Alex Bergstrom: How I Came To Work at Equator
It’s probably an understatement to say that me joining Equator was a long time in the making. When my offer came this summer to join the insights team it had been almost five years since I first heard about Equator.
It all began in 2013 when I was a 1st year marketing student at university. Having just moved to Scotland from Sweden, I was curious about how to break into the marketing industry here in Scotland. It was almost like someone had heard my thoughts because one day I saw that a career fayre was taking place at university. Enter Equator.
Equator happened to have their own stall at this fayre and I can recall the marketing team were also all wearing white lab coats on the day. After an interesting chat with marketing director Martin on the state of digital and favourite fonts, I was given a business card and was encouraged to stay in contact.
My first agency experience
I stayed in touch with Martin on LinkedIn after the event and in early 2015 I finally got invited to meet the marketing team during my reading week at University.
Although I was probably meant to be reading papers that week, I was instead given the chance to sit down with the different teams at Equator to learn the ins and outs of agency life.
A typical day would see me chatting with Emily and Phil from the SEO team to about search engines and on-page SEO, getting introduced to Google Analytics by Will after lunch and in the afternoon learning more about Display from Emma.
The whole week had a fantastic set up which meant that in a short space of time I could get introduced to all the different channels and immersing myself into the services on offer at Equator.
In true agency fashion, the week ended with a big celebration of Pancake day. I remember going away at the end of the week thinking “this doesn’t really feel like your typical work place at all!”.
Coming back to Equator
The value of staying in touch with Equator became very clear as I progressed through my marketing degree. In my fourth year of University I chose my dissertation topic based on a conversation that I had with the Display team at Equator (Agency perspectives on ad-blocking). In my final year of University I also got invited back to Equator to help organise Techaus, a one-day digital conference in Glasgow.
During this second spell at Equator, I also saw first hand how Jarrod, Lindsey, and Martin from the Innovation team were working with voice technology. After seeing them develop custom skills for Alexa, I soon ended up buying my own Amazon speaker. With plenty of encouragement and support from the innovation team, I eventually made my first Alexa skill and also started a website in Swedish about Amazon Echo (now Sweden’s largest tech blog about voice assistants).
Walking into a job in Insight
In June 2017 I graduated with a first-class marketing degree and left academia to enter the marketing industry full time. Although I had a few other jobs before joining Equator, once the right opportunity showed up on Elliot Street, I knew it was time to make the move.
Having worked with the team before and developed a working relationship with Equator, I was able to get my application fast-tracked and by-pass the early interview stages. The result was that it only took 3 weeks from me receiving my job offer to starting my first day as Insights Analyst at Equator in June this year.
Today I am part of the Insights team working with A/B testing, conversion rate optimisation (CRO) and Google Analytics for clients in sectors such as travel and finance.
Advice for graduates
If I can give one piece of advice it would be this: be a networker!
Networking is not about handing out as many business cards as you can (most of these end up in the bin anyway). At its best, networking is about learning who is out there, what they care about and how you might be able to connect with them in a meaningful way.
Because I stayed in touch and kept bumping into Equator at marketing conferences such as BrightonSEO, it was almost like I never left Equator after my first work experience here back in 2013.
At this point in my career I am trying to learn as much as I can about digital. And what better place to do so than in the company of over 170 digital experts?