Head of Business Development: Inspire Me
By Weronika Z Benning, on 18 April 2016
As part of our #UCLInspireMe series, Cecilia Pytel, Head of Business Development at #tagvenue, talks to us about how she got this role and shares some tips for UCL students. For more insights from recent graduates working for smaller organisations, search #SMEProfile.
What did you study?
Being half-British half-Polish, I’ve always been fascinated by central and eastern europe, and that’s why I studied BA Politics and East European Studies at SSEES, with a specific focus on subjects related to Poland. I went on my Erasmus Year Abroad to the University of Warsaw.
How did you get into your role?
After graduating, I knew I wanted to work abroad and to learn more about business, so I started looking for jobs online. In true start-up style, I found the job advert for #tagvenue on Facebook. I had relevant experience because whilst studying at UCL I had a part-time job working in events operations, and so, after a couple of Skype interviews with the co-founders, I was offered a position, but until I started I had no idea what I’d actually be doing!
Why did you decide to work for a start-up?
During my studies, I got involved in the UCL Business Society and UCL Advances. Opportunities like this are really great because they offer students a springboard into the world of business. After graduating, I wanted to continue my learning journey and was keen to build on the experience I already had.
Working in a start-up is very dynamic – things change from hour to hour and there’s no day that’s ever the same. Because you work in a small team, you’re given a chance to take on a range of tasks and, most importantly, you’re actively involved in the building of a business. This means you get a multi-faceted understanding of how a business operates. A start-up gives you valuable firsthand experience and, in my opinion, is the best learning ground for all aspiring entrepreneurs or ‘wantrepreneurs’.
What’s the best thing about working for a start-up?
The atmosphere is so dynamic and there’s a real team spirit (if you’re into TV series like Silicon Valley or have heard about the fast-paced environment at ambitious start-ups, you’ll know what I mean). The opportunity to work closely with the founders and having them listen to your ideas is really rewarding. You’re also given a lot of responsibility from the word go, which is exciting if you enjoy a challenge.
Working at #tagvenue is great because it’s very diverse and international with people from the UK, Australia, Latvia, Belarus, Poland, Guatemala and Spain, so everyone brings something different to the table. And, yes, we also have fun in the process, hanging out with beers in true start-up style. If this sounds like something for you – we’re hiring now!
What top tips would you pass on to a student interested in this type of work?
Be inquisitive, open and brave. Try not to be too daunted if you don’t have experience – you’re going to learn on the job pretty fast. Learn from your mistakes and strive for the best.
#tagvenue https://www.tagvenue.com/ is shaking up the UK’s mutli-billion pound events industry, transforming the way people discover and book spaces for their events. They’re the fastest growing venue search engine on the market, showcasing great local spaces and making it quicker and easier to plan an event.
Follow in Cecilia’s footsteps: