Ben Taylor, Head of Sports at Animation Research Limited
Ben shares his story, of how helping fill a temporary gap for his father evolved into a job many kids could only dream of. Ben also shares some insight into the importance of being able to roll up your sleeves when the pressure comes on and that a healthy dose of faking it until you make it goes a long way in the early stages of a career. Enjoy.
Firstly, how would you explain to a five year old what it is you do?
I make the cartoons you see on sports sometimes on TV.
“I make the cartoons you see on sports sometimes on TV.”
Was working in tech something you dreamed about doing as a kid, if not what was?
No - definitely not. I don’t think anyone dreamed of being in tech when they were a kid did they? My friends all wanted to be rugby players. I wanted to be a snowboarding instructor.
Tell us a little bit more about your career journey and ultimately about how you ended up working at ARL (Animation Research Limited)?
Some good old fashioned nepotism. When I graduated college in the States I was exploring some higher education in Europe when ARL won back the contract to supply graphics to the European Golf Tour. Dad, CEO of ARL at the time (now Managing Director), asked me to look after the contract for six months until they found a full-time replacement. I ended up loving it and asked if I could stay. Now I look after all of the sports at ARL.
Can you share some more insight into what that transition was like?
The transition for me was a big one. I had only basic computer knowledge and no broadcasting experience. I needed to learn a lot of that on the fly and in hindsight I now realise how horrifically unprepared I was at the start of my career. Now I take joy in watching others make that transition, and I pride myself and helping them be better than I was.
“Now I take joy in watching others make that transition, and I pride myself and helping them be better than I was. ”
What is it specifically that you like about working in tech relative to your past jobs?
The jobs I had before this were part time jobs in retail shops. I didn’t have a career so there is no comparison really.
CV’s can be quite lifeless. Have you done anything unique in the past to get the attention of an employer or seen others that have been creative in this regard?
No - thankfully I haven’t needed to in a while, but I’ve seen some cool ones. One graphic designer sent me a link to a website he built in lieu of a CV. The website showed his past work, testimonials, skillset and demonstrated creativity and tech competence.
Do you have any advice for people considering tech as a career path and how they might get there quicker?
Fake it till you make it.
What gets you excited about working at ARL?
I get to work on the forefront of innovation in a field that I love. In the realm of sports coverage, I get to shift ideas to reality at lightning speed with a group of amazing computer scientists and graphic designers.
Lastly, ARL continues to evolve. What kind of candidates do you think ARL is looking for in terms of experience, attitude and character?
It’s a bit cliche but we need people that can roll up their sleeves and get the job done. Our team sometimes works ridiculous hours to meet live broadcast deadlines. Often the feature requests seem impossible so we need people who want to create brand new technology and are up for the challenge.