In the seven years since completing his studies at BU, Charlie Ayling has progressed from a graduate scheme with Fujitsu to becoming the global technology company’s youngest serving marketing director.
Charlie has recently taken up the role of Global Marketing Director – Head of Customer Experience Marketing after progressing through roles in client engagement and internal communications. Along the way he has drawn on the skills developed during his degree in marketing from BU, while adding to his professional qualifications in the form of the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s Leadership Programme, in which he achieved some of the best marks ever known.
Reflecting on the past seven years, Charlie said: “The skills and knowledge I gained during my time at BU have been pivotal in getting me to where I am today. Being able to draw on the theoretical frameworks of marketing to support key decisions has been incredibly helpful. The university also drilled into me the importance of lifelong learning, which prompted me to continue studying at a higher level.”
Having grown up in Cornwall, Charlie was originally attracted to Bournemouth’s coastal location, as well as the reputation of its Media School. He said: “I had studied business at college and marketing was the subject which I always enjoyed and got the best marks for. I felt that marketing could provide me with a fulfilling career and the degree from BU provided me with the qualification and experience I was looking for.”
During his time at BU, Charlie made the most of extra-curricular activities, serving as a Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) leader and student rep. And while his placement year didn’t turn out to be quite the role he had anticipated, he used the experience to secure a place on the graduate scheme with Fujitsu. Charlie said: “I was set on joining a grad scheme and I wanted to do that with a global company where there would be opportunity for career development, as well as the kudos of having a known name on my CV from the outset. Having applied for the Fujitsu scheme, I learnt that the marketing stream had closed – with places offered to those who done their placement there. However, I was able to draw on my placement experience in sales to apply for another opening and, in the process, got selected to work as part of a team taking on Fujitsu’s largest client account outside of Japan. This was a great opportunity and one I could use as a springboard through to other parts of the business.”
Charlie’s advice for others joining a multinational company is to make the most of areas of work which have the greatest impact. He said: “Whatever role you are in, find the things that have the greatest visibility and value to senior leaders in the organisation, deliver on them and celebrate the achievements. I am also a firm believer in setting your own boundaries to ensure that you can perform to the best of your ability. For me that means carving out time for physical exercise and rest so that I can achieve and stay focused at work. Many people believe that there is a correlation between success and long working hours, but I don’t believe that has to be the case.”