Blog » Laura Dowie

Laura Dowie

15th October 2012

Role: Membership and Events Co-Ordinator

Company: Women In Business NI

Track Record: Women in Business is the largest and fastest growing business network for female entrepreneurs and senior women in management in Northern Ireland. Established in 2002, the network has almost 800 members spread throughout all industry sectors

What does your job entail?

The main function of my job at Women in Business NI is to plan and deliver events and to manage and advise on all aspects of membership.

I’m the main point of contact for all our members, almost 800 of them!  I process new member applications and maintain the membership database. I prepare analysis and feedback reports for our chief executive and manage membership renewals.

I work closely with the marketing manager to co-ordinate all member events from large and small Belfast-based events to regional workshops across Northern Ireland and subject specific masterclasses.  

We recently held our first ever cross border event to the Irish Parliament with Network Ireland. This year also saw our largest annual conference with more than 300 businesswomen attending and I’ve now started working on our tenth birthday celebrations.

I’m also involved in public relations and marketing. I appear in photoshoots with sponsors and speakers in order to pre-promote our events in press and I manage our social media channels, update and maintain the Women in Business NI website and schedule all member communications.

Is it 9-5?

There are occasions when I work evenings, for example at our awards ceremony, in November, which recognises the achievements of businesswomen across Northern Ireland.  

How did you get into this line of work?

I joined Women in Business NI last summer having spent two years as sales manager for French and Spanish markets at CIGA Healthcare.  

Having studied languages at university the role enabled me to combine my love of foreign languages with giving me a great foundation in developing my interest in marketing.  

I was responsible for web design and content management, database development, customer relationship management, market research and competitor analysis which I have been able to develop further in my role with Women in Business NI.

Outline your career to date?

As a student I worked in retail part-time and after finishing university I had a temporary role in Queen’s University Belfast where I worked in Timetabling and Room Allocation.  

After that I took part in the Intro programme, run by Parity through the University of Ulster. This allowed me to complete an advanced diploma in management practice whilst working for Ciga Healthcare in a sales management role.

Tell us about your qualifications/training.

I hold a BA (Hons) in applied languages, French and Spanish from University of Ulster.

Over the past three years I have continued with my professional development.

I have completed the advanced diploma in management practice at University of Ulster and I am a studying member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing having completed the professional certificate in marketing in 2010 and the diploma in digital marketing this year.

What qualities are required for your job – personal and professional?

As well as being a team player, drive and determination to achieve high standards are imperative as managing events is all about attention to detail.

I have developed our social media channels so it’s key for me understand what’s of interest to our members and non-members in order to engage with them in an interesting and informative way via twitter, facebook etc.

And organisational and interpersonal skills combined with full competence in IT and database systems and an approachable manner help me to fulfil my role to meet our organisation’s and members’ needs.

What is the best advice you ever received? 

Be like a swan, remain calm on the outside while your feet flap underneath. This helps me especially at events as, when I appear calm it gives confidence to the delegates as they know everything’s under control.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Travel, CrossFit, socialise

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.

I lived in Belgium for six months during my degree.

Who has inspired you most in your life?

Every day I’m inspired by Women in Business NI members that I meet who take risks, start businesses and run successful companies. I’m fortunate to meet with and hear some very inspiring and motivational speakers at our events.

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