Happy clients is what makes Noel Conn & Company happy, says Gemma Coulter!
By Eleanor McGillie
NOT many of us know what we want to do when we are 15-years-old but for Gemma Coulter from Armagh, she knew her part-time after school and summer job would lead her to working for her current employer.
Gemma, 24, was born and reared in Armagh and knew she always wanted to work in Armagh. When she was 15-years-old her dad helped her get a job in Noel Conn & Company, a well known and very reputable Chartered Accountancy practice operating from a beautiful Georgian Townhouse – a building steeped in history and is the result of a restoration project by practice bosses, husband and wife team, Noel and Judith Conn.
Gemma started working as a filing clerk after school and during the summer holidays, answering the phones and doing general administration work. Now, nine years later, she is the firm’s marketing executive.
The 24-year-old still works part time because she spent three years at the University of Ulster studying for her BSc in Marketing and has since been studying hard for her MSc – a Masters which is nearing completion.
Gemma said life is busy but she is really enjoying juggling her studying with her job.
She said: “I have been in my current position as marketing executive since March 2013 but I have been with Noel Conn & Company since 2005. It has been a really busy last few years for me but I am really enjoying what I do.
“There are certain times of the year which are extremely busy – much busier than other months but a typical day can start at 8.30am and finish at 6.30pm. On a Friday we all try to get away a bit earlier but it can often be 5pm before we leave.”
“I work three days per week in Noel Conn & Company and the other two days are spent at university doing my MSc in Communication, Advertising and Public Relations. It’s great because I can practice what I am learning at university in my job.”
Gemma said each day varies a lot which means she is kept busy doing a range of different activities.
She said: “There’s no such thing as a typical day here. Noel Conn & Company is a really busy practice so there’s always a lot to do. At the minute we are looking at rebranding our marketing material so I am focusing on that. But I am also responsible for examining social media strategies, updating the company website, using different platforms to engage with our existing clients and prospects, event management and planning. We are heavily involved with Armagh Rugby Club so I do a lot of work in relation to sponsorship and organising events with them.”
Noel Conn & Company has over 500 clients – clients which work in a wide range of sectors including farming, renewable energy, construction, retail, legal, pubs, hotels, restaurants and much more. Gemma said because the client base is so varied it is essential the practice relates to all industries and communicates effectively with their existing clients and prospects.
She said: “To do my job you must have great communication skills. It’s important to be able to communicate effectively with all of our clients. Time management is very important because there’s often a lot of things to juggle at the one time. But as well as that you must be trustworthy, reliable, discreet and studious.
“The most important thing is knowing our clients are happy. When we know our clients are happy – that’s gives me great job satisfaction which motivates me to work harder and more efficiently.
“We all know businesses have gone through tough times in the last number of years. When I started at Noel Conn & Company it was boom time in Northern Ireland. A lot of money was being spent. Now we are in a recession it is as though things have come a full circle. All businesses have to sell themselves to get money circulating again, to pick up new customers and to ensure they keep their existing customers interested.”
Gemma said ever since she was a child she was always driven to go to university – a goal which has inspired her over the years and has motivated her to work hard. She loves the diversity Marketing offers and says it allows any marketer to specialise in areas such as advertising, research or PR.
She said: “Businesses will always need quality marketers who are able to identify markets, research new products and release products to market. They will always need professionals that can sell those products and keep customers returning.
“It’s a great career because you know you are helping businesses succeed. It’s a popular subject to study at university so my advice for any student wanting to pursue a marketing career is to immerse yourself in literature surrounding marketing, reading blogs, journals, articles, as research will be an integral part of your future job. I would also advise students to grab any opportunity for relevant work experience.”
For further information contact Eleanor McGillie of MGMPR Ltd on 028 3756 9569 | 07709805379 | www.mgmpr.co.uk | Corporate PR | Public Relations Northern Ireland | Public Relations UK | Brand Journalism Experts | Brand Journalism Northern Ireland | Brand Journalism UK
Notes To Editor:
- Noel Conn & Company is a leading firm of Chartered Accountants based in a beautiful Georgian building in the centre of the Ecclesiastical City of Armagh. The firm was set up in 1995 and has grown in size over the years, servicing over 500 clients in public and private sector. Its client base includes companies operating in sectors namely Agriculture, Food and Drink Producers, Engineering, Construction, Retail and Tourism. Noel Conn & Company offers an all round service and helps clients grow their business by offering solid and up to date advice for Audit, Accountancy and Taxation planning.