Careers: What's it really like inside - Oxfam

Oxfam works in many countries. Does the marketing team ever get to see its influence first-hand?

The UK marketing team is actively encouraged to go and see the work done in the field, as this allows us to better communicate what we do. Oxfam pays for staff to go on these trips if they meet certain criteria.

- What are the perks of the job?

Going home every day knowing that you have made a difference to people living in poverty.

- How do you come up with new marketing ideas?

Read, talk, travel, think.

- Describe the marketing team in three words

Inspired, exciting, dynamic.

- What is your main challenge?

To convince the public that our shops are no longer the place where their gran volunteers. We now have specialist book and record stores, and sell Fairtrade jewellery.

- Is there a dress code?

Absolutely not. People who work for Oxfam all over the world are in our offices, so we see an array of people wearing attire typical of where they are from.

- What are the hours like?

We work as hard as necessary to get the job done, but it is a very supportive environment for flexible working, and Oxfam was one of the first employers to have an on-site nursery. When we need to respond to an emergency, we put in extra hours, but most of the time we strive to maintain a good work/life balance.

- What is it like for training and career progression?

Oxfam is dedicated to 'growing its own', so there are opportunities to progress within the charity.

- Are there any downsides?

Given the seriousness of our work, sometimes it is hard to leave at the end of the day.

- Is there anything particularly interesting about your office?

It is open-plan with a huge atrium in the middle and many informal meeting-spaces. This gives the office a buzz and energy that visitors always comment on.

- Is there anything else about your working environment that makes it stand out?

The most interesting thing is all the amazing, dedicated people who work here, who have lived such interesting lives. For example, one member of the team used to be a top actress in Bangladesh.

FACT FILE

- Oxfam has 800 UK staff, of whom 117 are involved in marketing.

- Key brands include Oxfam Unwrapped and Make Trade Fair.

- For every £1 spent on fundraising, it expects a return of £6. Turnover was £310.5m in 2005/06.

- Cathy Ferrier is director, supporter marketing and fundraising.

- Oxfam's headquarters is based at Oxfam House, John Smith Drive, Cowley, Oxford OX4 2JY.

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