Babel welcomes new consultants: Q&A with Henry and Rob
The Babel team has some new faces! New starters Robert Shrimpton (consultant) and Henry Young (consultant), introduce themselves and share a little bit about what brings them to Babel.
Hi guys! Tell us a bit about yourselves
Rob: I love working with people, being part of a team and collaborating. My work for the last four years has been running an ecommerce start-up business. When I realised it was time for a career move, I knew I needed to look for a role where I could be part of a team, with a broadly varied schedule day-to-day. Away from work, before COVID-19 kept us away from people, I spent a few evenings each week playing various sports (football and table tennis), socialising with friends at the pub and going to music festivals.
Henry: I’m the baby of the bunch, having graduated from university last summer. I have two main interests that motivate me outside of work, the first being sport. I love playing pretty much any sport, rugby to tennis, American football to snowboarding. I was even preparing to head to the Alps for the ski season before the second wave of COVID-19 tore through Europe. I also have a keen interest in modern and contemporary art and I can’t wait until the galleries open up.
What brought you to PR?
Rob: PR allows you to be creative and to think outside of the box. It gives you the opportunity to work with various industries and learn a wide range of skills all while collaborating with an entrepreneurial team and developing strategies for your clients.
PR is unique: every day is different and you never know what to expect. That prospect (and a strong coffee or two) is what kick-starts my day each morning.
Henry: I did a business and management degree and discovered PR whilst on my placement year as a marketing intern for Rolls-Royce. I used to sit in the communications office once every few weeks and I just loved the environment. I remember specifically one instance; a potentially embarrassing press release had come from BMW. All the PR and comms team, from director to intern, came together and hashed out a plan of action to get ahead of the potential crisis. I loved listening to the conversation, and I wanted to be a part of it. That’s what inspired me to look into PR as a potential career. When I graduated from York it was just a matter of finding the right fit.
Rob: The first conversation I had with Narelle (Babel COO and co-founder) over the phone about working at Babel drew me to the company. The training offered and Babel’s overall attitude towards employee wellbeing were big contributors. I’ve also always had an interest in tech. Some of my lockdown hobbies included navigating my way around a digital audio workstation and learning to code in Ruby (not both at the same time!). So Babel’s focus on innovative technology really interested me. Working at Babel so far has not disappointed. Everyone has been so welcoming and I am learning something new every day.
Henry: As an unemployed graduate, I had lots of conversations with people generous enough to spend some time talking about their experiences. From these conversations, I identified the characteristics of a company that I would want to work for.
Babel has exactly what I am looking for in a workplace; a nurturing environment for a new starter like myself, a lot of respect for work-life balance, a flat hierarchical structure, and a lot of really nice people. I’m also not one for office politics and so far, I haven’t felt any office tension at all. I think that’s one of the benefits of working for a small agency, you’re much more accountable for your actions towards others.
What’s it like starting a new role remotely?
Rob: The transition to working in a team from home has been really well structured at Babel. I felt like part of the team from day one and although it is strange to think that I haven’t met any of my colleagues in real life, having regular Zoom meetings and ‘get to know you’ sessions throughout the first couple of weeks was really nice.
Henry: One of my biggest worries about starting a new job was to meet the team over Zoom. Meeting new people can often be an awkward experience, especially in a professional context. I was dreading my new team’s first impression to be of me sitting in my childhood home, with jarring lighting and a muffled voice courtesy of a sketchy computer microphone. Thankfully, Babel had already been through all of this with Abbie and Imogen, who also started over lockdown. There were individual introductions with each member of the team and my anxiety quickly subsided. So, whilst I’m still trying to figure out the lighting, I already feel very much part of Babel.
Post-COVID, what are you looking forward to about going back to the office?
Rob: I’ve only been part of the team for a few weeks, but it has become clear that Babel is and will continue to be a fun place to work, both in the office and socialising outside of it. The team have included us in plans for socials when the country starts opening up again. I’m excited to see the office – play pool on the boardroom table, have a drink on the roof garden and, of course, meet the team!
Henry: The obvious answer here is to say that I’m excited to meet everyone and go to the pub after work on a Friday. I am excited about that but I’m more so looking forward to some of the little things. For example, I have no idea how tall anyone is! I’ve only seen them through a computer screen. For all I know Ian is six foot seven.
When I think about jobs I’ve had in the past it’s always the little things that define the role, the company and the culture. I’m looking forward to finding out what little things make Babel, Babel.