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Want an insider’s look into what it’s like to work for one of the world’s leading education technology companies? We’ve got you covered. In our Extraordinary Employee series, ProQuest dives into the lives of our colleagues, asking them how they joined ProQuest, what they do, and what makes ProQuest such a unique and rewarding place to work.

Today, we interviewed Michelle Musson, Senior Regional Marketing Manager, EMEAI.

What do you do at ProQuest?
I am the Senior Regional Marketing Manager for EMEAI. My role is to lead the team of Regional Marketing Specialists for the UK, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and India, to deliver marketing that drives sales, supports renewals, and raises brand awareness across all markets. As a team we work closely with many different areas of the business, from product management, training and customer experience and sales teams, to ensure that the global goals of the business are delivered on a local level. We use many different channels, including digital marketing campaigns, social media, digital events, tradeshows, and more to reach our current and potential customers.

Why is the work you do so important to our customers?
For our existing customers, we share vital updates, announcements, and enhancements about the products they have. We also do a lot of work to support them in using their ProQuest products, helping our customers to ‘market their library’ and engage their patrons to use their library resources. Our Librarian customers have an increasingly varied role to play at the heart of their institution, and we aim to make their jobs easier by providing bespoke materials and support that fits their unique needs; whether that’s designing promotional material for display in the library, writing social media posts and internal newsletters for their intranet, or promoting the end-user training and guides, all in their local language.

We also aim to reach new audiences that might not know about the products and services ProQuest offers. Informing both Librarians and Researchers of the new content, new tools, and buying models available from ProQuest means they can make the decision that is best for their institutions.

What’s your professional background – anything interesting or unique to share?
I come from a traditional trade publishing background. After doing a BA in English Literature, I knew I wanted to work in the field of publishing. I completed a Masters in Publishing at UCL, and initially worked at a large trade publishing house, and then in a small independent publisher, doing marketing and publicity. I loved books and literature and couldn’t think of anything better than getting to work with them all day! I ended up in the marketing department by chance, as this is where an internship was available, and the work appealed to my creative side. I loved it and knew that I wanted to stay in the field of marketing, and so focused on gaining marketing qualifications over the years to build my skill set.

What motivated you to get into your current field?
The love of literature, books, and libraries brought me to the publishing industry. From there, I moved into academic and scholarly publishing because (although trade publishing was fun!) there is a sense with academic publishing that we are really making a difference in the world. Supporting academia, whether that’s helping an undergrad complete their humanities degree, or to the highest levels of research breakthroughs in STEM, is the best motivation. And being in marketing allows me to have a direct connection with the customer, while also allowing for creativity and imagination through our campaigns and messaging.

What brought you to ProQuest? What’s one thing that surprised you about working here?
I had never heard of ProQuest when a recruitment agent recommended the position. After doing some research, I was fascinated. The role was only a temporary contract, but I knew that even working at ProQuest for a short time would give me a wealth of experience and I didn’t want to miss the opportunity. A 6-month contract turned into a permanent position, and after nearly 10 years I know that taking that chance was the best decision I could have made.

What continues to surprise me about working here year after year is how there is always something new to learn. ProQuest as a company grows and evolves in correlation with the industry, and so there are always advances in technology, new research tools, and new content to learn about. There is no time to get bored!

What do you like about working here – both the job itself and the rewards/benefits?
My role requires me to have different skills in many different areas, both in the area of marketing where I need skills in digital campaign and events management, to strategic market planning, to the people management skills I need to lead a team-based around the world; and what I love is the challenge this brings. I constantly feel pushed to improve my own skills and continuous learning and personal development is an integral part of the role.

The culture at ProQuest is one of support and development; and I have personally benefited from having access to education and courses that support me in my role, and the career that I want to have in the future.

What are your ultimate career aspirations?
Since starting at ProQuest, I have had several roles in the Marketing department, ultimately resulting in my promotion to Senior Regional Manager. I still have a lot to learn, but through the support of my manager and peers, I take every opportunity to build on my experience across different areas of the business. My ambition is to join the Marketing Leadership team in the future, as I want to play a bigger role in shaping the strategy and direction of ProQuest.

What other fun and interesting things do you enjoy doing? Have you found anyone at ProQuest that shares your interest?
The culture at ProQuest, and in the Cambridge office where I am based, is one of support and familiarity. I’ve loved having the opportunity to participate in office socials, especially baking competitions, as it gives me a chance to combine work with my love of desserts! I’ve got a fantastic team of not just colleagues, but friends, and even met my husband at ProQuest. My spare time is focused on my family and our new baby boy. Returning to work after maternity leave was a daunting prospect, but ProQuest made it as easy as possible, and supports us every day with the work-life balance.