Jess MacIntyre: Determined Entrepreneur and Advocate for Women

“Next we will be putting equality as the mission and purpose of our business. This will be through marketing communications that consider the female point of view, as well as workshops, strategy sessions and 1-2-1 coaching in order to create a community of support and empowerment for women in business.”

Alumna Jess MacIntyre shares her insights into the world of Marketing as she discusses the re-launch of her company Mac&Moore.

Since completing her Bachelor’s Degree in American Studies in 2007, Jess’s career has gone from strength to strength. Now as Co-Founder and Strategy Director of her business, she describes herself as being ‘in her element’ after ten years of working with clients across the world.

Read the following interview on Jess’s thoughts on her time at Hull, being a woman in business, and her advice to students and fellow graduates interested in a career in Marketing.


You’ve worked in multiple roles throughout your career – what in particular drew you to marketing?

If I’m really honest, when I first entered the world of work all I knew is that I wanted to work in the creative industries. Something appealed to me about the ‘Mad Men’ world of advertising – where you can make up the rules with just as much fun to be had as there was work.

Aside from the prospects of parties and client lunches, I soon realised working alongside creative teams and seeing a great idea being brought to life really motivated me – I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside some incredible talents. Since starting my business, I’ve also developed an interest in human behaviour and psychology. I believe marketing and communications brands have the power to effect change. With this power comes great responsibility – brands should always have an awareness of their role in influencing human behaviour, and ensure they conduct their business in a positive manner.

What was your take-away from your year abroad in Seattle? 

It was one of the hardest but most rewarding experiences of my life. It taught me how to be self-sufficient, adapt to new surroundings and appreciate different cultures. Living away from home forced me to get out of my comfort zone and I genuinely credit this experience as one of the reasons I’ve become an entrepreneur. I’ve recently spent 6 months living and working in Amsterdam and this experience was less daunting due in part to my previous experience in Seattle.

Were there any specific modules within your Degree which you’ve found particularly useful to your career development?

A module I took on Postmodernism with Dr John Osborne particularly stands out to me as I was introduced to literature, art, film, architecture and music that I’d never come into contact with before – particularly from minorities within the LGBT and African American communities. He also exposed us to some of my favourite female writers and photographers, such as Diane Arbus, whose work I still love to this day.

The module contributed in part to why I’m hugely passionate about advocating women’s rights, and has led to me using Mac&Moore not only as a marketing business, but as a platform to promote equality.

You’ve set up your own business which you’re relaunching next month – tell us about it!

I set-up Mac&Moore nearly two years ago alongside my business partner Nat. The idea came from seeing a niche in the market to help start-up businesses post-funding boost their market presence and grow via measurable marketing communications.

The next stage will involve us putting equality as the mission and purpose of our business. This will be through marketing communications that consider the female point of view, as well as workshops, strategy sessions and 1-2-1 coaching in order to create a community of support and empowerment for women in business.

In our current sociological climate, women’s rights are creating more awareness and visibility than ever before. Having a purpose beyond a monthly pay check is what drives us forward. I believe in Gandhi’s quote: ‘be the change you want to see in the world’.

Setting yourself up in business is a tough endeavour for even the most experienced of professionals– what’ve you found to be the most challenging issues during your freelance career so far?

Firstly, building my self-confidence. Being a female founder I’ve had to work hard to find my voice and feel confident in my achievements and abilities.

All too often women suffer from ‘imposter syndrome’ or are faced with an immoveable glass ceiling. Pushing through those barriers was tough and you need to constantly remind yourself of the greater purpose on what you’re doing.

Another challenge is driving a business forward whilst also earning enough money to pay your rent and bills. It’s a difficult balancing act but I’m lucky to have a business partner to share the load with, plus a supporting network of friends and family.

And finally, as a marketing aficionado, what tips would you give to current students or graduates looking to get into the industry?

Create a personal brand that’s honest and thoughtful. As the great Oscar Wilde once said, “be yourself, everyone else is taken”. The creative industries love to see someone who is a self-starter so having a side hustle is a great way to showcase your drive alongside your talents. So, whether you’re a writer who pens a blog on your travels or you run an Instagram page about graphic design, make sure you’re putting yourself out there. CVs are only one way you get your foot in the door. I’ve written a blog on how to create a personal brand if anyone is interested in reading more!

Interview by Alumni Engagement Assistant James Bagshaw

Mac&Moore-in Amsterdam
Mac&Moore in Amsterdam

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