Reena Verma : Digital Producer

reena-vermaName: Reena Verma

Age: 35

Job title: Digital Producer at Virgin Media

Time in current role: 1 year +

Reena is currently a Digital Producer at Virgin Media. She previously worked at Virgin Atlantic as Website Production and Social Media Manager. Follow her on Twitter @reenaverma81

How did you land your current job?

Like most students who go to Uni I had no idea what I wanted to do, and it wasn’t until I graduated that I developed an interest in web/digital. This stemmed from a project I worked on with Channel 4 and KISS FM working closely with web designers and developers in building a website from scratch.

From then on I taught myself how to code, design and earned a handy diploma in Web Design and Development from Birkbeck University. That’s when I joined Virgin Atlantic as Website Production and Social Media Manager. During my seven years there I gained a lot of experience in website production, social media, SEO, CMS migrations, management and developing corporate websites. I’d say my business and soft skills developed intensely in my final four years there which helped me to get where I am today, a proud Digital Producer at Virgin Media.

What are the key functions of your role?

My core responsibility is to oversee the development of a brief from inception all the way through to go-live. So sourcing the right resources and expertise for my projects and then working with the team to produce a digital deliverable with the best customer experience that’s polished with some iconic Virgin flair.

Talk us through your typical day at work

My day starts at 9am but I can’t function without a good flat white, served with a pot of eggs, salmon and avocado from Leon first thing in the morning.

I start the day by reviewing the status of all my projects and prioritising which tasks I need to manage over the next eight hours. The environment is very fast-paced so my to-do list never looks the same.

I’ll then have a stack of stand-ups and status calls in the morning – discussing work that’s in progress with all project co-workers is essential early on in the day. I always take lunch at around 12.30pm and encourage everyone to take the full hour break.

For the rest of the afternoon, I’ll be doing either production work (I love coding when I get the chance) or feeding back to the studio.

My best afternoon was a couple of weeks ago when Sir Richard Branson came into the office to speak to us about Donald Trump and Brexit – can it get any better than that?!

How would your colleagues describe you in three words?

Funny.

Efficient.

Passionate.

Your favourite part of the job?

I’m passionate about producing high-quality content, particularly coding, which is one of the reasons I joined Virgin Media. I have no direct reports in my current role and made a decision to spend the next few years of my life focusing on something I have a genuine passion for.

…and the part you could do without?

Our studio is immensely busy as we constantly have new briefs hitting our team on a daily basis and everything is always super urgent. My biggest challenge is losing key resources to other briefs halfway through a project.

Plans for the future?

For the next phase of my career I’d like to work in a role where I get to spend more time flexing my front-end web development skills. I’ve considered a boot camp and even a masters degree but decided a more flexible job is the best approach for me right now.

After a year of recapping HTML, CSS and learning JQuery/Javascript, I’ve been offered a new role with a new company where I get to spend more time being hands on with front-end development, and I’ve accepted!

Do you have any advice for others aspiring to break into your field?

Not everyone knows what career they want to pursue after graduating. My advice would be to find a job or niche that you’re good at, have a genuine interest in and, most importantly, have a strong passion for.

It’s very easy to fall into societal expectations and norms for success, e.g. the job title, the salary and the status. But if you base your decisions solely on these things you’ll wake up one day full of regret wondering how you’re going to stay in your job for the next 10 years.

If you’re wanting to change career later in life it’s never ever too late either, so take some time to weigh up your options. Whether it takes a few months or even a couple of years to execute your plan, it’s never too late to make change. LLY

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