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How I Became: Nikita Briggs, Marketing Executive, Duo

Nikita Briggs

Nikita Briggs already has 10 years of experience in marketing despite only being 26.

She started her career at Duo, a packaging consultancy and manufacturer based in Manchester, in 2015 as a marketing apprentice.

Briggs was promoted to the role of marketing executive in 2019, and recently completed a Level 6 Marketing Manager apprenticeship which is equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree.

Here, she shares her career journey, tips and advice…

How did you first get into your industry?

I finished my college course in 2014 not knowing what I wanted to do with my career. I approached my neighbour, Anthony Brimelow, as I knew he was a Director at Duo and handed him my CV to consider me for a work experience placement.

That August, I started a work experience placement. I was only 17 years old and I had never been in a professional office environment before. Duo gave me the opportunity to work across a range of different departments until I came to marketing, which is what I fell in love with. Many of my friends were applying for university but I just knew it wasn’t for me. Duo gave me the opportunity to progress further in marketing through an apprenticeship. I started with a Level 3 Digital Marketing apprenticeship in 2015 and have just gained my Level 6 Marketing Manager qualification.

What do you love about your job?

I love all aspects of my job, but the variety of the role is what I love the most. No two days are the same. We recently celebrated our 35th year in business, hosting an event for our team and their families where speed painter, Dave Sharp, performed live in the factory – he painted a portrait of King Charles in under ten minutes! We also arranged for ten of our longest standing team members to have a go in a speed painting masterclass. From the initial planning, to liaising with our suppliers and finally seeing everything come together, felt like a real achievement.

Who – or what – has inspired you in your career?

My manager, Zoe Brimelow, brand director of Duo. I never previously had the confidence to do what I can today and Zoe has helped me to achieve that. She has taught me everything I know and has been so supportive throughout my career with Duo. She is a genuine inspiration; always pushing me to perform to the best of my ability.

What are the biggest challenges about your job?

It’s natural to face challenges, whatever your job role. Sometimes things might not go as planned with a specific marketing campaign and you don’t achieve the results you hoped for. Equally, there’s often numerous campaigns running at any one time and it can be tempting to jump onto the newest and most exciting project. Staying focused on the task at hand and prioritising workload is key to success.

What skills have been the most crucial to you succeeding in your career so far?

Planning is fundamental in marketing and it was central to my Level 6 Marketing Management course with Ascento. I was tasked with creating a project plan and this experience really opened my eyes to the overall process, development and execution required to deliver a successful plan. I am proud that I completed the course with a merit.

What education or training would be most useful for someone looking to follow your career path?

Learning and training never stops. An apprenticeship helps you to understand the theory and apply the learnings in your role all while earning, which feels extremely rewarding. University isn’t for everybody, so an apprenticeship is a solid option and I’d really recommend it.

What advice would you have for someone looking to follow your path?

I read a quote from Feel Good Club a few weeks ago that said: “Remember what you’re working towards, know that you will get there and let that be your motivator.”

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