Charlotte Sumner, Project Manager SFMC Implementation at Emark London reveals her story and her road to the tech industry.
From picking up HTML to landing a tech job
Charlotte: ‘Instead of going to university, after finishing my A Levels I decided to take a year out before studying. I landed an apprenticeship with my local government in marketing communications. This covered many disciplines, both traditional and tech related, including press, web, email, print and graphic design.
I spent a lot of time putting together email newsletters for the team and working in ESP platforms and the website. While editing pages, HTML code and the like I realised that it was something I picked up quite easily and enjoyed. So, during this apprenticeship I became increasingly interested in technology and I concluded it was something I could pursue as a career.
I applied for several jobs in the digital marketing industry and I took one at a full-service digital agency in London. At the time, digital marketing software was still a relatively immature industry and email marketing was the centre of digital communications. The ability to read and understand HTML was a big bonus in the type of job I ended up doing.’
Charlotte Summers – project manager at Emark
Tell us something about your job! Charlotte: ‘I’m a project manager for Emark, managing several Salesforce implementation projects for a wide range of clients, predominantly in the travel and retail sectors. Every day I work closely with our solution architects, technical architects and the platform itself to deliver successful solutions to Emark’s clients.
I am a part of the team in London which has more than doubled in size since I started at the beginning of this year. London has traditionally been at the centre of the growing technology industry and companies that can keep up with the ever-evolving industry, and the platforms that power it, remain a step ahead of the competition.’
“At the end of the day, gender doesn’t matter”
More diversity in tech. How do you think we should go about that? Charlotte: ‘I think women should lead by example. The more women that enter the tech industry and do their best, the more they’ll be heard and able to prove themselves through their work. This will give other young women who are starting their careers something to aspire to. We need to champion diversity and keep pushing for equality.
During my career in tech I’ve worked with a lot of young women who were just starting out in digital and technology. Along the way we’ve helped mentor one another, which has enabled us to develop and serve in the various roles we now play in the technology industry. Initially, we were frustrated that our opinions generally weren’t valued as much as our male or older counterparts, but that never stopped us from giving those opinions.
By always working hard I think we’ve taken great strides towards actual and perceived equality. And that’s important because at the end of the day gender doesn’t matter; what matters is a person’s ability to do their job. Men or women, I believe we can eventually overcome any bias.’
Important project manager skills
Charlotte: ‘As a project manager, organisation and planning skills are really indispensable. Emark runs many projects simultaneously and as a project manager it’s your job to ensure all clients’ projects are delivered successfully, on time and on budget. Within technology, specifically in marketing, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution; everything we do for our clients is tailored to their needs. We must constantly learn and adapt on the job and be flexible enough to ensure we translate our clients’ needs into reality.’