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Sparkol Behind the Scenes: meet Suzy Farag

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Our animation software, VideoScribe, is used by thousands of people around the world. With that in mind, our highest priority is ensuring it continues to help users make even more impressive videos with ease.

To learn more about how VideoScribe is continuously developing, we sat down with Sparkol’s Product Lead, Suzy Farag. Suzy ensures that we’re always looking further ahead and predicting what new video challenges and opportunities our customers will face. Working in collaboration with our engineering and user experience (UX) teams to consistently improve our products, as well as launch new products that help our customers create awesome videos.

So let’s get into the questions…

First things first, can you tell us about your background and how you got started at Sparkol?

I grew up and went to school in Cairo, Egypt and came back to the UK to study International Relations at the University of Bath. However, when I graduated I wasn’t sure a career in politics was right for me and like lots of students I didn’t really know what I wanted to do.

After trying a few different jobs I joined the graduate scheme at OVO Energy and eventually ended up working in the Product Management team.

During my time as a Product Manager at OVO I worked on their prepayment app that allowed our customers to top up their energy from anywhere. Working on the app taught me that I really like finding solutions that offer value to people or solve their problems.

While I loved building a product, I really wanted to try something new and develop my commercial skills so I moved to a digital agency. But, ultimately I missed having such a strong knowledge of the products and customers so I looked for roles that would allow me to move back in-house.

That’s what led me to Sparkol!

What does your typical day at work look like?

I get into work at 9am and usually start prepping for the first meeting of the day which is always a stand up. This is where everyone in the product and engineering team shares what they’re working on and we discuss any blockers they’re facing and how to solve them.

After that I’ll make sure any upcoming work on our products is ready to review. Then it’ll be shared with our UX team to refine or added into the next sprint for the engineering team to put into development.

In the afternoon I often look at our longer term product strategy. Thinking about how we approach upcoming challenges, meet business objectives and seize opportunities. Once I’ve got a plan of action, I sit down with other members of the team to get their buy in and discuss how we can implement changes.

At the moment we’re also building a prototype of a new product, which means I’m doing more user research than normal. We had a focus group last week to understand how our target audience interprets different brand visions. So keep an eye out for announcements on that coming soon!

What’s the best part about working at Sparkol?

For me it’s getting to work on new and exciting products that solve even more of the challenges our target audiences face. At Sparkol we have the freedom to explore new ideas, take calculated risks and push the boundaries of what we currently do.

It’s a really inspiring environment!

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt here so far?

I’ve learnt a lot more about product design, having previously worked on more functional projects it’s really nice to work on something from a design perspective. Rather than just thinking, does this product do the job, asking ourselves does it delight people and make them want to use it?

What do you get up to outside work?

I have family and friends who live all over the world which is the perfect excuse to travel to some amazing new places. Last year we went to Japan to watch the Rugby World Cup and it was incredible. I could easily live there, the food is great, the countryside is stunning and the cities are equally spectacular.

I’m also renovating my house which I love and hate in equal measure. If you ever need advice on paint colors you know where to come!

Then when I’m not travelling or painting endless walls, I’m taking pictures of my cats playing with boxes or sitting awkwardly on bannisters and door frames. You know, classic cat activities… 😂

Suzy Farag Cats

What’s something not many people know about you?

I’ve had a lot of very different pets from hamsters, dogs and cats, to lizards, birds, terrapins, tortoise and snakes. We recently adopted a 10 year old bearded dragon named Puff who sits on our window seat getting the best view in the house.

Want to join Suzy and the team at Sparkol? Check out our latest job vacancies here.

 

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