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. In fact, I still don’t!
My journey through school and college was just to do things I enjoyed doing but it didn’t really bring me to any firm career choice.
Following school and doing A levels at college, I got a place at Teesside University to do a four year foundation degree in interior design but decided after a couple of weeks that it wasn’t for me.
I went back to Middlesbrough College and trained in business and administration, which led me to a job with an accountancy firm as admin support. I was lucky in that the team there were very encouraging and supportive of upskilling their staff and I completed courses in bookkeeping and trained to do payroll and gained many other skills in addition. I fell into marketing purely by accident, by assisting the then marketing manager, and, when she left, I asked if I could step into the role. They then put me through college to gain a CIM Level 4 in professional marketing and the rest is history really.
Your career journey does not have to be set in stone. You have licence to change whenever you wish. Diversity, reskill, retrain, upskill etc. You should never feel stuck in a career you don’t feel happy in.
What struggles or obstacles did you face along the way?
I have to say, there’s been little in the way of barriers. In fact, I cannot think of any! I have had some wonderful colleagues over the years, that I’ve learned a huge amount from and have helped me to get to where I am today. I shall be eternally grateful for their guidance and teachings. Every day continues to be a school day.
Describe the moment you first got a feel for success?
Success is a funny word. I think success is feeling that you’ve achieved something, or you’ve helped someone else to achieve something. These successes can be very small. Lots of small successes build the blocks for being fulfilled and feeling successful.
Do you have any advice for aspiring young females?
The steps you take now do not have to define the course your life will take. There’s always time to change later down the line.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
I’d say to my school-age self – don’t get too hung up with what GCSE options you take or A levels you choose.
What three words inspire you and encourage a positive path?
Just do it.
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