Andrea Wake is operations manager at FXhome. Fiona Muller spoke to her to find out what it is like to work for a special effects software company.

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Why is it a good profession to get into?

My job puts me at the centre of a Norwichbased company with a global focus. FXhome produces PhotoKey - a green screen software solution for photographers - that has become a worldwide success. Building on the popularity of past products, the company has also recently launched HitFilm, a new special effects software product for filmmakers

FXhome deals primarily with international customers, but has kept hold of its principles, and really values its Norfolk base. The company has expanded in the last three years and now employees 18 permanent members of staff. Due to the way we work as a team, I get to pitch in at different levels and am involved in projects from conception to completion.

What does the work involve?

I work Monday to Friday from 9am to 5.30pm, but, I have to be flexible as many of the clients I deal with are based abroad. They may be working in a different time zone so I may have to start earlier or work later to be able to talk to them. My role can also involve travelling to other countries so I have to be willing to travel as part of my job.

I have a degree in Media Production, and almost 10 years of marketing and events experience. My role at FXhome means that I oversee the day-to-day running of the company, while developing long-term goals and strategies. This can range greatly from liaising with our accountant, developing contracts and implementing new processes, to managing HR procedures, recruiting new staff and developing relationships with our partners.

Christmas is the busiest time of the year as much of FXhome’s business is related to present buying. Summer is a quieter time for the business but the company is always developing new products and new campaigns so my work is fairly consistent throughout the year.

What are the positives/negatives of this profession?

I enjoy working for FXhome as it is a dynamic company with an exciting range of products. Some people may think the unpredictable hours are difficult to work with but I love the fact that my day can change from one hour to the next. Probably one of the only negative things about my job is that it can also be difficult to keep up with the changes in technology, but I see this as a challenge!

Is there much local demand for people trained in this area?

Locally, there is demand for people to work within this kind of industry with opportunities opening up in marketing, sales, operations and development. Each role is very specific and competition can be extremely high. Companies in this sector range greatly in size and output – it is important to realise that you may have to work your way up, or work for several different companies, to succeed.

What would employers look for in someone applying for a vacancy?

The most important thing for someone applying for a vacancy in this area is to be passionate about the industry and to be able to demonstrate your skills and the ability to prioritise your workload. It is also important to understand the company values and what they stand for. Depending on the role, qualifications are not always essential, but you will need a degree or experience in the field.

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