Areti Ioannou

Areti Ioannou

Areti Ioannou

  • Year completed 2011
  • Current position Digital Propositions Lead, Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Degree(s) Bachelor of Arts
  • Major(s) Criminology

Career summary

Areti Ioannou completed her Bachelor of Arts at Monash University in 2010. Her career began at NAB, one Australia’s largest financial institutions, where she was a Marketing Campaign Manager specialising in customer marketing and brand and product marketing. Areti moved to London in 2016 where she secured a position as a Digital Innovation and Customer Experience Design Leader at Isobar. She is currently the Digital Propositions Lead for the Royal Bank of Scotland in the UK.

Career pathway

2018 – Digital Propositions Lead, NatWest Group (formerly The Royal Bank of Scotland)
2017 – Digital Proposition Product Owner
2016 – Account Director, Isobar
2013 – Marketing Campaign Manager, National Australia Bank
2012 – Marketing Campaign Specialist, National Australia Bank
2008 – Bachelor of Arts (majoring in Behavioural Studies and Criminology)
2007 – Relationship Management, Retail & Customer Service, National Australia Bank

Why did you choose to study a Bachelor of Arts at Monash?

In high school, my subject selection was very broad but I had a particular interest in humanities. My interests were in politics, international studies and history, so an Arts degree gave me the flexibility to learn more about all of these things.

My decision to major in Criminology and Behavioural Studies ultimately stemmed from my fascination with human behaviour, and what drives people to do the things that they do. The breadth of the subject matter was also very appealing, as I was always studying something new.

What did your career look like after graduating?

I worked at the National Australia Bank (NAB) for 8 years, where I worked across many different roles. Initially, I worked in relationship management and customer service. I then moved on to become a Marketing Campaign Specialist, where I was responsible for the marketing of NAB's savings and transactional products across digital channels. I ended up being a Marketing Campaign Manager at NAB, where I was the key contact for over 40 stakeholders. My role included contributing to NAB’s digital innovation.

I moved to the United Kingdom in 2016, where I was the Account Director for Isobar, a marketing and advertising firm. I am now at the Royal Bank of Scotland, where I am the Digital Propositions Lead which involves digital innovation and customer experience design.

Do you believe your majors in Criminology and Behavioural Studies has given you an advantage in your field – either in IT, marketing or in your roles managing client relationships?

In any line of work, specifically a digital or marketing career where you're working with multiple stakeholders to deliver a project, you need to understand human behaviour. By understanding the people you're working with – and I mean really understanding them and adapting your approach to their style – you can find new ways to succeed. These are some of the skills I learnt through my Arts degree at Monash.

What experiences at Monash gave you practical workplace skills?

Due to the flexibility of the Arts degree, I was able to study some marketing subjects at the Caulfield campus which gave me some great practical skills. However, the creativity and analytical thinking that you get from an Arts degree cannot be underestimated. These are the type of skills I use in my own work day-to-day. It has also set me apart from others in the industry, as my undergrad is a little bit different to other people who are going for marketing jobs.

You have successfully run campaigns in multiple workplaces. How did your BA give you the skills to do this?

As the Digital Propositions Lead at the Royal Bank of Scotland I develop relationships with customers and trial new digital propositions. Relationship management, working in a team and creativity were all skills I got from studying my Bachelor of Arts that allowed me to run successful campaigns across different companies.

In our rapidly changing world, do you have any advice for students in preparing for and adapting to change?

It’s important to have the ability to adapt if you want to succeed. Rather than being scared of change, I try to embrace it. I have found change brings opportunities, so I would also suggest focusing not on what you are losing, but what you might gain as a result.

I manage a team of seven people, and adapting to a relationship over Zoom from one where I got to see my team every day was tough. However, I find that now we have an even better relationship as we connect even more than we did previously. Employers will always look at how you have shown resilience or adapted to change. This will also be the number one question that comes up in an interview, so its important that you can demonstrate the ability to do so.

What are some skills you need to pursue a career in digital innovation?

I need to be both creative and strategic, and constantly use both my left and right brain. This means that I am using a variety of skills every day.

The ability to influence the future of products and services in a business is very rewarding.  It can be difficult though to influence change in a big business, but if you have got a great attitude and are passionate about what you're doing, it is possible to overcome obstacles.

Written by Arts Journalism intern, Georgie Kibel, 2020