My first 100 days at Petrolink
The Petrolink People series has charted the course of some of the longer-serving members of our team. For this interview we thought we would mix it up and hear from Pavlina Houdkova, Marketing Coordinator on her first 100 days with the company.
“I believe that bringing a fresh pair of eyes can bring value, no matter the industry.”
What led you into Marketing?
I always knew that I was quite good at understanding people and their different challenges and viewpoints on a personal level and from a very young age, I have always loved expressing myself creatively through music, art, words, you name it. But at first, the connection did not really click. I started university to pursue a Business Management degree to get a better outlook and overview of what my career path could be and by the end of second year, I hated it so much that I almost wanted to convert to Law instead. But that same year, I also joined the university’s Formula Student team which allowed me to put theories into practice and work as a team towards a common goal. It was around the same time that I started exploring marketing opportunities which got solidified in my third year of university when I attended ‘Understanding Consumers’ course, and that was when I knew. With a lot of hard work and luck, I then landed a part time marketing job at an environmental technologies start-up and the rest evolved from there.
How have you found working from home?
Productive, inspiring, relaxed. Before the pandemic, my life was extremely hectic. Even though I am still juggling my master’s degree, my coordinator role and few other commitments, I can do it all from the comfort of my home. I also prefer to work in a quiet, uninterrupted environment as my work entails a fair bit of writing and other creative thinking. The flexibility is also convenient as my laptop is never far away when I get inspired with new ideas. The only thing that lacks is having the experience of working in a local team but being part of a global marketing group based in three different time zones, this would not be the ordinary day-to-day for us anyway.
When Pavlina isn’t busy with work, she enjoys reading more about marketing and consumer behavior.
You don’t have a background in oil and gas- how much of a hinderance was that?
Even though this is something that could initially be seen as a weakness, I believe that bringing a fresh pair of eyes can bring value, no matter the industry. Bringing a variety of experiences to the table and also seeing things through different lenses can help spark new ideas and help shine light on possible challenges. Being able to also rely on my team and learn from their experience has proven extremely helpful in this transition and allowed me to gain better insight into the oil and gas industry.
Have you had chance to talk to team members across different departments?
Even though the current situation didn’t allow me to meet my colleagues face to face, thanks to technology I had the chance of meeting different team members from the various locations at least through MS Teams.
What is the best career lesson you’ve learned so far?
Almost any skill can be acquired if you really put your mind into it, but the same can’t be said about work ethic, drive and passion. What I mean by it in practice is that sometimes there are times or challenges that I would naturally shy away from due to lack of experience or lack of desired skills, however, I have learned to challenge and encourage myself to put myself into challenging and sometimes uncomfortable situations in order to get new experiences and learn new skills. At the end of the day, all you can do is to give it your best shot and even if things don’t work out in the desired way, there is always so much to learn from that. But most importantly, you will never know if you don’t try.
In your experience of speaking to different companies across industries what would you say is the common marketing challenge that most are trying to overcome?
I think that in today’s highly competitive environment it is the difficulty of standing out and getting the audience’s attention. In the digital world, there is a large pool of tools that companies can utilize to reach their audience, but with that, it is also a lot more difficult to get people’s attention. Just as an example, back in the ‘70s, an average person would be exposed to around 500 to 1600 ads a day. With the use of digital marketing tools, this number now increased to 6,000 – 10,000, which comes with the challenges of capturing the user’s attention as well as keeping them engaged.
What are some future projects you are looking forward to working on/marketing has in the pipeline?
There are plenty of exciting project in the pipeline from the product side of things to the brand itself. Being able to come up with different ways of promoting our products, both existing and new is something that makes me really excited. Putting more emphasis on our brand, internally and externally is also something that I am really looking forward to.
Once travel is opened, where will be the first place you want to visit?
Having all my family in Czech Republic and living in the UK, the current situation does not make it easy and I am sure many people will be able to relate to that. So, my first choice after lockdown is clear – back home to see my family.
If you want to learn more about Pavlina or ask her any questions about what it’s like to work at Petrolink, connect with her LinkedIn’s profile.