Read Farshid’s journey on how he started a new career after 35 years in the IT industry...
In 2022, after a 35-year career in IT, Farshid Jalali finally realised his dream to work in digital marketing and is now a member of the PPC department with iProspect!
‘There are no barriers to stop you doing what you like. The only ingredients you need are passion, drive, focus, and a bit of support.’
How it all began…
Farshid grew up in Tehran where he graduated from high school with a Diploma in Accounting and Business, then moved to the UK where he settled in Manchester to follow his passion for recognised accountancy qualifications. Another two years were spent studying an HND in Business Accounting and then a change of direction towards IT and studying part time, which led to securing an honours degree in Computer Science through The Open University.
He then travelled through work to France, Germany (at the European Space Agency), Norway, and a short contract in Dubai. After these travels he moved back to Manchester and focused on his career in IT, obtaining numerous academic qualifications to progress his career, whilst taking up a Master’s Degree in Computer Science (not completed due to redundancy).
When did your interest in pursuing a digital marketing career start?
‘It started about 10 years ago when I started to think about exploring internet opportunities such as web design and affiliate marketing and wished to find a creative career I could be passionate about and really enjoy – it was only recently, after I left an accounting job that I sought out how I could move into media and marketing, especially digital marketing. I came across a perfect course which I signed up for, and on completion of this I was able to be considered for marketing opportunities.’
What was the course that helped you progress?
‘I completed a digital marketing course with a platform called ‘We are Digital’ who connected with Dentsu on available vacancies to join the ‘dentsu Academy’ - after the course I was immediately offered an interview for a job in Manchester which worked out great as that’s where I live!’
What is the dentsu Academy?
‘Once you join dentsu you are provided with full training and support through the Academy. This involves workshops and online training – you are always upskilling, and you don’t work with clients until at least six months after you start.’
‘dentsu also provide you with the opportunity to gain externally recognised qualifications in your related fields and spend up to 20% of work time to dedicate to studying at the expense of the company. I joined Multiverse who were delivering a Data Technician course, over one year – and have had the support of dentsu all the way.’
What was the interview process like?
‘Having had 35 years of interview experiences, there have been good and bad. The interview with dentsu couldn’t have been better as the individuals involved demonstrated total professionalism and care in order to make it very user friendly. I was immediately put at ease and given the confidence I needed.’
How do you feel a year into your role?
‘When you have a lot of passion and respect for the business it is usually those people closest to you that make the difference – it is the people you work with that have an impact - dentsu is a wonderful company to work for.’
What different lines of work have you been involved in – is there flexibility?
‘You have the flexibility to move around different lines of work, e.g., technical, accounts, customer service, and dealing with clients directly. You get to work on ‘live’ projects with the support of your peers and have regular meetings, which means you also get to see the other recruits who joined you at the start from the Academy.’
Did you have a buddy when you joined?
‘When you first start at dentsu you are assigned a buddy, who is a more senior member of staff who can provide you with all sorts of support. We had regular weekly meetings when we could raise all sorts of issues (social or work related) and benefit from the experience of our buddy.’
What sets dentsu apart from other companies and why would you want to work for us?
‘Apart from being a successful international company with access to resources in many other countries, each agency, and local office prides itself on offering personal support, and total flexibility in the work environment. It makes you feel like being a part of an extended family.’
Finally, how have you felt as a senior employee at dentsu?
‘Previously I have come across age discrimination, but at dentsu this has never been the case and it feels fantastic that this subject isn’t a discussion or a barrier. It is a credit to the company and the individuals that work here. Your only limit is your own desire and passion for the job. The whole experience has been very positive.’