Newcastle University Business School

Max Pashley

Alumni profile

About Max

Current job: Skin Care Category Strategy and Insight Manager at Procter & Gamble
Current location: London
Nationality: British
LinkedIn: Max Pashley

About Max's career

Since graduating, what have you gone on to do?
Following graduation, I joined Procter & Gamble as a Graduate in Sales and I am now currently the Skincare Category Strategy and Insight Manager. My role is focused on growing the Skin Care Category as a whole, whilst also trying to grow our products simultaneously. I work across all the large retailers and I am frequently presenting my visions and ideas to them to help them and ourselves grow and win together. I help retailers and our Sales Team with how to execute our products and new launches in store and on the shelf. I get to be creative in my role, and also see the projects I undertake displayed in stores all around the UK. In my role I am tasked with managing my own budget, while creating and owning my in-store strategy for the year. What I love about my role, is that I am given a lot of responsibility for someone who has just graduated in all aspects, from how in-store displays are executed, to what I spend my budget on. I also love the fact I am able to go external and present to our customers about my ideas to grow their category.

Is the above what you planned to do before starting university?
No, before I joined Newcastle I had no idea what I wanted to do. I knew that I wanted to work in a company where I was able to influence and contribute to the day-to-day, but if you'd told me then I would have been working in skincare I would have laughed. Working out what you want to do before university is so difficult, and you can always change your mind, it's always important to keep and open mind as you have no idea what opportunities will come your way, and you could end up doing something you never thought you'd do and really enjoy it. 

About Max's Newcastle experience

What was your favourite thing about your course?
How it opened my eyes to how businesses and adverts work and the theories behind them, and how people interact with them. I found this really interesting and this has helped in my role now, and also changed how I see adverts around on the street or TV etc.  

Did you complete a placement year/study abroad/internship during your time at Newcastle?
Yes, I did a 13 month placement between my second and third year. I worked at a technology company called SAP, who specialise in business software and I worked as a Marketing Intern. This involved running advertising campaigns, producing content for, posting on and reporting on their social media accounts. It also involved organising events, from the website to the agenda and helping operate and utilise their sponsorship agreements with professional sports teams.

My placement year really opened my eyes to working in a big company and how much I enjoyed it. I got to see how the day-to-day worked and I was given responsibility that I never thought I would be given at that stage in my career. It motivated me to want to experience this again and push on with my career in a company which really values you. My placement year helped my career in countless ways. It gave me content to use in interviews for graduate jobs, and enabled me to stand out from the crowd when applying for jobs. My advice would be to definitely do a placement year if you get the chance as the skills it gives you are invaluable.  

About the future

How do you see future technologies or new ways of working (future of work) affecting your sector?
Technology is really changing the FMCG industry and we are constantly having to adapt. We are always looking to utilise new technologies in store. Virtual and Augmented Reality are going to change the way we shop forever. People will have all the information they want at the click of a button in store. VR will enable shoppers to walk down the aisles of the supermarket within their own home, and really bring online shopping to life. AI will enable companies to predict and have your replacement purchases ready for the second you run out, with these being delivered to your door as soon as you need them.

Technology gives everyone the ability to work flexibly, from wherever they need to which means I can travel and see other markets and use these learnings back in the UK. Big data has revolutionised the way companies help and go to market for shoppers and can be more responsive than ever to the desires of shoppers. With technology advancing more than ever the FMCG market is going to undergo monumental change in the next few years and it’s really exciting to be a part of. 

Where do you see yourself in five years' time?
It’s difficult to say as five years ago I wouldn’t have said I would be where I am now. The skills and knowledge I’ve built up since joining are amazing and universally applicable. It has grown my confidence hugely in my ability and I really want to continue to do this and gain more responsibility for myself in my career. I see myself being in a role where I have the autonomy & responsibility to help steer the set the strategy of the brand and continue to work on brands and with companies that I find inspiring.  

Profile uploaded: 01/05/2019