We got to meet with Chris Bull, Marketing Director of SK:N Clinics at a Pizza with a Professional event. Since then we asked him for a more detailed look at his day-to-day role and his experience with mentoring.
Read on to also see his advice if you’re applying to the SK:N Marketing placement.
What did you want to be when you were younger?
I don’t have a strong memory of what I wanted to be when I was a child, I think I wanted to be fireman. As it turns out I’m scared of height so I don’t think I would have made a particularly good one!
What do you wish you would have known before starting your career?
The value of networking. Take every opportunity to build your network and put yourself out there.
What’s a typical day like for you?
The thing I love about marketing is how broad it is as a discipline, the variety of things you get involved in mean no two days are the same. I tend to get in relatively early, clear down some emails and plan the diary for the day. We have a team scrum on a Monday morning to plan out Client communications for the week and make sure we are on track for our enquiry and sales targets.
We are very lucky to have a great reporting function at sk:n so I’ll review the daily business reporting and then join some performance calls with our digital & PR agencies to align. I try to be out of the office at least one day a week visiting our clinics and taking feedback from the clinic teams and Clients. Our team lives on slack so even when you aren’t in the office you always feel connected to the discussion.
What do you find challenging about your job?
The sk:n head office is purposely small – the bulk of the headcount is based in our clinics. Because we are lean at our HQ, it means you need to be good at juggling lots of priorities between very high level strategic activities like setting a pricing strategy down to quite small tasks like reviewing copy for an email. That switching can be challenging – I run on coffee when I have days like that!
What’s your favourite thing about your job?
I have a great team and we get to do what I believe is the best job in any business, namely to define our mission and proposition and then find ways to connect with our Clients to deliver that message in a compelling way.
After talking about the importance of mentoring at our ‘Pizza with a Professional’ event, what is it you find so valuable about being a mentor or a mentee?
I get as much from being a mentor as I do being a mentee. Coaching someone and seeing them get a result is a really rewarding experience and provides you with valuable experience. On the other side being a mentee means you get to benefit and share in the experience of someone who has been there and done it.
What was your first experience of mentoring?
I was lucky enough to find a mentor when I was relatively new into my career. He shared career planning tools with me that I still use today. He introduced me to the structure of how a mentoring relationship should work and an appropriate value exchange for the activity. It’s fair to say I probably wouldn’t be here now if I didn’t have that early intervention in my career.
How has being mentored impacted your career?
At various points in my career I have benefited from a mentor relationship – its helped me plan out my career and make key decisions.
It has also helped me work through specific challenges in my career such dealing with difficult personal relationships, building my network and learning new tools or approaches to dealing with a problem.
Finally, as SK:N clinics will be looking for a placement student to join this year, what are your top tips to anyone applying?
Take some time to learn about the business, mystery shop us, our competitors – feel free to share feedback, we are far from perfect and we’d love to hear your ideas!