Each month, meet a new member of our team – this month we speak with Matthew Stark, Senior Manager Platform solutions at Hawk UK!
Can you quickly introduce yourself?
Hi, my name is Matthew Stark (those at Hawk know me as ‘Sparko’) and I joined Hawk back in February 2020, well over 3 years ago! I’ve always specialized in the role of Ad Operations, with 7 years of experience across a handful of different companies.
What is your position and role at Hawk specifically?
I’m currently a Senior Manager within the Platform Solutions team at Hawk, a role which encapsulates a mixture of technical, analytical and presentational skills. It’s a role that always requires me to be at my best, ensuring every attention to detail has been ticked off. There are also plenty of opportunities where I’m able to meet and mingle with new people and let them know all about the brilliant work we do here at Hawk.
What was the most sticking thing about your arrival in the adventure?
Aside arriving at Hawk during the middle of a world-wide pandemic, when I joined Hawk I was one of only two operational members. Together, we worked to build the team that you see running all our awesome ad campaigns today, which was so much fun! Hawk gave me the independence to make my own mark within the company, but the support to ensure we felt like – as a team – we were making a positive impact on the UK advertising industry.
What do your days consists of and what are your daily challenges?
My day to day includes managing a variety of internally booked campaigns – including running avails, setting up and optimizing activity within the DSP, general troubleshooting and assisting the wider team with any questions they might have. I also work heavily with a lot of our self-serve customers too, which can range from performing platform demos to getting hands on with their traders and assisting with platform queries. As you can imagine, I’m a busy bee!
In terms of daily challenges, this is actually one of my favorite parts of the job as there is always a new obstacle to overcome. As comes with our success, we are always integrating with new partners and are receiving new types briefs every day so ensuring that these fly smoothly, from take-off to landing, is a big part of my daily challenges.
In your opinion, what is your greatest success at Hawk?
There was a moment towards the end of 2021 where I was the sole member of the operations team in the UK for a few months and we were just beginning to grow exponentially in our market. During this period, with some support from our global operations team, I worked incredibly hard to ensure that the consistency and quality of our work did not falter and we ended the year with some amazing messages and emails from some very happy clients! It’s safe to say that this service has only improved since and it’s incredible to see the Platform Solutions team thriving almost 2 years later.
What 3 adjectives would your team use to describe you?
(My team are too kind!)
Your passion outside of work?
This won’t come as a surprise to anyone that knows me, but I absolutely love taking some time to go and cast a rod out into water and practice my fishing! For me, there are so many aspects to love about fishing such as troubleshooting what could be the reason I’m not catching, trying and testing different methods/baits/rigs, analysing the areas of the water where I feel I will have the best chance to catch, or the adrenaline rush when all that pays off and you feel that tug at the end of your line. But first and foremost, I love fishing because it is a brilliant reason to get outdoors and enjoy the world around us. We can sometimes get so glued to the screens in front of us that we forget to appreciate the world around us from time to time!
Finally, what message would you give to future employees?
I think this is appropriate to all future employees globally honestly, but my advice would be to make sure you enjoy what you do! We spend so much of our life in work (approximately a third of our lifetime!) that it is absolutely pivotal to enjoy every moment you spend “on the clock”.
Surrounding yourself with the right people in a workplace, finding skills you both enjoy and are good at, and taking pride in your work will all help you to realise the best professional version of ‘you’. I consider myself lucky that Hawk not only ticks all these boxes for me, but also drives towards the betterment of others and their experience of the advertising industry.