Lucy Simpson

Alumnae Lucy Simpson is living the startup life.

A profile image of Lucy Simpson.

During high school, what I wanted my career to be changed every year. Be it pole vaulter, chef, or biologist—I had many interests and hobbies, but nothing that ever really stoked my fire. When the time came to go to university I was out of ideas, until one day I made a comment on an ad and my dad turned around and said I should look into marketing. So, I enrolled for my Bachelor of Commerce at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington, and three years later I was walking out with my degree!

It was only in the last year of my studies, however, that I was motivated to actually start using the knowledge I had learned through university, and the job-getting skills I’d picked up through Summer of Biz, to get a job in marketing. After cleaning up my CV and cover letters and sending them off to any agency or business I could think of, I sat and waited for somebody, at least anybody, to reply—soon enough a reply from Tim Dorrian at Aro Digital, a digital marketing startup based in Wellington, entered my inbox.

I can’t say it wasn’t risky deciding to work for such a young startup—the stats point towards most startups failing in their first year, and then even more in their second and third year’s. But there was something special about the idea of working with a team of young guns who all had a shared goal to grow awesome Kiwi businesses, and bring them up to speed with the newest standards of digital marketing.

Fast forward two years, and we’re still here shining brighter than ever. We’ve had some pretty big milestones, like moving from a shared office on Courtenay Place to our own space on Wellington’s beautiful Oriental Bay, celebrating our third birthday, and growing to a team of 13 awesome people who are continuously innovating and smashing goals for our clients.

I constantly look back on the decision I made to work at a startup and wonder what I could be doing if I’d chosen not to risk it. Would I still have guest lectured at Victoria University of Wellington and Massey University? Would I still have become a social media lead and help nurture young university students like myself to develop into young digital marketers?

Basically, what I’m trying to say is don’t always go with the safe option. Sure, job security and good pay are nice, but nothing compares to seeing a small team of five take on challenge after challenge, and grow to become the company we are today. Working for a startup has allowed me to meet incredible like-minded folk, helped me forge my way into the industry, and given me endless career-boosting opportunities.