Ciara McGovern, Marketing Manager, BidX1 Ireland
Tell us a little bit about you.
I'm Ciara, 32 years old, Gemini, lover of rich tea biscuits. I live in South Dublin with my partner Senan and a wild dog named Sid, who we adopted last year.
Tell us a little bit about your career prior to joining BidX1.
I actually studied Education at university (which often surprises people!) but I graduated smack-bang in the middle of the recession, so it was a difficult time to find a job. I had always wanted to travel, so I moved to Vancouver and stayed for three years, working as an Office Manager. It was an incredible experience – I constantly bore my Canadian colleagues with my happy memories!
I always knew I’d come back to Ireland though, and I wanted to put more focus on my career. Property had always been an interest of mine and I threw myself into that as soon as I got home; I enrolled in DIT’s Property Studies course and took a position in an Estate Agency in Dublin City, where I stayed for four years.
Why did you want to work for BidX1?
I was drawn to the combination of technology and property. It was clear that BidX1 was shaking things up in our industry and I wanted to be a part of that. When a position opened up on the BidX1 commercial property team, I immediately applied!
You’ve recently changed direction completely in terms of your role in the company. How did that come about?
Working on the commercial team was an incredible learning experience, and I was really happy at BidX1, but I started wondering if commercial property was something I wanted to do forever. Turning 30 will do that to you!
BidX1 is a highly integrated company which means working closely with all of the different teams. I loved collaborating with Marketing, working to maximise exposure for properties and creating campaigns to showcase them across different channels. To be honest, I think they were probably a bit sick of me, constantly harassing them with ideas and plans!
After a lot of soul-searching, and on a complete long-shot, I approached the Head of Marketing about opportunities on her team. What happened after that is a bit of a whirlwind – to cut a long story short, BidX1 were extremely supportive, and allowed me to make a transition to the marketing team for Ireland.
I’m very lucky to work for a company that is willing to take a chance on people. There’s a responsibility that comes with that kind of opportunity, and I won’t say that changing direction has not been challenging/terrifying, but I am enjoying it. I love that my role combines property and marketing and seeing my career progress in a field that I’m passionate about, that’s a great feeling.
For anyone who is thinking of a similar change – if you have that nagging feeling – my advice is to at least be open to the possibility of change. Talk to people about it, look for opportunities, and see what happens!
What’s a typical day for you?
That very much depends on where we are in the campaign cycle for a particular sale but generally the start of the week is for planning; looking at the performance of the campaign so far, seeing what’s working and what isn’t, tracking budgets, managing bookings, meeting with the property teams etc.
I work really closely with the design team, collaborating on concepts and artwork for the campaigns, which I love. Then of course there’s the inescapable emails, admin etc.!
What are some of the challenges you face in your work?
In any sort of creative field, there can be a lot of differences in opinion – making everybody happy isn’t always possible. Luckily, we’re very data-focused so evidence provides the final opinion!
We also have some tight deadlines; you have to be on the ball!
What do you like most about working at BidX1?
I am constantly learning – it’s an incredibly supportive learning environment. There’s huge potential for growth within the company. Knowing that you can progress in your career, and that there are so many people who are committed to helping you achieve that, is really important.
I love how collaborative and creative it is here, and the cross-over between all the teams and nationalities. If you only work with people who have the same opinions, background and experiences as you, you’re limited in what you can create.
And we laugh a lot, even when deadlines are looming! It’s a really fun place to work.
What’s your most embarrassing work story?
Oh gosh, there have been a few over the years but there is one that stands out. I had a number of parties due to attend a viewing of a commercial unit in South Dublin. All of my previous inspections had been with a colleague, so it was only when I arrived that I realised I was too short to reach the lock, which was at the top of the shuttered door.
I had to run around the shops on the street, asking if I could borrow a ladder, and eventually a kind gentleman in the local charity shop let me borrow his.
Two potential investors arrived as I was balancing precariously on the ladder, trying to open the unit. I’m actually having flashbacks!
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