Leading a Customer Advisory Team: David’s Story

By Michelle Doyle, WorkStory Ambassador at Western University

David Ennett is the supervisor of the customer advisory team at StarTech.com, a manufacturer of hard-to-find IT parts. The focus of the company is to make it easy for IT professionals to identify, find, and use the parts they require for their tech solutions. StarTech.com is a well-established international company, operating 24 hours a day, 5 days a week, in 8 different languages!  “It’s great to be part of a London company that has become a global business,” David says.  

David works with a team of 20 advisors who service customers via phone, webchat and e-mail. The majority of his time is spent working with the members of his team to provide them with the support necessary to help them be successful in their roles.

His day-to-day work consists of coaching the team and being readily available for assistance. David is very passionate about what makes exceptional customer service and makes an effort to put this at the forefront of how the team operates, “I believe that the best manufacturers not only create excellent products but also provide stellar service. I spend a lot of my time thinking about how we can do continue to enhance the experience for our customers.”

David says what he enjoys most about his job is “working with incredible people across the entire organization”. He explains that it is motivating to work in an environment where people enjoy what they do and work together to support one another. Everyone at StarTech.com is dedicated to their customers and is committed to succeeding in their work.  Along with this incredible commitment to customer service, the team also has a lot of fun.  “We celebrate Halloween like no other employer in the country (seriously it’s a big deal around here) and have employees who volunteer as fun ambassadors (that role is exactly as it sounds) who plan various events and activities throughout the year.”

Most of the fun, however, is experienced in the daily atmosphere of the organization.  StarTech.com is a place where everyone cares for each other and enjoys being part of the team. This supportive attitude creates a great sense of community – “the passion that everyone has for the business and one another is palpable”. The team appreciates that collaboration is not only the key to being successful, but is also essential for creating this meaningful, rewarding and fun workplace.


How did David find his way to StarTech.com?  He explains that his career path was not exactly “planned”. He, like many other students, was not sure what he wanted to do professionally.  As he sees it, however, this confusion and uncertainty, while at times uncomfortable, is actually very healthy. It forces you to really understand yourself better and come to understand what you are passionate about.

David pursued a B.A. in Political Science and M.A. in Canadian-American Relations at Western University. He says that the liberal arts and social sciences are valuable as they teach students to “think critically, problem solve, write well and engage with a diverse set of ideas and people”. He argues that these are essential skills that are transferable to almost any workplace.

During his university career, David also took on various leadership opportunities, including president of his students’ council, where he learned to enjoy responsibility for projects and leading others. “I quickly found that the best leaders are consultative in nature and strive to empower and enable team members to play a large role in making decisions and sharing in success,” he says.

After completing school, David worked at Staples as a supervisor for a year, where he oversaw the service departments of his store, along with leading a team of 10 associates. It was here where he saw firsthand how great customer service can significantly impact the growth of a business. He has brought this passion for great service with him to StarTech.com.

David’s advice for new graduates is to not fear entering the workforce and to take on roles that may not link directly to your education. University can only prepare you for so much. Wherever you end up, take it very seriously, work hard, and embrace the idea that “no task is too small”. These are the skills he believes are most important for his generation.  “As millennials we need to show other generations that we are capable of working with humility and respect. If we can do this I think we will succeed.”



It’s a Jungle Out There: The Jobmanji Story

By Guy Baldwin

Starting a new business from scratch isn't the easiest thing to do, but that's exactly what Jacob Johnson and Guy Baldwin have done with their inspired idea to create a jobs website that pulls all the information from thousands of recruiters into one easy-to-access place.

Jobmanji is the new kid on the block in the online jobs sector and is taking on a market that has been established for many years and is highly competitive. The launch of Jobmanji's Canadian site, following hugely successful launches in the UK and US, marks another milestone in the company's global strategy.

Jacob and Guy knew exactly what they were taking on when they developed the concept of Jobmanji. As Jacob explains: "I had experienced the frustration of both recruiters and job seekers when I was doing IT work for a recruitment agency. Recruiters were having problems getting their information out to where they wanted it to go because there were so many different job sites available, and people looking for jobs either didn't know where to go for information or had to trawl through multiple sites to find what they wanted."

So the idea was born to create one website to pull together all jobs available on other sites as well as those posted directly by recruiters.

As Jacob says: "What we wanted to do was save job seekers the hassle of searching dozens of websites and making recruiters know that their jobs are easily accessible in the one place. We've put a lot of resources into giving recruiters and those looking for work the information and back-up to be confident that Jobmanji can deliver what they need."

The proof of the pudding is in the eating, and Jobmanji has satisfied many appetites since its initial launch at the beginning of 2013.

Guy, Jobmanji's Marketing Director, says: "In our first year we have had 1.2 million unique visits, 7.9 million page views and advertised 3.75 million jobs in the UK alone. That shows that Jobmanji is offering exactly what people want, and our central hub is delivering a really effective service."

So how does a business idea in the sharp, competitive world of online recruitment become a reality? It needs the right people to deliver the vision, and this is where Jobmanji has brought together the ideal team. Combining experience of cutting-edge technology and astute business administration, the company has the expertise to continue developing its concept worldwide and the resources from investors to achieve the vision.

"Make no mistake," says Jacob. "Our goal is to help people who want to find jobs and those who want to attract the best people for their jobs. The process for Jobmanji is simple and that's how we intend to keep it. No more wandering through a maze of other job seeking sites – everything is here."

Jacob's background is in computing and includes the ability to program in several languages, administer Linux servers and work with cloud computing and network security. These skills allowed him to develop the basic site whilst Guy continued research and developing the company. Guy's experience ranges from working for a successful family business doing corporate restructuring and insolvency to managing a variety of enterprises including construction, manufacturing, haulage, marketing and recruitment, skills that have helped build Jobmanji into the successful company it is today.

The idea of one central job search site proved attractive to investors, and with that financial impetus the company took on Marcos Lujan as a core team member. Marcos' background and training is in IT, having studied computer science in the USA, and he has wide ranging knowledge of both hardware and software issues as well as the ability to program in several languages. His experience in online marketing has brought significant added value to Jobmanji, and he is responsible for the company's search engine optimization team.

Jacob is clear about Jobmanji's vision. "Everything starts from an idea, and our idea was to help people who recruit and those looking for work to place and find jobs from a central website'" he says. "We use sophisticated technology to ensure users are able to find jobs quickly, matching their skills and experience to what recruiters are looking for. Our aim is to make it as easy as possible for recruiters to upload information and for job hunters to access it.

" Another important aspect of Jobmanji is our section on tips and advice for jobseekers. We want to share our knowledge of the recruitment business so that people can find and prepare for their dream job.

"It's a jungle out there and if you can't see the wood for the trees you're looking in the wrong place. With Jobmanji you're looking in the right place!"

Since its launch Jobmanji has already proved phenomenally popular both with recruiters and job seekers, and the core trio of Jacob, Guy and Marcos are moving forward with their plans to add more countries to the site.