Martin Cole recently joined Ayokay as the Operations Director. We are so happy to have him on our team, and we sat down with him to talk about what brought him to Ayokay and what he’s looking forward to as Operations Director.
Q: What brought you to Ayokay?
A: I was looking to get back into project management or operations and this position presented itself. I’m a big fan of smaller companies and startups. I try to avoid the corporate lifestyle with 500+ employees. I don’t like being lost in the shuffle, so I try to avoid those positions as much as I can. I was looking to get out of where I was and looking to get back to the things I love, which are operations and project management.
Q: What’s one thing that you wish people knew about your job?
A: Sometimes the little things that we harp on as an operations director–like using Slack, for example–may seem small, but those things are actually very big. With using Slack for example, separating personal life from professional life and keeping everything in one area is so important. I’m not trying to come in and take control and tell you all how to do things. There’s a rhyme and a reason and a thought process behind it.
Q: What are some areas you’d like to learn more about while at Ayokay?
A: I’m definitely going to continue to learn more in the project management role and getting more certifications and things like that. The biggest thing for me, especially being in operations, is having an understanding of all the different departments. I want to take small classes to learn more about web development and marketing and those areas. I want to have an understanding just so I’m coming in with ideas that make sense and recommending processes that work for your workflow. I’m always trying to expand my knowledge base.
Q: One thing I know about you is that you enjoy coaching soccer. Do you think that work influences your role as operations director?
A: Yes. With coaching, you have organization, sticking to a schedule, attending as many games as possible, coordinating coaching staff, coming up with practice plans and agendas, and managing parents. There are a lot of moving pieces and there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes. I think there’s a strong overlap between coaching soccer and being an operations director. Sometimes it’s just about catering to people’s needs and understanding how they like to work. Some of our teammates like to keep all their information in their head. Let’s work to put that information in our project management system. Same with coaching. I have to understand how some kids like to play and how that fits into the team style.
Q: What do you like to do for fun?
I love to travel. As someone who lives alone and likes to be around people, the pandemic has been hard. So I’m trying to get back into that habit of doing things I was doing pre-pandemic, like working out and traveling. I’m a very social person: I like to be around people, meet new people, and experience new things. I want to travel outside of the country when that opens up. I also try to read when I can.