Speaker Spotlight: Azahara Corrales’ Journey from Journalism to Award-Winning Digital Marketer

Dive into Azahara’s captivating career journey – from studying Journalism in Spain, to relocating to the UK and pursuing a master’s degree. She shares her perspectives on mentorship, community, and big predictions for 2024.

Can you share a bit about your background?

After completing my journalism studies in Spain, I transitioned to working in hospitality in the United Kingdom due to unexpected life events. However, I eventually realised that this wasn’t the career path I wanted to pursue long-term. Motivated by this realisation, I pursued a master’s degree in International Marketing at the University of Sussex. Following the completion of my studies, I gained experience in various in-house marketing departments before delving into agency work at Education Cubed, specialising in marketing for higher education, particularly in training and public speaking.

Subsequently, I transitioned to my current role at Rocketmill, where I focus on developing top-tier paid media strategies and delivering exceptional results for my clients. Alongside this, I am actively engaged in public speaking engagements and presentations on my passion for Artificial Intelligence.

Did you come up through a “traditional” techie route or has your career taken twists and turns along the way?

Definitely no! My background is in journalism and when I first moved to the UK, I was working with McDonalds. I worked in hospitality for almost 6 years until I realised that wasn’t my cup of tea and decided to study for a master’s in International Marketing. That is when my professional career began.

Reflecting on your career, is there a specific moment that stands out as pivotal or defining?

Attending Brighton SEO for the first time was a transformative experience for me. While I always held an interest in public speaking, I never believed I could pursue it. However, witnessing the presentations and meeting like-minded individuals at Brighton SEO ignited a new sense of possibility within me. It was a defining moment that inspired me to apply for speaking opportunities, thus marking the beginning of my public speaking career.

What piece of advice would you give your younger self as you embarked on your professional journey?

The concept of “you are your imagination” eluded me in the past, but now its meaning resonates deeply with me. I’ve come to realize that our imagination shapes our reality. Believing that something is unattainable often ensures its elusiveness, while embracing the boundless possibilities of the world around us increases the likelihood of achieving our aspirations. Embracing the potential of our surroundings opens doors to the realisation of our dreams.

Looking ahead, what’s your big prediction for the tech landscape in 2024?

Chatbots, and in a few years AI personal assistants (beyond Alexa and Siri).

Considering your involvement in Silicon Brighton and community-building, what does the concept of ‘community’ mean to you personally? How important is it in the tech industry?

In today’s hyperconnected world, the significance of community has never been more pronounced. While it’s challenging to stay attuned to the needs of large groups, the impact of a closely-knit community should not be underestimated. Particularly in the rapidly evolving landscape of technology, community engagement plays a pivotal role in driving meaningful change and fostering widespread awareness. The power of community-based initiatives is more crucial than ever in catalysing positive transformations and promoting vital awareness.

How do you balance staying updated with the latest industry trends while ensuring continuous personal and professional growth? Any specific resources or practices you find particularly valuable?

Admittedly, it’s no easy feat to keep pace with the daily fluctuations. However, my specific interest in particular topics proves invaluable in keeping me deeply engaged with the industry’s dynamic landscape. In that sense, any newly organised events are always very insightful and consistently furnish me with practical takeaways to enrich my knowledge and understanding.

As someone who has contributed significantly to the community, how do you see mentorship playing a role in the development of the next generation of tech professionals?

In today’s professional arena, this is particularly crucial for female professionals. In a world where role models in influential positions are regrettably scarce, the presence of mentors is indispensable. It’s now more important than ever to seek out female mentors whose guidance can help others realise their true potential, transcending the barriers of gender.

Is there any additional wisdom, experience, or anecdotes you’d like to share with our audience?

You are the architect of your professional journey and growth. A decade ago, the notion of addressing audiences of 1000 individuals would have seemed implausible to me. However, embracing the belief in my capabilities and broadening my mindset proved to be a transformative catalyst in my career.


Want to hear more from Azahara? Watch her previous talk on our YouTube channel!