Career interview with the Head of Online and Digital at The Entertainer

This week we have been talking to Rob Wood, Head of Online and Digital at The Entertainer to find out about his career journey and what tips he would give to students who are keen to develop careers in ecommerce.Rob Wood

What did you study at university and what impact did it have on your career path?

English. I started my ecommerce career focussing on online content so it gave me a good grounding in how audiences respond to language.

What work experience did you undertake per landing a permanent position?

I did lots of odd jobs – silver service waiting, accounts payable, reporting on non-league football matches. I didn’t have a master plan for what I wanted to do but it gave me a good flavour of different workplaces and cured me of any interest in working in accountancy.

Did you take part in any societies while at university, and if so, did you learn any valuable skills from your time?

I played a lot of sport which develops great skills for most career paths – teamwork, communication, competitiveness.

What advice do you have for those who are just starting university right now?

You’ll never have so much spare time again so make the most of it. And enjoy yourself.

How important is a brand’s culture when choosing positions to apply for?

Really important and it’s definitely worth asking lots of questions about it when you interview. There are advantages and disadvantages of working everywhere – understanding what they are and adapting to them is the key to succeeding. So ask the person interviewing to talk you through the culture as it will help you decide whether it’s a place you will do well.

What is the most challenging part of your current role?

Deciding where the priorities are. There are 1000s of possible ways to grow our online sales and my job is to decide which ones are the most time and cost-effective. Because technology is changing so quickly it’s impossible to predict how customers will shop in a couple of years’ time, so our strategy is to find low risk projects that keep us up to date with the latest trends in online shopping and communication but allow us to react quickly if things change.

Has your role changed, or have your responsibilities evolved, as you’ve worked for The Entertainer?

My role has changed a lot. When I joined The Entertainer I was running a small online content team. Over the last five years I’ve gradually taken on responsibility for user experience, commercial performance and online marketing and I now lead a team of 15.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be posting career interviews with some of Rob’s colleagues: a  Copywriters, an Online Merchandiser, and a Content and Social Media Assistant. The interviews are all about what they learned at university, the impact it had on their careers and their advice for current students. Watch this space!


Friday Featured Vacancy: Research Assistant at Blackpool Council

blackpool councilAn exciting opportunity has arisen for an ambitious person to join an established research service in an award-winning local authority. The position would be an ideal first step into research and/or working in the public sector for a recent graduate.

Close to excellent travel links, you’ll be situated in Blackpool’s brand new £200m central business district, with the opportunity to work flexibly from home. Famous for its Tower, Promenade and seven miles of golden beaches, the town is a warm and friendly place and a sought after location for professionals from across the UK.

As demand for our market research, insight and consultation services continue to grow, there’s never been a better time to come on board as part of our consultancy, delivering professional services to councils and public sector organisations across the North West.

You must have a degree in a social science discipline (or equivalent) and be able to demonstrate knowledge of research methods. You will also have analytical, report writing and presentation skills, be able to work using your own initiative and demonstrate excellent organisational skills.

This position is temporary for two years.

For a casual discussion regarding this post please telephone Adam Pearson 07788 353506.

For full details please see the job description on

Blackpool Council welcomes applications from all the community.


Making money from being social


Using social media can be great to keep in touch with friends and share information and photos. To make a career out of it by blogging/generating YouTube videos et al. is a different story.

It’s predicted that the YouTuber PewDiePie made $7M in 2014 on his Computer Gaming channel. This didn’t happen overnight! Felix Kjellberg is a “gamer, comedian and Internet personality”. Although his channel now is very informal it started with all the best practise that any social media user should have. For one he genuinely loves his channel and the work he does for it – it’s more than a full time job doing this sort of work as you are expected to interact with commenters and requests especially if you want them to share you with their friends.

Generating plenty of content for anything is always an issue, you need to start off with a fully linked up strategy. What is your purpose? To help, to entertain, to showcase? You also need quality content. This isn’t just for YouTube but for blogging sites too – there also needs to be the question of when to start charging for the service you provide. With YouTube they tell you when you can start potentially charging for your videos. When it comes to blogging you have several options:

  • You are  paid for an article, either as a salaried job or as an external writing – you may have to quote for the work first
  • You can set up a paid content web-site – these tend to be unpopular or very niche
  • Charge for advertising on a standard web-site or app. Advertisers will pay is accordance to your click rates and target demographics
  • Donate with Paypal button for people that enjoy your content to contribute if they like

As how much money you make is dependent on click-rates there are a few things you can do to make sure you’re not missing out on target audiences. Always have your marketing channelled towards the web-site. Make sure the web address appears in the profile description of all your social media pages. Have the address on all literature/posters/business cards.

Remember this extra income maybe taxable. For more information on understanding Tax implications contact: or if you would like to talk about career options around this topic please contact the Careers and Employability team:

Unless you are very lucky/jammy take up will start up very slow. If it was easy everyone would be doing it.

Friday Featured Vacancy: Volunteer Mentor at Shelter


Would you like to be a Mentor for a Large National Charity working with Offenders on a brand new project?

Do you have an interest in supporting offenders or the Criminal Justice Sector?

Do you want to use your skills and experience to help others?

If so get in touch! Shelter is currently recruiting mentors in Cumbria and Lancashire to provide clients with an offending history with practical assistance around a variety of issues and to act as a positive role model. The aim of the service is to assist people who want to improve their life skills and create positive opportunities for their development.

Benefits of Mentoring

  • Experience working within the Criminal Justice Sector
  • Enhances your CV, we can help you to update this and will provide references if you leave
  • Opportunities to progress into paid employment

Full training and support will be offered to all Volunteer Mentors. If you are interested, please contact Leanne Fretwell 07580 140450

This is a voluntary position that supports the work of our services and is not replacing the work of a paid member of staff.