Help me to give a resounding welcome to our new Sr. Digital Strategist - Mark Schellhas!
Mark has been working with us for two months now - but it already feels like he has been here for years. And we start asking ourselves if there is anything this guy can't do. Yes, we can say that we are incredibly happy that he has chosen to set foot on the moon and we are really looking forward to a fun and exciting future together! But who is Mark ‘behind the scenes’? And how does his role as a Digital Strategist look like? Now it's time for you too, to get to know our unicorn a little better!
So Mark, what did you do before you started working at iGoMoon?
I worked as Digital Marketing Officer at the non-profit WaterAid Sweden, where I helped the organisation elevate it’s digital marketing operations. My primary focus was to raise WaterAid’s profile in Sweden through a series of digital marketing campaigns, establishing a digital engagement framework to improve the conversion rate of donations and building an always-on influencer network.
And how did your trip to the moon look like?
Well as with all good things, my journey to the moon started with a chance meeting with Mattias at a Christmas mingle at Project Playground - a non-profit that I’ve been involved with for many years, and that iGoMoon had recently started supporting. After speaking with Mattias, I was very curious about iGoMoon and the work we’re doing, and not long after that first meeting, I decided to join the crew here.
Now you have been with us for about a month, how has the first time been?
It’s been pretty full-on and exciting! There is a variety of projects and clients here, all with specific needs, and along with iGoMoon’s own transformation it has meant that there’s a lot of opportunity for me to make a contribution. The team is also quite friendly and energetic, so it’s been a really good pace so far.
How does your role as a Senior digital strategist on iGoMoon look like?
Well first and foremost, my role is to help clients grow better by taking advantage of what a good digital business strategy and a well-oiled execution can deliver. Internally, I look at what needs iGoMoon has in order to grow and how to help guide our ambitions. Then of course I play a supporting role for our team in challenging us to make better action plans, execute more smoothly and have a good time doing it.
.. and what values will you create for our customers?
Customers often turn to us with short to medium term problems that they need solved. These projects and tasks are steps on their journey toward a greater digital ambition – bringing an innovative service to the market or improving the work-lives of their customers, for example. My role as a digital strategist is to bring clarity to that greater ambition and make sure the steps they are taking today will pay off in terms of concrete business value tomorrow.
So, who is Mark?
You grew up in South Africa, tell us more!
Yes, I was born in Johannesburg and later grew up in Cape Town. South Africa is quite a dynamic place. We have a very diverse population with 11 official languages, so it’s really a true cultural melting-pot, if there ever was one! I suppose growing up in this environment made me a pretty curious and open person. I also grew up during the country’s shift from Apartheid to democracy and that is probably why I’m a great optimist – nothing is impossible: things can always be turned around. In a business context, there was a statistic a few years ago that 65% of business done in South Africa is new business. This means that you have to be open to new people and new ideas, because that’s just the environment and you never know what new opportunities might show up in the future, or where – or who – they might come from.
How did you end up in Stockholm?
My ex-girlfriend is Swedish. I was living in London before we met. I’d visited Stockholm a few times and really liked this city. So I guess you could say I’m one of those “love refugees” – and there are many of us here!
How would you briefly describe yourself as a person?
I’m an optimist, and essentially a creative person. In my personal life, I love to laugh, have fun and I’m pretty playful and have a good sense of humour – although that depends on who you’re asking! I am very confident and used to getting what I want – I enjoy a challenge. I enjoy spending time uplifting others too, and I wake up every day to give a little more and be a little better than the previous day. My life is really about learning and growing, and helping others to the same wherever I get the chance.
What is your best personal trait?
Courage. It’s not always easy to do the right thing, stand up to help someone who needs you, or speak your truth in tough situations – especially when fear and confusion comes so easily. But this has honestly made my life a lot simpler. I’ve learnt that bad times don’t last, and acting on the courage of my own convictions has gotten me through anything.
...and your worst?
Haha… can I get away with the workaholic card? No but seriously, I’m still working on finding a healthy balance between work and time and attention to the people I care about most.
How do you prefer to spend your time when you are not working?
When I’m not surfing the net, I’d prefer to be surfing for real – when I can. I enjoy spending time on my non-profit activities too and also mostly just hanging out and having fun with my friends. That gives me so much.
Tell us something we didn't know about you!
I’ve had another life as a music producer and songwriter. Still do the odd project on the side ;)
Last one! What is the number one on your bucket list?
After being published in an article on iGoMoon? Sleeping under the stars on a safari with elephants and giraffes. I’ve done something similar when I was very young, but I have a different approach in mind this time.