William Christian

William Christian

Postgraduate Research Student

Bachelor of Arts & Business

Graduation Year: 2014

Current Position: Digital Marketing Manager (APAC and Europe) at SilkRoad

Tell me about your current role....

I am the Digital Marketing Manager across APAC and Europe for a HR Talent Acquisition & Onboarding software company called SilkRoad.

What does your typical day look like?

My role is quite hands-on and involves organising all sorts of different marketing activities to generate leads and ultimately promote the SilkRoad product and brand. Each day I correspond with various stakeholders within the organisation as well as third party advertisers within our industry to execute innovative and targeted marketing campaigns and events. SilkRoad’s headquarters is in Chicago, so I spend quite a bit of time each day corresponding with the team members there to ensure our marketing practices are aligned from a global perspective. I also check in with the sales teams from London, Auckland and here in Sydney to receive feedback on how our online campaigns are performing and brainstorm new ways to engage with prospects.

What is one thing you love about your job?

It’s hard to pick just one! I love the close-nit team I work with, we all bring the best out of each other and have a lot of fun as we work. But I also love that I’m given the opportunity to travel internationally for work whilst also learning so much about the tech space.

How do you stay focused and inspired in what you do?

I’ve been fortunate enough to have been given some great responsibilities in my different roles since graduating from UNSW, so I’m really driven to keep on building on from what I’ve learned so far and reach new personal and professional heights.

Did you imagine this would be your career? What would a 17-year-old William think of what you are doing now?

I always thought that I would work in the business world, but marketing was not something I had initially set out to do. But I am very pleased that I ended up in marketing because I find it to be a very engaging field as it is something that every business requires if it wants to grow and develop successfully.

Why did you decide to do a Bachelor of Arts & Business degree at UNSW?

When I finished school, I was hesitant to step into a degree that would pigeonhole my opportunities. I particularly liked that the Bachelor of Arts & Business presented me with the best courses from the two faculties. It offers the core courses like accounting, microeconomics and marketing, but also a broad range of electives that you can pick on top of that. I wanted to do something that would give me greater variety in the sort of jobs I could choose after graduation.

What was your Arts & Business degree at UNSW like?

I had a really enjoyable experience doing this degree. Both streams occupy their own way of thinking; the business courses helped me to think strategically, whilst the arts courses taught me to think critically and analyse content in a very different way. It was great to wear both hats as it gave me a wide spectrum of skills to draw from when I graduated.

What is your best memory of your Arts & Business degree?

I can’t think of one moment specifically. I had some really intriguing lecturers and a lot of them had their own unique way of teaching and offered different perspectives. Because of that I always thoroughly enjoyed having the chance to pick their brains and consult with them about assessments.

What is your best memory of your undergraduate studies in general?

The degree gave me not just an education, but an opportunity to mingle with lots of different people from all walks of life. I loved that social aspect. I had a lot of friends that I would catch up with between classes or join for lunch on the Library Lawn or at the Roundhouse. I also participated in the Global Village Program where a small group of us fundraised to try and improve the infrastructure of a school on a remote island in Fiji. We got to travel there and experience the Fijian culture which was really rewarding. It was great to get involved.

Were there any a-ha moments during your degree that changed how you viewed the world or your career?

My undergrad experience made clear to me that what you put in is what you get out. It is pretty easy to get through university with a laidback approach, but for me I really enjoyed consulting with my lecturers and developing a rapport with them. They greatly assisted in expanding my knowledge on different topics as well as making me feel less like a student and more like a colleague.

How do you feel that your UNSW Bachelor of Arts & Business degree shaped your career?

My role in marketing marries the two components of arts and business really well. When I was hired for my first role, I think they were impressed that I had studied such a broad range of subjects like Business Fundamentals, Media Communications, and International Relations. My degree also had a strong focus on team-based projects which allowed me to collaborate with others on tasks and made for great practice prior to entering the workplace.

What is the most valuable thing you took away from your time at UNSW?

I'd say it's probably the skills that I’ve developed from my degree. The ability to think both critically and strategically have both been so beneficial in the workplace. It's been great to learn how to fuse both those mindsets together. Also, I think my experience at uni really helped emphasise the fact that you have to be proactive and show initiative in order to develop professionally.

What was your first job after graduation?

Immediately following my graduation, I travelled to London to work as an intern in a PR firm. It was one of the most exciting experiences of my life and made me realise how fun the workforce can be!

Where else have you worked since graduating?

After my internship I did a bit of traveling around Europe, then I jumped straight into work back in Sydney. I started out as a Marketing Coordinator for an events company and later worked in the financial services sector. It’s been great working across different industries and working out what interests me the most. I am loving working in the technology space and can certainly see myself continuing to work in this industry for a long time.

What is your greatest achievement to date? (Professional or otherwise)

That’s a hard question! I like to think that the best achievements are still to come! I just want to test myself with new things and surprise myself as well. I don’t know where I’ll be in 10 years’ time, but I want to ensure that wherever that is, it leaves me feeling fulfilled and less like a ‘job’.

What advice would you give to someone trying to decide if they should sign up for a Bachelor of Arts & Business degree?

I would absolutely encourage them to undertake this degree! It offers students so much freedom to pick and choose from a mix of interesting courses on offer within both faculties and tie them together into the one degree…it’s a bit like creating your own customised degree with the courses you’re passionate about!

Do you have any advice for current Arts & Social Sciences students?

I would strongly encourage them to get involved in whatever their interests are at university, whether that’s sport, or volunteering or joining a society. I’d just suggest that they find a hobby outside of studying. Studying is very important, but I think it is also important to have that balance between study and social activities because it can help to alleviate stress. Your time at uni is so short and I think you really need to make the most of that time and take away more than just an education. Take away an experience.

What's next for you?

I am considering going back to study in the future, perhaps undertake an MBA. I would also love to continue to travel the world and work internationally.