Refreshingly lively and tenacious, Nicole Cobble secured her position as the Interim Director of Project Management at Burberry during the height of the pandemic. Cobble brings a much-needed love for the creative process even as a self-proclaimed non-creative. Her humble beginnings in New York City gave her the courage and self-esteem to chase her dreams all the way to London.
In fact, working for Burberry was her motivating factor for taking the big leap and it took nearly 10 years for the perfect opportunity to arise. After working in project and creative management for various fashion, beauty, and creative agencies, Cobble got the call she almost gave up on. Further inspiring all who have dreams or doing work they care about and are inspired by.
Cobble shines as a management livewire. Recognising that diversity and inclusion involve true compassion, understanding and appreciation of differences Cobble makes it a point to speak about leaders being provided with the tools necessary to push all their teams’ different personalities and experiences to the forefront and direct them accordingly.
Learn more about Nicole Cobble and how passion and intention drive her career.
BYP: Can you tell us about the role you’re doing at Burberry?
Cobble: At Burberry I hold a few roles, mainly marketing transformation. How to get better at what we do as marketers, the content we create, communities we reach out to, how do we make that process easier. I have care over anyone related to creative operations. Lastly, I’m the bridge between leadership and the rest of the teams who work on content. I help formulate the business questions we have [in order] to be able to shoot the content to tell the story of Burberry as a brand.
BYP: What are the challenges that you face as a Black professional throughout your journey?
Cobble: I think there was a split, particularly following the events of 2020 and BLM coming to the forefront of the international conversation regarding racism and injustice. There were some that felt like this was the moment and there’s no compromise and others, like myself, felt recognizing someone had to lose their life for this to come back again, meant it was time for a different approach to BLM that was more understanding and empathetic.
As I’ve moved on, I started to realize that maybe I didn’t suffer from certain things that other people have, like insecurity or imposter syndrome, but it was something I could recognize, and I could start helping my fellow Black women in pushing through that.
BYP: What do you think corporations need to do in harnessing Black talent?
Cobble: I sit on a D&I working group at Burberry and it’s something I speak on all the time. There needs to be this narrative of meaningfully managing diverse backgrounds. I think it’s unfair for us to assume that a line manager automatically knows how to manage [everyone]. So, it’s really important that we assume they don’t know and give them the tools and resources for continuous learning and improvement.
And then, on the talent, can you toot your own horn? I had a friend who was, once a month, meeting with the VP of our department to explain what she had achieved. So, I started on a quarterly basis sharing what I could do. And I shared that with everyone that I passively or directly mentored. If you do not shout about your accomplishments, how is anyone supposed to know what you’ve done? I continue to use that to this day.
BYP: In terms of legacy, what would you like to leave behind and why?
Cobble: I’ve always changed the face of the department that I’ve worked in. The first half of my career was introducing more women and as I’ve progressed, I’ve introduced more diverse faces. I have to be able to open the door.
If I have to walk away and the team looks the same as when I walked in, it means I didn’t do something right. Regardless, we’re going to create work but it’s who do we have, who’s perspective are we bringing to the table which is really important.