Midis Group rising stars - Ivett Hegyi, Regional CRM Manager, iSTYLE CEE
Interview: Ivett Hegyi talks about her career, working for iSTYLE, and some lessons learned along the way
Ivett Hegyi joined iSTYLE Europe last year in September as Regional CRM Manager CEE, based in Budapest, Hungary. She’s one of the rising stars in the iSTYLE team and we are extremely lucky to have an executive of her caliber building the CRM facility within the Group.
We interviewed Ivett for Midis Group Careers to find out more about what makes her excited about her career, working for iSTYLE, and some of the lessons learned along the way.
What’s your professional and learning background, and what drew you to working with iSTYLE?
I majored in Communication and Media Studies at Corvinus University of Budapest. At that time, I already knew it was important to have professional experience as early as possible, so I applied for an internship at one of the biggest financial institutions in Hungary. This was while I was doing my BA degree; I then got a full-time position as a CRM manager during my MA. Working hard and being determined always paid off.
Three years later I was leading a CRM Campaign Management team at another major bank in Hungary. Fast forward another three years, and I had become the CRM LifeCycle Manager of a Czech-owned financial company in China, where I was responsible for all CRM activities with an enormous customer base.
After working in the banking sector for 10 years I decided to change my career path. I quit in 2018, and instead of being employed by huge companies, I started to support small businesses and entrepreneurs in the area of direct marketing, and also established my own business.
I joined iSTYLE September last year, just right after I moved back to Hungary from Singapore, where I had lived for two years. The position was a perfect match, as I was looking for an innovative, mid-size company, where I have the opportunity to utilize my CRM experience and entrepreneur mindset.
CRM is a relatively new part of the marketing and sales sector: what is it about the activity that attracts you?
I have worked in CRM for more than a decade now, and I never get bored with it. What do I love most about my job? The impact that it makes. I see how beneficial it is for all kinds of companies. I believe that understanding our clients, and communicating with them in a personalized way doesn’t only provide iSTYLE with a competitive advantage. In fact, it is fundamental, because the rapid pace of change in the online world has increased customer expectations – especially toward the premium brands, such as Apple – and that needs to be addressed effectively.
You’ve worked across some big sectors internationally – what would you say are the biggest lessons you’ve learned in your career so far?
It is hard to mention only one because trying out myself internationally was definitely an intense thing to do, full of challenges and learning both on a personal and professional level. That was especially true in China, where life is fairly different in almost every aspect than I was used to before.
I think the importance of cultural awareness is definitely one lesson worth highlighting. My job is all about consumers, so it is vital to understand their needs and their behavior patterns in order to find the best way to communicate with them. Although I have several frameworks for successful CRM campaigns, the secret formula for success is always based on the local flavors.
You have quite a focus on self-development and volunteering – would you say that has helped your professional development?
Living abroad can be isolating, so volunteering is a great opportunity to connect with like-minded people, give back to the local community and also gather new knowledge.
For more than a year I was volunteering for one of the oldest professional women’s associations in Singapore. They were set up to empower women to achieve their highest potential through learning, leadership, and networking opportunities. Through this, I learned a lot about women empowerment, and I also gained tremendous experience in brand and social media management, which I found I could instantly leverage while building my own business.
You’ve been able to really build CRM as a key advance within iSTYLE – what other big milestones have you achieved in your career?
There are two particular achievements that helped me broaden my horizons and change the way I see things.
One of them is related to my professional career: I had the opportunity to design powerful communication strategies for a pool of 20 million customers in China, as a CRM Life Cycle Manager. The other one is a passion-driven side project with a purpose to make a difference through community building. I started this journey with two of my co-founder partners by organizing retreats to Bali.
Though the scale and the scope of each project were different, I am extremely proud of both. And, of course, I do my best to make an impact here, at iSTYLE, as well.
The consumer electronic business is a very dynamic and fast changing environment. How are you finding the balance between work and personal life?
Is there such a thing as work-life balance? I am not sure. I experienced burn-out before, so I am conscious enough now to catch the warning signs. For me, self-development is essential to be authentic in life, to understand the things that matter the most and the values that give me anchors during uncertain times – both in personal and professional dimensions.
After 10 months I can confidently say that joining the iSTYLE family was an excellent decision. I’m truly grateful for the opportunity to work for a company with a clear vision that has a forward-looking mindset supported by great leaders and awesome teams.