This post is part of a series highlighting the talented team of UpTrending. We believe in hiring the best and brightest in all areas of expertise, and it shows in the wide range of personalities and skills we have on our team. But our team members are more than just talented professionals – and you deserve to know them a bit better.
John Jenkins is our latest Featured UpTrender. As a member of our Project Management team, John gets to interact with both clients and internal team members on a daily basis. Hailing from Houston, TX, he has been with UpTrending since mid-2015, and works with several of our most prominent clients.
John, tell us a bit about your background, and what drew you to UpTrending.
Prior to coming on board here, I have been in project management for about 10 years. Specifically, I worked in several companies focused on web development, working to help them support other firms, including design agencies. I sought out UpTrending because I really wanted to tackle the opportunity of working with Silicon Valley clients, and to expand beyond just web development.
We’ve heard from other Project Managers that they didn’t set out to be in that role – does that hold true for you?
I’ve actually always had an interest in how technology can be used to maximize business function. I majored in Marketing and Management Information Systems in college, so while I’m not sure I specifically sought out the role of Project Manager, it’s definitely in line with what I like to do as far as helping companies merge business and tech.
So how do you describe your job to your friends and family?
I make life easier for designers and developers. Those guys are the stars who do all the real work.
What do you think is the best part of your job?
The people. Both the clients and my fellow team members are all such brilliant professionals, and it’s great to come alongside them to help them create amazing results.
And the worst part?
As great as the people are, technology doesn’t always cooperate. That could be the technology we are working on, like a website, or a third-party system like a job engine or marketing automation platform. It could even be the very system we’re using to manage the project itself. You can talk with a person, reason with them, reach an understanding. Technology isn’t nearly as forgiving.
I know you work really hard, and a lot of hours – but what do you spend your off-time working on?
I do a lot of reading and studying about entrepreneurship. Seeing how people are working to change the world, and the ways that they are doing it gives great perspective on my own life and what I’m working on. I also used to play the cello, though I don’t get to it as much as I’d like anymore.
Take a moment to talk to the up-and-coming Project Manager. How can they be as awesome as you?
Start with the end in mind. In other words, understand the deliverable and the process before your team ever begins working.
Develop strong trust within your team, and with the client. Trust will make things go much more smoothly when the hiccups come. One way to do this is to own your mistakes. Nobody likes to work with someone who passes the buck. Be authentic and transparent.
Finally, remember that there is no such thing as a “simple task.” In fact, if someone who isn’t doing the work says that it should be simple, that’s likely a sign that the opposite will be true.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Houston – I love my city!