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What it’s really like working at Blacktrace

Now that I’ve been Head of Marketing here for a few months, I thought it was a good time to reflect on what it’s been like to join a new company in a new sector. I regularly get asked questions about what it’s been like, how it compares, and how I’m finding it (after I spent several years prior working for one company and even longer working in the technology sector).

So, what has it been like?

Pretty good. Everyone has been friendly and I feel as though I’ve been welcomed with open arms. I had so many questions when I started and plenty of people were willing to spend time with me answering these questions and explaining everything I might want to know. This has helped me settle and I’m quickly feeling as though I’m part of the furniture! Although I’m still learning something new almost every day and expect this to continue well into the future.

Blacktrace isn’t a big company but does have big aspirations. The CEOs philosophy and desire to provide products to scientists that make a marked difference to their research and speed or accuracy in which it’s done, to ultimately benefit our own existence, is a driving force behind what we do. And I like that. The time Mark spent with me, and other new starters, at the beginning helped give a real sense of purpose and the fact that he stays involved in what’s happening day-to-day is testament to his belief and passion in what we’re doing.

There’s an abundance of passion within the business and this leads to lots of ideas to work with. Generally, this is a good thing but sometimes this feels like there’s an urgency being created to do everything all at once.  This has led to distractions and, with lack of focus, can cause frustration. I’ve noticed this but I’ve also witnessed lessons being learnt and changes being made as a result. So, although occasionally painful to watch and be around, it strikes me as a positive (I’d be worried if there wasn’t a willingness to change). However, those ideas are still being captured – after all, ideas can come from anywhere at any time – and will be picked up when the time is right.

People are bright, they want to learn, and hearts are always in the right place, which is a decent place to start in my opinion. I admit the marketing team was feeling unloved when I arrived, but a willingness to listen and learn about them as individuals, then providing some direction and structure, has meant they’re now beginning to fly and I’m looking forward to seeing the team flourish throughout 2018.

There’s an abundance of passion…willingness to learn…and plenty of opportunity to make a real difference…I’m looking forward to seeing the team flourish in 2018!

Marketing isn’t as advanced as where I came from, but that’s a good thing from my perspective – it means there’s lots of opportunity to make a real difference to the business (and this is something that motivates me enormously). I’m able to bring my experience, trials and tribulations, and apply relevant learning and people here are willing to listen and try. But they’re also quick to help when I get stuck or need a steer, thankfully.

As the role of marketing has changed over recent years and continues to do so, a willingness to adapt and learn new skills is crucial in building a marketing function. The fact that I’ve got a team willing and ready to get stuck in has been, and will be, massively helpful in getting us moving forward. And the fact the business is willing to support changes in marketing and push the boundaries of what the business has done previously, is only going to set us up for future success. And I’m looking forward to being a part of that success!

If you are interested in joining the team we have a number of opportunities open, including in Kathryn’s team ⇀


Kathryn Lye

Head of Marketing

Marketer, mum to 3, and marmite lover. When not thinking about marketing or Blacktrace, you’ll find me with my family or occasionally on the couch with a book and cup of tea (and perhaps some marmite toast).