This month we continued our Made Tech team interview series with our Community Manager, Vikki Gill, to better understand her role and to feature the great work she has been doing.
Our Community Managers are responsible for a variety of areas at Made Tech including onboarding new team members into the company, supporting events, looking after our regional offices, and general team wellbeing and happiness.
If you would like to watch the full interview, it is available here.
Q: Outside of work, what hobbies do you have?
A: I guess they’re kind of on hold a little bit at the moment because of the pandemic, but I like cooking, I’m quite big into film and tv, and then I’m just socialising and hanging out with my friends. I enjoy going out for dinner and drinks.
Q: How long have you been at Made Tech – and how did you find out about the company?
A: Since August 2019, so coming up to a year and a half now. I knew someone who worked at Made Tech — they’d been here over a year I think, and they had such great stuff to say about it.
Q: What attracted you to Made Tech?
A: It sounds cheesy, but the people and the culture. I was always hearing really good stories about how great the people are and the social side outside of work they had going on as well. It was also the work that Made Tech does as well. I think there’s a lot that needs to be done in the public sector, and especially during the pandemic it’s been pretty humbling to see the kind of work that we’re doing and how we’re helping people.
Q: What does your role here involve?
A: Lots and lots of stuff — one good thing is it’s never boring! It’s always changing, but the main focus of my role is onboarding. We’ve had a really successful year. We were around 50 when I started, and we’ve now onboarded about 150 people over the last year. It’s been really busy and the company’s been growing. It’s also people support, which I love.
I also help support Learn Tech and how that’s evolved and just general wellbeing at Made Tech. I do a bit of office management here and there —less so these days — and basically try to be there for people with anything they need.
Q: What do you like most about being a Community Manager?
A: It’s going to be the people. It’s a really varied role which is great so it’s hard to get bored in a job where you’re always doing something different. My whole job is chatting with people and making sure they’ve got everything they need —what’s not to love about that? Seeing everyone as they come through the door is really nice.
Q: What are some of the most challenging things about this role?
A: I think not being able to see everyone and having to completely change your role due to being online. It’s harder to check in on people when we’ve got such a huge team and you don’t have those interactions in the office anymore. It’s just trying to check in on people to make sure they’re okay. You don’t want to bother them at the same time, but you want to make sure that they’re doing okay.
Q: What has been one of your favourite projects you have worked on?
A: Onboarding has been pretty great — it’s quite a big responsibility. Generally, my team is one of the first few faces that people see as they come into the business outside of the interview process. We’ve been able to make loads of changes over the year and just seeing everyone that comes into the company. We’re in a really lucky position to see a lot of people, especially as we’re growing and others don’t get to meet everyone. We genuinely do have a really great team and it is so nice to meet everyone as they come through the door.
Q: Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to be a Community Manager?
A: It sounds cliche, but just be yourself. We just want someone to be genuine and be really good at creating relationships with people. A big part of this role is support, and you just want to make sure that people that are wanting to be Community Managers are able to make those relationships with people and just be a friendly helpful person to go to.
Q: What has been one of the biggest challenges you’ve had to face since lockdown started in this position and how did you overcome it?
A: Probably the amount of stick I’ve had for working on an ironing board! No, but really I guess changing my whole role to being online. I rarely used to work remotely — we always had it as an option, but my role is very people-facing so I always enjoyed being in the office. Having to flip that over onto a whole virtual thing was a big challenge. I’ve proved I can work really effectively from home so that’s a win for me.
There have obviously been a lot of challenges over the last year during the pandemic and I feel like we’ve been extremely lucky. It’s definitely caused some issues and now work is home and home is work, so setting boundaries as well. It’s about making sure you’re not just like, ‘oh, my laptop’s there. I could just do this a little bit’ — and I’m definitely setting that example for everyone that starts as well.
Q: What do you like most about working at Made Tech?
A: I say this in interviews as well — it’s the people. You meet a lot of people that you wouldn’t necessarily meet day to day. Everyone has so many different interests and backgrounds and is so nice and friendly. Hopefully, they’re all here because they share our culture and values and are interested in the work that Made Tech does. You always know that you’re going to get on with them because they have the same sort of views as you, but then everyone’s so different.
I do think our interview team does well in making sure we have the people that are here for the right reasons. I think they’re smashing it.
Q: Do you have any books or resources you recommend for someone interested in this position?
A: One we often recommend is Radical Candor. It’s a really good book about being honest and saying what you mean to get the right results. I also try and attend a lot of webinars, so a few from 15five are really good. Happiness Index is good. Eventbrite have some good ones, Sapling and other resources.
When I first joined, I started Codecademy for Learn Tech. I thought I was fairly technical until I got here and realised that I have no technical knowledge. Learning to do a bit of coding was really useful to see what most of our team do day-to-day. I think we’re over 110 strong now for engineers and what they do each day is very difficult — I get my hat off to them.
If you have any more questions for Vikki about her role here, you can get in touch by reaching out on LinkedIn. Additionally, if you are interested in joining our team, you can view our current open positions here. Be sure to stay tuned for our next Made Tech Team Interview coming next month.