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ARMLife Interview with Mukesh Sharma

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Tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
I grew up in East Ham and then went on to study a bachelor’s degree in economics at Brunel University. After that, I wanted to do a master’s and I studied applied econometrics at Kingston University, which is sort of like a combination of statistics and economics. Our in-house attribution is based on econometrics It can sound like a bit of a daunting topic at first, but the more you do it you can appreciate how interesting it is.

How did you come across All Response Media?
I wanted to find a job in analytics but without the monotony of daily reporting. I wanted to see how it influenced businesses and clients – I hadn’t ever looked at TV. I previously worked as an Assistant Surveyor in a property company for a year which was essentially a gap job, but I learnt a lot about the valuations and the industry as a whole. I always had an interest in numbers and came across the Data and Systems role at All Response Media. On the day of the interview, I was surprised to receive a call merely hours later with an offer!

What’s a typical day like for you as Senior Data Analyst?
Managing tasks whilst working on my own projects both internal and client related. There is quite a lot of variation. I oversee the juniors and their projects – before I became senior, I was doing more of the project work which the juniors tend to work on now.  A challenge we face daily is presenting results to clients and not going too much into the statistics and methods whilst making it easier to digest and understand so that’s something we’re constantly looking into. I also contribute where I can to system development that involve coding or econometric techniques.  It’s really varied but I do enjoy it.

What kind of things do you work on with clients?
There’s a lot of data collection and back and forth with the clients relaying the results. A common project coming up is harvesting, which involves looking at how much TV is driving particular sources (paid, organic, direct, search) which can aid future budgeting and optimisations.

We also look at the effect of sponsorship on TV and the performance therein.

What’s your favourite thing about your job?
I love the job but for me, it’s the team overall – I’ve always had great role models in the team and they’re very supportive.  We all look out for each other like a little family. I’m very lucky with the team I have.

I like how the company in general has a culture of work hard play hard. I like that it’s an open plan office, I feel comfortable speaking to senior staff such as our CEO Andy Sloan and CSO Colin Gillespie. From what I’ve seen, everyone is easy to get along with.

What’s your most memorable moment at All Response Media so far?
One of the first pieces of work I helped our CEO Andy with – he came and thanked me and spoke to my manager, Tasha Webb, about me. I was pleasantly surprised as coming out of university I had this idea that CEOs wouldn’t interact with anyone below board level, something that is certainly not true of All Response Media which I think is great.

Of course, the annual company away days and Christmas parties have all been memorable.

If you could work in any other department or team which one would it be and why?
I would work in the marketing team! I already know I would get along with your team and I like the idea of working on bringing in new business to the agency. It would be a challenge but a fun challenge.

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three things would you have and why?
I would take my Phone – as much as I would like to say I’m not always on it – I am. My PlayStation as it’s one of the things I do to chill out at the end of the day, and my Funko Pops! – I have 14 and I just joined a subscription to get one a month so I’m a bit obsessed!

If you could be in any movie, which would it be and what character would you play?
I would be Shazam from the new Shazam movie. It’s the DC version of the original Captain Marvel where a child gets turned into a superhero – so even though he is a superhero he is still a child within, which I can relate to – I act all tough sometimes but I’m really just a big kid.

Do you have any hidden talents not many people know about you?
I can sing. It’s been a while, but I can sing North Indian folk music. I sang at a few parties and at the Hammersmith Apollo for a university competition. I would like to get back into it, but it requires a lot of time and practice.