Vivi Campbell – BBC: Journey from Marketing to Tech

Where do you work and your role title?
Lead Delivery Manager in BBC Voice+AI Department

Get To Know Me
Favourite ice-cream flavour: Chocolate!

Wrap up in the shortest sentence possible what your role means.

I lead a team of Delivery Managers, and our role is to coach teams in Lean and Agile practices as well as drive the delivery of multiple programs.

Vivi Campbell presenting a talk at the Deliver Conference about a remote working experiment that was carried out in Vivi’s BBC Voice+AI department. Weirdly enough, Vivi did this talk a week before lockdown this year so her tips ended up being useful!!

What is the interesting / challenging part of your work?

People. We are all different, which makes it an enjoyable challenge.

What attracted you to choose a STEM field? How do you find navigating your career path as a woman in tech?

It happened by accident, really. I moved to the UK from Brazil in 2008. My background was in Marketing, and I never worked with or studied anything technical!

In 2009, I was half way through my Masters degree in Marketing, I went to a job fair and most of the jobs seemed to be related to technology, so I decided to change my dissertation topic. This decision was crucial, as it helped me get my first job in the UK, at a small Digital Agency, working as an intern in Account Management. This where I started learning about tech. I fell in love!

So you don’t need to have a degree in Computer Science to work in Tech!!

What is your biggest achievement that you are most proud of?

I think my biggest career achievement was seeing the BBC’s Beeb, new voice assistant going live to a beta audience at the beginning of June. I joined the BBC Voice+AI department from the beginning when we were just a small team and helped it grow. We delivered some pretty cool stuff in the past 3 years.

This year, I have also been nominated by one of my direct reports for the Like Minded Females award and I’m pleased to say that I’ve been shortlisted!

Moreover, when I was working at Code Computerlove, a well regarded digital agency, we won the Big Chip Awards for ‘Best Use of Mobile’ with the innovative Chester Zoo app. I managed a challenging project and Chester Zoo was my client at the time!

Vivi Campbell with her Big Chip Awards for ‘Best Use of Mobile’ in the interactive Chester Zoo app

How do you track and express your achievements in the workplace and beyond?

I must confess I’m not the best advocate and tend to take my accomplishments for granted. From time to time, I stop and reflect back on what I have achieved and I normally surprise myself with what I have accomplished throughout my career.

Who are your mentors or role models that helped you either directly or indirectly?

I had many mentors throughout the years, some through the BBC WiSTEM mentoring scheme, which I’ve been part of for 3 years. Many other colleagues also influenced me throughout the years, probably without even knowing they were. One of them is my friend Helen Holmes, who used to be my team leader when I worked for a well renowned agency in Manchester called Code Computer Love.

Vivi Campbell at the BBC WiSTEM recruitment talking about her journey into project management

How do you think women can be game-changers in time of crisis?

Through empathy. A great example is Jacinda Arden, who is leading New Zealand through this current crisis (Coronavirus) by being assertive, but also full of compassion.

What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader? Are there any technology resources that you would recommend?

  • BBC Training Academy: I’m very fortunate that the BBC has got its own Training Academy and I try to take advantage of that and go on as many training courses as I can!
  • Meet-Ups: I also attend many meet-ups about Lean-Agile, Leadership and WiSTEM. Most of them have shifted online now, which is great! Some of them also have supportive Slack communities, which are great for networking and learning from others.
  • Books, Blogs & Conferences: Also, I read a lot of industry related books, subscribe to relevant blogs and try to attend conferences too. I love learning!

It’s your day off. What do you do to relax?

I cuddle with my cat Khaleesi, then play with my new puppy Peggy, and then head straight to the countryside to go horse riding. I started riding just over 5 years ago and became totally obsessed!! I now loan a beautiful pony who brings me endless joy over the weekend. Being surrounded by animals is super important for my mental health.

What advice would you give to your 21 year old self?

Don’t try to be someone you are not, just be yourself. Some people will say you are “too nice”, so what?

What makes you RARE?

I’m RARE because I’m too nice! 😉

Want to know more about Vivi? Connect with her on LinkedIn

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