Head of marketing for T2 and VU business alum Ingrid Kelly has always leaned on the strongest weapons at her disposal – a fierce work ethic, preference for practical learning and love for adventure. As a senior business leader, she shares her experiences and the qualities she’s looking for when recruiting.
When I finished school, all I knew was that I wanted to experience life outside of Australia and outside of school. So I worked three jobs until I had enough money to travel for a year around Central and South America, the US, Canada and New Zealand.
Upon my return, I considered studying marketing but wanted to be sure it was for me. So I applied for TAFE and I loved it! VU (Polytechnic) worked well for me because I lived in the west, and the pathway was there to gain further qualifications in business.
Studying for hours was never my scene. Despite being very detail-orientated and analytical, I thrive on practical learning. I benefited from that experience at VU. I also loved the lecturers; they left a lasting impression that I could drive my own success.
At the time, I never realised how lucky I was that my parents had drilled into me a strong work ethic and a love for adventure, travel and sport. As a teen I always worked and was fortunate to experience overseas camps and travel around Australia. I always trusted I would land on my feet. This sense of exploration led me to live in London for 15 years.
A career highlight was landing my dream job in marketing for global restaurant chain, Wagamama. My achievements there include establishing the brand in the US and a re-brand in the UK.
I returned to Australia a few years ago and landed another dream job, as Head of Marketing at T2. I love T2’s diverse workforce and the number of women in senior positions. It’s great to have balance in the workforce; it creates interesting conversations, which always leads to a better outcome.
I believe without people, there is no brand – or company, for that matter. When I hire, of course I want the applicant to have the skillset, but – above all – it’s about the attitude, eagerness to learn and openness to fail. Hard work and passion are by far the most attractive qualities in a candidate.”
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