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REAL ROLE MODEL


Kerry Newton
Digital Strategy Planning Manager
The Co-operative Bank
WHAT DO YOU DO?

I work at the Co-operative Bank as a Digital Strategy Planning Manager, supporting across Retail & Business Banking to articulate strategic plans, support with market insight and track all deliverables against the plan. I’m also accountable for co-ordinating the Scrum of Scrums weekly session and Triage which allows The Bank to raise new emerging demand which they require Digital’s support on such as new products, features and updates. No day is ever the same and see everything in Digital!

WHAT SKILLS DO YOU USE MOST IN YOUR JOB?
  • Building and maintaining relationships across Digital, the Wider Bank Departments and 3rd Party Suppliers who work for The Bank
  • Team Work & Collaborative Working
  • Organisation & Time Management – I’m responsible for co-ordinating a lot of meetings and information for our leadership team
  • Creating informative and well-designed Presentations & Packs which are visually interesting
  • Communication Skills – sometimes I have to chase up with very busy people, so my approach is key
WHAT'S THE MOST INTERESTING THING YOU'VE WORKED ON IN YOUR CAREER SO FAR?

I’d say currently owning the 2020 Strategy is the most interesting thing I’ve worked on so far. This year is our most ambitious yet with some amazing features being delivered across our Digital Channels with lots of tight deadlines. Things are moving very fast so being close to the detail and people delivering projects is so important to make sure stick to the plan; one missed delivery milestone could knock everything else off schedule!

WHAT'S YOUR EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND?

I didn’t do great in my GCSEs (maths and DT was not my strength!), but went on complete my A levels with great grades in Media & Advertising, Drama, History and Applied Sciences, then decided to go to University. I chose to study a completely different subject; Dance Performance & Teaching which was always a huge passion of mine from the age of 6. I am from a very small town in The Lake District and the first from my family to go to University, so it was a huge step for me and I moved to Preston where I completed my degree which I’m super proud of.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO GO INTO DIGITAL & TECH?

If you had told me during my education I’d be working in Digital & Technology I’d have never believed you! After University I felt a little lost as although I loved every moment of my degree studies, I had decided I didn’t want to go down that route, so I worked a number of different roles where I then decided to save up as much as I could to go travelling. I travelled Africa, South East Asia and North America which were life changing experiences, then I returned UK and relocated to Manchester got my first taste of Digital at an eCommerce Travel Business. Then moving into recruiting Digital in the North West for 3 years where I started to learn about the industry in detail, the types of roles available and built a fantastic network of connections. Hearing day in, day out all the exciting projects my contacts were delivering in Digital I began researching roles I would be interested in doing and began my search. Following some really positive conversations with The Bank got the amazing opportunity to join into this exciting industry and get involved with action myself! I may not have joined Digital in the “traditional way” of getting technology or marketing focused degree, but I feel right at home!

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO GIRLS THINKING ABOUT A CAREER IN DIGITAL AND TECH?

Don’t put pressure on yourself to know exactly what you want to do straight away! My career has taken many unexpected twist and turns but got me where I’m supposed to be; so experience as much as you can in Digital, learn about what different roles there are and what they entail. Knowledge is power and by experiencing new things you’ll learn along the way what you’re really passionate about. There are so many roles in Digital, roles you may not have heard of before. I definitely don’t know how to code a mobile app, but that hasn’t stopped me finding a love for Tech and Digital, there’s something for everyone, so go for it girls and give it a go!


I AM...