Meet the champions of Generation Next: Daniel Nikolla

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Posted by: JasmineThompson
Posted on: 28/09/2021

A board of “champions” oversees the Chamber’s Generation Next network for young professionals in the East Midlands, with the cohort representing the 18 to 35 age bracket of the group. One of those is Daniel Nikolla (pictured), a 28-year-old marketing manager of Hardy Signs, based in Burton upon Trent. He tells Jasmine Thompson how he got to his current position.

What has your career journey been to date and what does your current role involve?

My career journey has been very diverse. My dream was to become a footballer but that stopped at 19. Since then, I’ve been working in the film, marketing, finance sectors and now manufacturing – where I oversee all the marketing activities at Hardy Signs. We produce lots of social content to make signage more understandable for everyone. According to LinkedIn analytics, we have outpaced every national signage
company on the platform over the past three years.

What have been your biggest achievements to date and how did they come about?

My proudest involvement has been working with UEFA to produce a short film for Euro 2016, which received millions of views and was played across Europe. Before that, I worked briefly on The Comedian’s Guide to Survival film set with James Buckley. The two awards I won last year – Young Professional of the Year at East Midlands Chamber’s Derbyshire Business Awards, and Future Face of Sales, Marketing and Comms at Greater Birmingham Chambers’ Future Faces Awards – are part of my most significant achievements.

Over the past three years, I completed a BA in film production, Chartered Institute of Marketing Level 6 diploma, and Institute of Leadership and Management Level 3 and 4 qualifications. These and the work at Hardy Signs certainly helped.

What are your future goals?

My main goal is to be in a position where I can live a good life and support my family, friends and other young talents determined to break through. I really like the industry I’m in and the people I work with. My future goal is to collaborate only with intelligent and forward thinking people. When I’m ready, I would love to create a start-up – be that in education, marketing, crypto finance, or sports. I’m thoroughly loving being a board member of Generation Next and would love to help the organisation grow further.

Do you have any advice to other young people on how to succeed in business or their career?

If you can, only get involved in projects that align with your core values. Associate yourself with already successful people. Start pushing from day one and work on your confidence because it will help with your articulation and public speaking skills.

As Matthew McConaughey said in his Oscars acceptance speech: Chase your hero! If you’re in your 20s, your hero is you in 10 years’ time and once you get there, your hero is 10 years away again. So, every day, every week, every month and every year, your hero is 10 years away. That leaves you with somebody to keep on chasing with a burning desire. Make sure to look after yourself and those who support you!

Why did you want to be involved with Generation Next and how can it help young people?

Supporting young people and their best interests has always interested me. I firmly believe that the youth and, in this case, young professionals, come up with the most innovative and genuine ideas.

I first heard about Generation Next at a business show at the beginning of 2020. Immediately, I thought this is a fantastic platform and wanted to be part of it. I believe it will soon become the most prominent young people’s network in the East Midlands, and the most gifted talents in the region will be part of it. So, if you’d like to meet the leaders of tomorrow before they reach for the stars, join now to learn from them and become their connection.

This article can be viewed in the September edition of Business Network magazine on page 38.

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