Posted: 16th of June 2017 by Chris Cox
Panda Q&A: Desiree, our ecommerce career mentor
Who is Desiree, the ecommerce career mentor?
If you follow our Twitter & Instagram shenanigans, it’s possible you’ve seen a certain panda making her mark. This panda is Desiree, who has been a part of the cranberry panda team for almost two years.
While she has been living the panda lifestyle for some time, she has never really introduced herself properly…until now. Desiree is the brains behind our #CareerCounsel series and wants to supercharge her advice-giving skills with a new twist. Curious? Let’s hear what Desiree has to say…
Tell us your story
I have always had a passion for digital and ecommerce jobs. I graduated from Bournemouth University, the first panda to do so! I won’t tell you when because a panda NEVER reveals her age. I knew throughout my studies that the online world was growing at an insane pace, and I wanted to get involved.
My first taste of the wonderful world of ecommerce arrived in the form of an internship opportunity with a cool ecommerce start up. I was an eager panda and never shied away from a challenge or a problem; where there was an issue to be sorted or advice to be given, I was there before you could say ‘Bamboo!’
My passion came across, as I was kept on following my internship and promoted to Ecommerce Executive…all in the space of 6 months! After 3 years with this wonderful business, where I departed as Senior Manager, I decided to move into an established multi-channel retailer. The start up environment was amazing, but I wanted to experience the full career spectrum. After climbing the ecommerce ladder to Head of Ecommerce, I felt I had gained enough experience to be able to start my own Ecommerce business.
‘PandasRCranberry’ was born in 2013, providing panda sized clothes to my panda patriots in London. The business was a success, with help from my panda co-founder Desmond. Despite this, I felt there was a gap somewhere. I had always been somewhat of a mentor figure in any team I worked in, but I felt I wasn’t able to help ecommerce professionals as much as I would like.
The team know how you found your way to cranberry towers, but tell our readers what led you here to us!
In 2015, I was happy with how my career had developed but wanted to reach more people in the industry to help with their careers. Providing advice to digital & ecommerce professionals had grown into a huge passion of mine. I was invited to speak at an entrepreneurial career event in Portugal and jumped at the chance. Having begun my journey in a start up, I thought this would be a great way to meet entrepreneurs who might need some guidance.
Following the talk, I met Joe, who revealed he was a co-founder of an Ecommerce recruitment agency based in London, called ‘cranberry panda’. I was amazed that the name was so similar to my own business. I needed to know more…I thought this could be the next step I was looking for. Not only could I stay within the ecommerce world, but I could reach people who were in the industry at so many different levels of their career.
Before I knew it, Joe had sent me on my way to London towards cranberry towers. While ‘PandasRCranberry’ was left in very capable hands, I was on my way to becoming an ecommerce career mentor for the masses!
How did #CareerCounsel develop?
I got to know each team member, learning how they work on different ecommerce specialisms within the industry. It was great to see that, like me, some of the pandas had worked in the industry themselves before joining cranberry panda to help candidates & clients with their recruitment needs. I felt right at home!
I sat with the cranberry panda marketing team, trying to brainstorm ways I could collect all sorts of career steps; creating a resignation letter, career promotions and creating career happiness, to name but a few!
I loved blogging so thought this was the best place to start. After a few name changes, #CareerCounsel was finally born. You can check out the full #CareerCounsel series here! Now that it has been running for almost two years, I feel it’s time for a shake up. The insights I have provided are great for people in any career, but I now want to turn my attention to people in the Ecommerce industry and hear from them directly.
Why is it important to share valuable ecommerce career insights?
The ecommerce industry is so varied and moves at such a quick pace. This means that people within the industry will have so many different career road bumps. Someone in an ecommerce start up might have completely different questions to someone in an established multi-channel retailer. I know this all too well!
It is important to know what questions people are asking and what everyone is discussing. Just look at #EcomChat on Twitter…there is always something new to discuss, with many different approaches. That’s exciting and something I need to be a part of!
What’s your plan now everyone knows who you are and what you do?
Well, I’m not going to stop giving out top career advice! While Desmond holds the fort at ‘PandasRCranberry’, I’m going to take #CareerCounsel to the next level!
I’ve loved coming up with great career related topics to write about, but now I want to hear from the people working in the industry directly. If there are any specific questions related to careers in ecommerce, I want to hear them. Maybe you’re a Digital Designer who wants to break into the ecommerce space? Or perhaps you’re hiring a team and need some information on the structure you should follow?
I want to hear your questions, which is why #CareerCounsel is now evolving into #AskDesiree. I’m excited to introduce this to you! I will reveal more about our new blog series, featuring yours truly, very soon!