You started at Doqaru 3 years ago, can you tell us more about your role, background, and experience?

I started with Doqaru in March 2019 after graduating from Robert Gordon University the previous July obtaining a BA(Hons) in Public Relations. I initially found it difficult to find a job. There were not enough graduate or entry-level jobs on the market. Or, at least, a company willing to take a chance on a younger person with little experience.

I saw the job advert for Doqaru on LinkedIn and thought it would be the perfect role for me. We do a lot of work around building your personal profile on LinkedIn, and it helped me back then. It pays to be active, whether already in employment or searching for new opportunities.

Throughout college and university, I enjoyed the creative aspects of marketing the most. From the start at Doqaru, they allowed me to take the reins of that type of work and make it my own. I felt the trust there straight away.

Within my first year, we planned DoqaruCon, an event that brought together like-minded business professionals looking to grow sales in the energy sector. We organised everything in-house with a small team of 4, and I mean everything! It was a great achievement to pull off such an event. It gave me great responsibility from the get-go, managing part of the project, liaising with 3rd party vendors, attendees, and suppliers.

About a week after the conference, lockdown happened and working from home began. I had a short spell of this within my first year when I had to get a knee operation due to an old football injury. It also was not too difficult to adapt due to being in the office on my own quite regularly as both Sarah and Yekemi were out at meetings.

At the start of lockdown, I struggled with the time management, and not having good work/life balance. It was hard at the start because you were not able to do anything else. Work gave me a focus. Once things started to open up, I found it easier to set timescales and balance life and work.

In the summer of 2020, we started looking to hire a Social Media Coordinator to assist me with social media for Doqaru and our clients. From start to finish, I was a big part of the process. I sat in on the interviews and putting forward my opinion on who would be a good fit. We picked well! 😉 When you [Corey] came on board, I was promoted to Marketing Team Lead, stepping up my responsibilities again, being ‘in charge’ of someone else. I always say I am more of an ally, working alongside and not above – I hope I’ve managed to make you feel that way!

Over the three years, I have worked on many different projects gaining experience in various aspects of the business and expanding my skills. I continue to learn from Sarah, Yekemi and our growing team.

What do you like the most about working at Doqaru?

Doqaru has a fantastic work culture, where you’re made to feel comfortable to ask questions, and there is no judgement. Although we are a small team, there is still room for career progressions. Most team members have been given a promotion of some sort throughout their time here.

Something I really like and appreciate is that we give students and graduates a chance to gain experience. We also provide good internship opportunities across our service offering. I would have been grateful for an intern opportunity with a company like Doqaru when I was going through university, so giving that to someone else is fulfilling.

doqaru interview with sarah dickie

You mentioned how you like the culture at Doqaru, how would you describe it?

I felt part of the family straight away, as cliché as it sounds. Having that feeling of acceptance and like my opinion really mattered, even within my first week, has continued throughout the three years. When I first started, there was just Yekemi, Sarah and Pam, so it was easy to feel that warmth from them. The real test is when the team starts to grow, which it has. It is important to keep that same culture. We want people who are joining to feel the same way I did and do. But it’s also important for us when hiring to make sure there’s good fit with our culture. With everyone that has joined so far, I think we have managed that. Have we?

Corey: Oh, absolutely! I joined the team when remote working was the only option, and I was nervous that I would struggle to connect with everyone and feel that culture through an online meeting. But, straight away, I could feel everyone’s personalities shine through.  I felt the support, encouragement, and reassurance that you would expect from a physical and long-term relationship. We look after each other, and that applies to new team members as well. I am proud to be part of Doqaru.

What is your favourite type of work to do at Doqaru?

I thrive on the creative work I do, such as graphic design, content creation and developing campaign ideas. There have been a few projects I’ve worked on where I have created new brands for companies. Although I’m not a graphic designer with all the tricks of the trade, I really enjoy bringing other people’s ideas to life.

One project I worked on recently that I loved was our website relaunch. I was the project manager, so it was great to see the final product. It was a lengthy process from the initial design ideas we shared with the team, to working alongside the website developer/designers at Form Digital. They were great throughout, and until the launch and I felt proud to see my ideas come to life.

What has been your biggest “lesson learned“?

Don’t let people take advantage of you. It is important to set boundaries and expectations. Set clear and realistic expectations with clients so that you don’t run the risk of disappointing clients or stressing out over an impossible deadline. I learned that the hard way! Having leaders like Yekemi to learn from has really helped me become better at dealing with those scenarios.

Communication is also key. Effective communication helps to eliminate unnecessary problems, boost productivity, and improve understanding within the team or with clients. Now, no matter how small a task is, I always try to set realistic expectations and communicate effectively.

What is your biggest goal for your future professional career?

I’ve spoken with Yekemi a couple of times about this. I don’t see myself as a manager who oversees, does not get stuck into the nitty-gritty and involved in the groundwork. But she explained that you can do both. So, perhaps, I could be leading a bigger team and passing on my experience to junior members, a bit like when you [Corey] first started. I also want to dip my toe in a few other areas of marketing.

I am not one for looking too far into the future, I like to live in the here and now. So, who knows?!