Nikolaos Drakatos is Product Marketing Manager at PubMatic.
CourseInternational Marketing Management
Why did you choose to study at Surrey?
The University of Surrey has a great reputation for its management and hospitality courses. It started climbing up the ladder of the UK rankings and I felt that its building reputation, young but also experienced staff, and the depth of the courses would assist me in mapping my career path. I wasn’t disappointed.
How has your degree helped in your career?
The most interesting part of my degree was the fact that we had the chance to get involved in projects that exposed you to real-life examples and situations. The level of engagement and research required in shaping actual business plans and analyzing company earnings and IPOs, has enabled me in understanding how the business world works. Due to the nature of my course, I also developed a more creative and outside-of-the-box mindset that has helped me excel in entrepreneurial development.
Where has your career taken you so far and what is your career highlight to date?
I graduated from the University of Surrey in 2007 with an MSc in International Marketing Management. My dissertation focused on mobile advertising and was also published as an academic journal in collaboration with my tutor. Soon after this, I returned to Athens, Greece to take on a position with a promising young company specializing on mobile advertising. I worked in a position that enabled me to illustrate my creativity and help customers shape experiences and reach their desired audiences and goals through the most personal device.
A couple of years later the industry was growing rapidly and with it the company I was with. We entered NASDAQ and expanded in Silicon Valley, which was also my next stop. I moved to San Francisco and stayed with the company for a few more years before making my way back to London to work with a leading digital advertising company where I am currently responsible for the product go-to-market strategies for the region.
Do you have a favourite university memory?
I am very lucky to have attended Surrey. There are loads of great memories that will stick with me for life. I am privileged enough to have made great friends that helped me develop as a person. The greatest moments at Surrey were always times spent with friends working together on a project or an assignment and pulling all-nighters. But the most fun memory I have was a business plan I created with a friend of mine for a new console. It was ground breaking idea that we really felt passionate and proud of.
What advice would you give to students looking to work in your sector?
Marketing bound with technology is the hottest trend at the moment. You need to love what you do and be prepared to wear many hats as there is never a strict line on what you need to deliver in such a fast-paced environment.
Marketing is a big umbrella of smaller, but equally important, activities. Much more in the digital world. You will need to focus on what you love the most in marketing without limiting your knowledge and abilities to other areas. Whichever line of marketing you choose, you will be required to develop project management, communication, creative, sales, financial and analytical skills.
Education will give you the fundamentals to acquire the desired skills, but experience will become your most important asset. Make sure you expose yourself to various organizational functions, gain experience by working on smaller but actual projects on which you will be expected to provide results, and apply the fundamentals you’ve learned; everything in the end ties back to the basics. But most importantly, feel passionate about what you do.