In this second of our special ‘Day in the Life’ blog series, we talk to Shane Keating who tells us about his remarkable career journey from student days in Dublin to becoming a Digital Design & Content Specialist at Abtran.
“I originally wanted to be an Architect,” laughs Shane. “Because I loved all things design related. In the end, I went onto study Product Design at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) in Dublin. It was here that I learned all about branding your own product and the exciting range of skills that came with that. I’ve always loved having diversity in my work so the whole area of product and graphic design really appealed to me.
From Dublin to Cork
After college, I went to Tipperary with my girlfriend who had also studied graphic design, to help her Dad set up his own furniture business. Soon after this, we moved to Cork. I had just embarked on the job hunting process when someone asked, ‘have you tried Abtran?’ So Abtran was the very first company I applied to. I remember getting the call on the Wednesday, doing an interview on the Thursday and then starting the job on the following Monday. When I look back, I think it was really meant to be. I started in April last year as a front office Advisor and then moved to the email team and made lots of great friends there.
Meant to be
In November 2017, a role for Sales Collateral Co-ordinator on the Sales team came up. I applied and got the job. When the Digital Content Specialist left the company in January, a vacancy came up for that role and I applied and was successful. Since then, I’ve gone from strength to strength, doing everything from video filming, editing, and doing lots of graphic design work for clients as well as Abtran. This was exactly where I wanted to be with the opportunity to do something new and exciting every day.
When I think back to last February, I couldn’t afford to keep up the rent and fully move to Cork. One year down the line, I’ve made so many new friends and am saving to buy a new car this Christmas.
When I first started in the Digital Content role, most of my time was taken up with Abtran work from creating posts for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, to managing the web site, uploading blogs, changing people profiles and creating new web pages. It was a great start and gave me the opportunity to learn and try new things in a safe environment. Over time, that work began to naturally grow and evolve. Now I’m a lot now more focused on client projects from working on advertising design to trade materials to creating digital content for campaigns on social media channels like Facebook and Spotify.
The client work offers lots of different scope and variety and I find that very rewarding. In many ways, my work provides the perfect balance. And I really appreciate the great direction and support my Manager, Catherine O’Driscoll provides day-to-day from the sales and client support perspective. I also really enjoy working closely alongside our Digital Insights Analyst, Maureen Murphy, especially when we’re brought together to turn digital analytics into interesting infographics, like the ones we designed for the GDPR and World Cup. I think this is a really creative way of showing our clients the Digital Listening and Content design services we can provide.
Courage to try new things
So far, my work here at Abtran has been really interesting. At the beginning of each project, I always try to teach myself a new skill. For instance, during the most recent recruitment video for Abtran, I set my sights on preparing and completing that project as efficiently as possible even before we started recording. Being well organised meant everything happened seamlessly and the filming barely ran over time. When I moved onto the editing side of the project, I focused on creating a video that was professional and a good fit with the Abtran brand while at the same time creating content that people outside the company would find fun and engaging. When you’re young you tend to question yourself so it’s always reassuring to get the right feedback and see something you’ve worked hard on perform so well.
Taking it to the next level
I’m always looking to grow and learn at Abtran. For instance, I’m starting a new coding course on Tuesday, which will really help me to learn more about the back end functionality on the web site and take that to the next level. And because I find the work so interesting, I don’t feel I have to learn. It’s about motivating myself to take those skills to the next level.
Showing our fun side to the outside world
Outside of work experience, People are the other major motivating factor for me at Abtran. Since I joined last year, I’ve really noticed a much stronger focus on People. Aoife O’Neill is doing a great job of pushing the fun, people side of our brand and by organising great events from charity days to sports and social gatherings. Today, our brand focus is much more about showcasing our internal culture to the outside world and promoting the great people who make it a great place to work every day.
An eye to the future
Looking ahead, my goal for next year is to work with as many of Abtran’s clients as possible and sign them up to our digital content creation services. Personally speaking, my plan is to stay at Abtran for as long as possible. I’ve no intention of leaving such an amazing place where I’m getting the opportunity to work on such a wide variety of content and an amazing client portfolio.
Put your hand up
I remember when I first interviewed for Abtran, I pitched an idea for an app. Later, I found out that they’d really taken my idea on board and followed it up. It didn’t go much further but I think this is a really positive trait at Abtran. It shows that just because your skills might not suit a particular role, you might be able to develop into that role if you show potential. For instance, you might be in a Front Office Advisor role and demonstrate strong potential for becoming a really good leader or you might show a passion for people development and pursue a career in training.
If we don’t have a training course available, there’s always the opportunity to gain some real hands-on learning experience. So if you have an interest but don’t have the necessary experience or skillset, don’t be afraid to put your hand up. From my experience, there are always opportunities for people who are willing to learn and reach their full potential.
Find out more
As Digital Design & Content Specialist, Shane is responsible for the design of digital content at Abtran. Click here to check out Shane’s personal design web site or visit our Digital Landing page to read more about Abtran’s range of Digital Content, Engagement and Analytics Services.