What led you into your chosen career?
When I was around 15 years old I came home to find my father unpacking a Sinclair ZX81, which turned out to be an early Christmas present for me. Since that moment I knew that I wanted to work with computers. I would spend hour upon hour typing in code and by 16, I was fortunate enough to be chosen to join the UK’s first ITEC (Information Technology Centre) where I learnt even more computer languages. I went to night school to secure GCSEs in Maths, English and Computer Studies, making the decision not to go to university for a degree. On a number of occasions, I have been criticised for this, but I didn’t feel that I needed one. All I had was a passion and a thirst for my craft in computer programming and I think I have proved that you can still succeed without a degree. There are so many paths you can take to reach a goal. You choose the one which is best for you.
I went on to work for various computer consultancies over the years – with computer technology evolving so fast, I wanted to soak up as much experience as I could in these roles. After a couple of years at Rolls Royce as a Senior Engineer supporting computer integrated manufacturing systems across the UK, I started to think about the fact I wanted to start my own business. An opportunity came to develop a new database for the Department of Social Security in Longbenton, which would allow me to support myself for 12 months and I knew this was my chance to just give it a shot… I felt I would be able to find another job based on my experience if it didn’t work out. So, in 1992, as well as becoming a Microsoft Certified Trainer in Visual Basic, I started my own business developing computer applications and databases.
Fast forward to 2007. I was in shared office space in Jesmond with Lucy who had a business called Moving Design. She was very much a creative and my skills were technical, so after deciding two heads were better than one, we merged to create the design and digital agency JUMP. I am now responsible for the digital and technical side of our business.
Who or what has made the greatest impression on your career?
I have been lucky enough to work with many talented individuals throughout my career. However, since I started my business in 1992, my father has been steadfast in his belief that I would become a success even when at points I haven’t been. He has always said that if you don’t try then you will never know. They have been wise words to live by.
Briefly, what does a typical working day comprise for you?
One of the best parts about my job is that every day brings something entirely different. In between meetings with potential new customers and all the other tasks involved in running a business, I love to spend time with the design and development teams to see what they are up to and support them with any challenges they may have. I never cease to be inspired by our team and their optimism and creativity.
What does your company/organisation do and how is it making an impact?
JUMP has been creating design and digital solutions that build brands for over 10 years now. We work collaboratively with our customers and become an extension of their team, as well as consistently striving for a high standard of work on every project we work on. We are proud to see that through doing this we have resonated with a lot of people and our work has made a big impact for businesses both regionally and nationally.
What are your company short and long-term aims?
Our short-term aim is to continue to create quality branding and digital solutions for our customers. Our long-term aim is to grow the business further without ever losing sight of the quality of work that we produce! We want people to queue up to work with JUMP because of a reputation for great work and to become the leading agency in the North of England.