People Spotlight: Jake

Skyrise put culture at the heart of our values. In our “Meet the Team” series we want to give you a look into the people of Skyrise. This time we caught up with Jake on training traders, being vegan and becoming a politician…

Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?

I’m the Trading Team Lead at Skyrise. Originally I’m from Nuneaton in the Midlands, which is a small town just outside Coventry. I studied politics at A-level and thought I wanted to go into politics, but following an internship with my local MP, which coincided with broken promises of student tuition fees, I quickly realised that the shady word of politics was actually not for me. I wanted to get out of small town Nuneaton, and move to the big smoke so I went to the University of London. I studied Business Management and Entrepreneurship as at the time I wanted to run my own business.

How did you get started in digital marketing?

In my final year at University I met a fellow student who had a small start-up business, which was effectively a review site for student accommodation. He’d received some investment and needed someone to help promote and grow the business. It was mainly organic content rather than paid media, and we had a bit of a mad ethos to marketing, using shock tactics to get us better content where we would start protests outside halls of residence, and doorstep landlords. It was a lot of fun, but not really sustainable.

I then moved to Chester for a year, and became a freelance content writer, writing blogs and reviews. I started working with a solopreneur-agency who had a handful of clients and I became the digital arm of her business. Despite growing the business, the lady I was working for encouraged me to leave and move to a real agency to develop myself. I was disappointed at the time, but looking back she was 100% right. I joined an independent agency in London, where I was exposed to the full digital remit. I enjoyed the role and loved the company I was working for, but after a while, I guess I felt like I’d had enough of London. I wanted a change and so I moved to Manchester, where I joined Regital, over four years ago.

What are good skills for your role?

I’m still hands on with some of our largest campaigns, so I need the technical skills you need to be a trader. I’m also responsible for leading the strategic direction of our internal traders and the programme of continuous improvement. That involves more personable skills as we’re ever evolving and looking to drive forward. At times that involves being super analytical, about yourself, because if something needs improving on a campaign, and someone tells you that as a trader, it’s not a personal slight on you, it’s just a reality.

Management and development of the trading team is the most important aspect of the job for me. I care, because that is the best thing a manager can do. It’s the way the best managers I’ve worked with treated me. It makes such a big difference in your life knowing your manager cares, and is interested in you as a person.

Describe yourself in 3 words?

I’d like to say Absolute Fcking Legend but everyone will hate that, so…

‘Hardworking. Overthinker. Irritating.’

What are you into – tell us about your interests?

I’m a vegan, which is a huge part of my life. I read and watch anything and everything to do with it. I’m also one of the first people in any new vegan restaurant or cafe that opens up. I’m a big music fan, and I spend far too much money on that. I’ve done at least 7 gigs this year and got another 4 or 5 lined up before the end of the year. I’ve also recently bought a set of decks and I’m teaching myself to DJ. I’ve got an insanely eclectic taste in music, so I’m trying to mix a metal track with Delilha by Tom Jones, which is loads better than it sounds. I also enjoy boozing and a night out. Not sure if I’m allowed to say that, but everyone knows it’s true, so stick that on.

What’s your proudest moment?

Getting a first class degree. I’m proud of this, as I did my best to fail in first year, by only going to a handful of lectures. I had a word with myself and knuckled down in years 2 and 3, and I’m really pleased that I did.

What’s the best thing about working here?

The recruiter who put me forward when I was moving up from London, said there was a great culture. They were 100% right. The team vibe and ethos runs throughout the business. We’re all there for each other. That’s especially true in the trading team. We have a real sense of solidarity, and are a very tight group.

What’s the strangest food you’ve eaten?

I’m half-Chinese so when I was younger, and a non-vegan I regularly ate chicken feet. As a vegan, it would be vegan black-pudding which I had after a gig in Cardiff. Odd is the only way I could describe it.

What is your desert island disc?

Queen – Fat Bottomed Girls (Official Video)

Tell us something that would surprise people about you

I’ve seen Beyonce live three times (she was actually pretty good).

If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

I would make the world 100% vegan. Even parking the ethical reasons for doing it, society has to stop being massive d!ckheads to the environment.

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