Matthew Mackay: Marketing Intern at Nalytics

Hi Matthew, can you tell us a bit about our background and how you came to work for Nalytics?

I’m originally from Glasgow, but I spent the last 4 years living in Edinburgh where I studied Business with Marketing at the University of Edinburgh. As much as I loved it there, after graduating this past summer I decided to move home for a bit while I decide what my next steps are going to be, and I knew that I wanted to get some practical marketing experience during that time.

As far as how I came to work with Nalytics, I actually found the ad for the marketing internship through my university’s career service site. I knew that I wanted a job that was relevant to my degree so I applied for everything marketing-related that I could find, and got a fair amount of rejections along the way…

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Anyway I applied for the internship through ScotGrad, was invited to an interview where I had to give a presentation outlining a potential marketing strategy for the Nalytics software platform, and they let me know the following week that I’d got the job!

Nalytics does some pretty interesting stuff with data and visualisation. How have you found the transition into a technology company?

It’s been quite seamless actually! I’ve always had an interest in the tech industry, albeit more from a consumer’s perspective, and with Nalytics, the front-end product is really user-friendly and intuitive so it didn’t take long to understand how it works and what the benefits are, which makes my job a lot easier. To be honest, it was getting my head around all of the marketing software that we use that was the more challenging part!

What are the main things you do at Nalytics?

My internship is sponsored by ScotGrad, so I have a specific project that I’m working on looking at the use of our software in the legal sector, and in legal education specifically. Apart from that, I provide day-to-day support to the Marketing Manager across a range of activities from social media planning, to marketing collateral creation, to updating our website through the content management system. Helping out across a variety of different marketing functions has been great experience.

You have a First-Class Honours degree so must have worked pretty hard. What did you do your thesis on?

Yeah fourth year was undoubtedly the hardest I’ve ever worked in my life, but I suppose that’s probably true for most people! And it was definitely worth it. My dissertation looked at the portrayal of LGBTQ+ identities in mainstream advertising through a comparative study. I interviewed individuals from across the LGBTQ+ spectrum and we discussed their attitudes towards the portrayal of those kinds of identities 20 years ago, compared with the kinds of portrayals we see nowadays. The difference was pretty shocking. Really it was about the social issues associated with advertising - looking at stereotyping, incentives for targeting the community, the potential educational function of advertising…that sort of thing.

You are just starting out on your career - any idea where you would like to be in 10 years time?

I’m not sure to be honest, which is a big part of why I’m trying to get as much experience as I can now, so that I have a better idea of the big picture before I start to specialise. Ideally I’ll be working in the creative industries in some capacity…somewhere. Maybe London. That’s something I can see myself enjoying, and actually doing well in.

What inspires you?

Aside from the fact that I’m fortunate enough to be surrounded by ambitious people in my life through my family and friends, I find that if you set yourself really big (even unrealistic) goals for what you want to achieve, the steps that you take towards achieving those goals will end up being valuable in and of themselves, regardless of the end result. Plus, you might just surprise yourself and accomplish what you set out to achieve in the first place… which is a bonus!

Any words of advice for students still studying?

Enjoy the years that don’t count, so that you’re prepared to work hard during the ones that do. 

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"Matthew Mackay: Marketing Intern at Nalytics" First published on Company Connecting December 2017

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