Nicola Eschenburg

I may be working as a Research Lead now but my technology career hasn’t followed a ‘traditional’ route (if that exists).

I read English Literature at university, having moved from Zimbabwe to study. Whilst there, I secured an internship on the Shell STEP programme as a marketing assistant in a microwave engineering firm. This spurred my fascination with the potential of technology due to the time spent with their R&D engineers, and my eight week placement quickly became a part-time role.

My first role post-university was at a technology public relations (PR) agency, where I grew my knowledge of the telco industry, and learnt to explain complex concepts in a simple yet compelling way. I specialised in writing technical and opinion articles for our clients, and in my couple of roles at a tech start-up and then fintech marketing agency focused on explaining how new technology worked to my colleagues so they could better create and pitch a good story.

My fintech role exposed me to wider facets of marketing, including analyst relations (AR) which I found better suited me as it impacts directly on product strategy if done well. This lead me to join Forrester Research, where I consulted on using AR to steer product strategy, and wrote research.

Four years later I deciced to practice what I preached, so joined BAE Systems as an AR manager, working across its fincrime and cyber portfolios. I was vocal enough about how to improve the programme and make better use of our investment, so was given the remit to ‘go and do it then!’ as the head of the cyber programme. A couple of years into that I wanted to focus more specifically on our long-term product strategy, so joined the innovation team as Research Lead to help drive that change.