Arriving at IGOO HQ whilst the sun is shining is sure to brighten your day (literally), as you get to fully appreciate their stained-glass window of Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the Internet. We arrived at our partners HQ on one of Liverpool’s rare crisp spring mornings to speak to Camilla McNatty, the Studio and Finance Manager. Camilla was equally as bright and joyful as the stained-glass window of Tim.
Camilla’s career in tech started at IGOO 6 years ago. We wanted to find out how and why she went into the tech sector. Here’s her story…
So can you tell us about your role here and what IGOO does?
IGOO is a creative development agency and we specialise in e-commerce, web design, web development and marketing. Initially my role was within the digital marketing department and I was primarily copywriting. After a bit of an internal restructure about 10 months ago, my role changed to be Studio and Finance Manager. I love my new role and how it encompasses a lot of the elements that I previously did; I’m still writing for instance.
Were you interested in tech at school?
I don’t think so, the tech industry felt inaccessible and was never fully explained in school – I definitely didn’t know what coding was!
I never really had a clear career path in mind but I knew that I liked writing, so I studied English Literature and History at Liverpool Uni. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do once I graduated. I quickly learnt that work experience in the field that you want to get into is invaluable when applying for role, sometimes even more so than a degree.
When did you journey into tech start?
Once I graduated, I got some work experience working for an online news website. I got experience writing for them regularly, uploading articles myself and working within WordPress. I did some guest blogging for Festival Republic at Leeds Festival too, which was a great learning experience. I saw that the role at IGOO in Digital Marketing and Copywriting was being advertised. I applied for the job and got it, and that was my journey into tech!
What’s a normal day at IGOO look like?
It’s difficult really because I do so many different things here! I try to split my days up, so one day will be internal studio things and one day will be finance. We’ve been having a studio re-design recently and that has taken up a lot of my time; liaising with suppliers, builders, and managing things with the team. Then I might deal with any HR issues that arise, ensuring that everything runs smoothly internally. My role primarily is to look after various elements of the studio to make sure the rest of the team can focus on doing their jobs.
What’s the best thing about working at IGOO?
Working with a great team of people, who are all working towards the same goal. The 3 Directors – Gav, Jack and Ben – are great people to work for because they’re really supportive; even though they are Directors within the company, they are always ‘in the trenches’ with everyone else. I think that ethos is so important. We have lots of great benefits like flexi-time, a really relaxed and open environment, ‘Happy Mondays’ and many more.
‘Happy Mondays’ started when Gav went on a business development trip called ‘Invent’, which is run by ‘Form’. It was a business development trip where they went over to Copenhagen and they met lots of different agencies and saw how they worked and what worked for them. There was a company there called ‘Hello Mondays’ and they had a team lunch everyday of the week with their large team in their proper working kitchen.
Gav came back with ‘Happy Mondays’ so now every Monday, 2 people from the team are picked to either make (or order) lunch in for the rest of the team. We’ve had lots of different ideas, we’ve now got a pizza machine, we’ve got pie makers and loads of different equipment that people have used to make it a bit unusual. It’s a really great way of bringing the team together every Monday just for an hour over lunch. We’ve found it actually does get the week off to a great start. Since each week is kept as a bit of a surprise each time, there’s a bit a novelty to coming to work every Monday. For example, on St Patrick’s Day we had homemade Irish stew and a gold coin hunt!
Who inspires you?
I think having a really great team of Directors at IGOO has helped me – they’ve been so receptive about how I wanted my career to progress and about which areas I’ve wanted to explore. They’ve really helped shape my career over the last 6 years that I’ve been here.
Any top tips for those starting out?
Don’t think that the tech industry and digital is a scary thing and that it’s intimidating to get into. I didn’t automatically think I had a role within this industry, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a ‘techie’ role. I think people get intimidated into thinking that you have to be good at coding or a brilliant designer. Whereas if you have certain attributes, like myself being quite methodical and organised, I naturally found my place.
I think people don’t realise that there are different roles within the tech industry that are needed to keep everything else working properly – you can be an account manager, a studio manager, a project manager. It’s not all as scary as it sounds!