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Loredana Principessa: from History & Italian to Founder

Social media handle(s):, LinkedIn

A few words about me:

I’m Loredana, Founder of MAR-CO, a Conversion Rate Optimisation Agency.

My love for tech comes from a love for people and using technology to improve people's experiences online. A fun fact about me - I'm training for the London Marathon and running in April 2023 eeeep!

At the moment I wear lots of different hats - operations, business development, marketing, client management, finance - and I'm loving every second.

Are there any professional experiences you've had that are quite unexpected compared to what you do nowadays?

Nothing too unusual, my career post-university has always been in the digital and technology space. Throughout my late teens and at university I always worked in restaurants waitressing. I adored working these jobs, and I believe that learning customer service and working with people set me up for success when working with clients in my agency career.

Is your background more STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) or non-STEM related?

Non-STEM related. I studied History and Italian at the University of Manchester and had no idea that I wanted to get into tech until I started my professional career!

Where did your professional journey start?

I started working at a digital marketing agency in Leeds, after university. I remember calling one of my best friends before the interview, who was already working in digital, to give me as many tips as she possibly could. I got the job!

This was an opportunity in a newly formed office, (the head office is in the south of England and I was employed in the new team quickly growing in Leeds). The smaller team environment meant that I was able to grow quickly and learn new skills. I was lucky enough to have a great manager who really taught me everything in the digital space at that time in my career, I had no experience prior to this.

How did you get into tech and what motivated you?

It wasn't until I moved to Australia that I really started to love the technology side of marketing. I worked in a very exciting digital agency in Melbourne & Sydney, where technology was at the forefront of everything we did. I worked in the property industry (and I had some amazing clients) where we worked on some complex projects in the online advertising, CRO, CRM and marketing automation space to support their customers at all stages of their buying journey.

For me, the motivation comes from understanding how the technology impacts both the client and the customer; improving the experience for the customer which in turn, improves sales for the client. The other motivation 100% comes from the people I have been fortunate to work with throughout the years both colleagues and clients. It's so important to learn from one another, test ideas and grow together. Working with these people motivated me to continue my career in tech.

Have you experienced any 'career in tech' challenges / stereotypes?

I once faced an awful meeting where I was shouted and sworn at, and I was only young (about 23 years old). I remember bursting into tears when I left the meeting. Luckily, I had all the support from my AMAZING managers at the time and the company I worked for even ended up dropping the client because they did not condone this behaviour.

Looking back, this was not a me issue, but a them issue and I took it as a learning experience. Plus this was always going to be my worst meeting ever, so since then if I am ever apprehensive about something, I get to remind myself, 'Well at least it wont be as bad as that meeting with ...' - I laugh about it now.

"There are so many opportunities across the technology space that you'll be sure to find the right fit for your passion and personality."

What you wish you knew before getting started in tech...

Never make assumptions. Test, analyse the results and let the data help you with your next move.

What has been your biggest 'wow!' moment related to working in tech so far?

I was a guest speaker on a panel at an event in Sydney with some really cool other guest speakers, like from Hubspot. The audience was about 100 people, I was definitely nervous but I ended up getting so into it! We were discussing CRO practices - this was a highlight WOW moment in my career so far.

What do you like / not like about working in tech?

What I like - There are so many opportunities across the technology space that you'll be sure to find the right fit for your passion and personality. For me, my passion for people and experiences meant I loved the data and insights gained through Conversion Rate Optimisation to improve these experiences and chose this as my technology career moving forward with MAR-CO. Keep trying new areas and you'll be sure to find your perfect fit.

What I don't like - Ha! maths was never my strongest subject at school, and there can be a lot of numbers, data, code and analysis. If you can relate, then my advice is to be patient, ask for help, try it out, don't be afraid ... you will surprise yourself with what you can learn to do!

"Networking is key!"

What's been your favourite / most memorable / funniest 'career in tech' moment so far?

My favourite moment so far has to be launching MAR-CO publicly in January 2023. I spent 6 months setting up the company and launched to the world earlier this year. I was nervous to launch, but so ready for it! The last 2 months have been incredible for MAR-CO and I am so excited to see the rest of this year play out, I have set some big goals but I'm keen to keep pushing to achieve them.

And to wrap up, is there any advice you'd like to give to others interested in a career in tech?

Use LinkedIn to network with people in the industry. Not only is it a great place to learn from experts in the space, it could open the doors for work opportunities! I networked on LinkedIn for an interview at the agency in Australia which turned out to be some of the best years of my life both professionally and personally. I grew so much in the technology space and it paved the way for me to launch solo when moving back to the UK. Networking is key!


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