For this series, we're interviewing members of our team and asking them to share their journey at b4b. This month, it's our Development Manager, Sabrina.
Sabrina joined us in July 2014 as a part-time e-Marketing Trainee. At the end of her probation period in November, she was promoted to SEO Project Manager. By July 2015, she was working across both our marketing and web teams. She became Web Development Manager in April 2017, but recently went back to her marketing roots and took on more of a dual role across both departments.
With a varied skill set and qualifications that include a BSc in Economics and International Business (from The Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies), as well as a degree in Advertising with Marketing Communications from Bournemouth University, Sabrina’s role has evolved and changed massively during her years at b4b.
She’s credited as one of the most adaptable members of the team, so we were interested to hear about her experience and what her biggest challenges have been so far.
What drew you to your first job at b4b?
I thought it sounded really varied. It involved lots of things I was particularly interested in, such a content and blog writing.
What did you see yourself doing when you were at university?
For a long time, I thought I’d go into advertising. The SEO side of things that I ended up doing at b4b only really related to one of my uni modules. But, fresh out of uni, I saw the job at b4b and thought I’d give it a go. Like a lot of graduates, eventually I got further and further away from what I planned to do originally!
What do you like about working for a software, web, and marketing agency?
I really like the breadth of clients you end up working with. I’m not just doing one thing all the time, it varies constantly. The industries we work with also vary a lot, and it’s really exciting to face new challenges each day.
Nowadays, I don’t work with clients as much, but rather I focus on our processes and making sure we’re doing things as efficiently as possible.
Describe a typical day
The thing that never changes is checking emails, and it’s how I always start my day. I take part in the daily standups for both the marketing and software/web teams. Then I do some planning, and go through all the Jira tasks assigned to our developers.
I make sure that tasks are assigned to the correct people, manage workloads, and check that there aren’t delays with any jobs. We have Agile project meetings on a Friday, to make sure we’re up to date with everything we’re supposed to be doing. If there are any delays, we look at why this is and how we can prevent it from happening again.
Has b4b changed since you started?
There have been loads of changes! We’ve really grown in numbers – when I started, there were only a few of us. Both the team in Poland and the UK have grown massively, and we’re continuing to hire more people. The level of projects that we’re working on has increased as well.
We’re also doing more and more interesting, complex projects, like app development.
What’s been the proudest moment of your career at b4b?
I have developed and changed a lot over the past year or so. I communicate with people more and I try to support the team as much as I can. I’ve moved from being a “doer” to being more of a mentor, and I find that very fulfilling.
What’s the best part of your role?
How flexible and varied it is. One second I can be dealing with emails, the next I can be assisting a team member with a task, and later I might be helping with something more technical. I like being able to jump around, as I would get bored just doing one thing all day.
Where do you see your role going?
I’m working towards becoming Production Director. This would be similar to what I’m doing right now, but focused on making sure that we’re following the right workflows, that the quality of the work stays high, and that our timelines are stuck to.
It would also be my responsibility to ensure that we have the technical skills required to work at the level we want to be at, that we’re following Agile processes, and, most importantly, keeping our clients happy!
What about the social side of b4b – do you enjoy that?
Absolutely! We’re a very sociable team. We have a tradition of going to a nearby pub every Friday afternoon for a couple of drinks together. When we’re not at work, we send each other stupid TikToks and messages. We’re all really close with each other.
What training courses have you completed since working at b4b?
I recently completed my Google Project Management Specialisation, which took me around six months. I’ve also had a lot of training in CSS, Bootstrap and HTML, and hold the Native (formerly ADBL) Certificate in Digital Marketing.
How did you adapt to moving from marketing into a more technical role?
It was actually quite easy! When I worked in SEO, I had to upload content to our clients’ websites. A lot of this content was coded back then, so I needed to know HTML in order to do things on a website. How I learnt was by breaking so many pages and running to our developers in Poland for help, which got me the nickname of “the codebreaker”!
It annoyed me so much that I had to get help with fixing things, that I decided to learn it all myself. I started taking courses – first HTML, and then CSS. I wanted to be able to do this kind of stuff myself. It was my first time working with Magento and WooCommerce, and I had to learn while doing. To be fair, that’s how I usually learn best, and I believe there’s no such thing as failure – it’s just another lesson learnt.
What’s your advice for anyone interested in a job at b4b?
I’ve always said that b4b is like a family. You bicker sometimes, but you have each other’s backs. We look after each other and we help each other grow.
Want to start your b4b journey?
If you’d like to work for a forward-thinking agency that rewards talent and invests in its people, we’d like to hear from you. Check out our current vacancies here.
Where will your b4b journey take you? Imagine the possibilities…