Inside SQLI

Inside SQLI: Meet Seth Boateng

Seth is a project manager at SQLI, based in the UK. Here we talk to him about his career to date, his role, and his side business for pampered pooches.

Tell us about your career before SQLI?

I originally studied law at university. At the time, I wasn’t too sure what I wanted to do from a career point of view, but I knew I wanted to be on a course that could open doors and offer some transferable skills.

I eventually realised law wasn't my passion, but music and the business side of things were, so I took positions in music licensing, copyright and royalties at music publishing companies. I was offered a role at Warner Music tracking royalty payments and from there, was offered a job at Sony Music as a production co-ordinator managing the release schedule for all of their front-line labels.

I then moved into the merchandising side of the industry, initially as a production co-ordinator working as the bridge between the factories and the client. I was there for seven years and grew within the company to become a production manager, managing some big projects.

When COVID hit, the landscape changed and the business pivoted to an online strategy. At the same time, I was setting up my own e-Commerce business around dog accessories.

Earlier this year, I was given the opportunity to speak to SQLI, where I was offered a project manager role.

Tell us about your role now

I get assigned projects to plan, managing a team of front-end developers, back-end developers, technical architects and so on. I map out the projects in sprints, which are effectively short, quick phases of working. We have a budget and time frame and I plan the workflow and assign the work to the various team members and act as the bridge between the client and the team.

There are various things that I have to do on the client side, whether that's giving them weekly status reports or highlighting blockers that are preventing the project from moving ahead. One of the key parts of my role is keeping the project within budget.

What are the challenges of your role?

There are always challenges in e-Commerce builds, because you never really know what is going to happen and you can't foresee every single issue. So, I guess the challenges are dealing with these issues and managing client expectations.

The other major challenges are ensuring projects are delivered on time and in budget.  The launch dates are often critical within e-Commerce, due to crucial periods of trading. So, keeping projects on track is a challenge in itself.

Away from work, do you have any hobbies?

My main hobby that I’m living and breathing out of work is my online business, Reign Dog. I sell harnesses, collars, raincoats, fleeces, bow ties, and so on, for dogs, with unique design aspects.

Do you have a motto in life?

The one that sticks with me today and has really helped is: “This too shall pass.”

It’s a motto to keep in mind, especially when you're going through challenges in life, or even if you’re on an amazing high, that the feeling you currently have will pass.

Ultimately, it’s really about realising you can get through the hard times and the good times are just around the corner.

Any words of advice you’d pass on?

Give everything a go. Don't hold back on new experiences or new challenges. Everyone is happy being comfortable, but actually, you get more out of being challenged. It’s where you'll find your growth as an individual.

There's nothing to be lost in trying something new, but there's everything to be gained.

If you had your time again, is there anything you'd do differently?

Yes and no.  No, because everything I have done and the mistakes I have made have made me the person I am. But yes, because maybe I am the type of person who would have been better going straight into the workforce.

I grew up in an age where there was almost a path written out for you. Everyone I knew had to go to university.  

But now, I think that experience in industry is invaluable and you may have an edge if you have the experience of starting something yourself, or just getting into a company and putting in the hours and learning everything you can about that particular business and industry.

What does the future hold?

I think businesses will be using a lot more AI from a productivity standpoint, as well as a learning standpoint. I think people will lean on AI tools to deliver so many things in the future, so it’s a really interesting area.

For me, I just want to continue to add more strings to my bow. So now, it’s about learning more about project management and progressing in the company.

One day I’d like to run my own business. Whether that's in the digital world, or it's in a completely different space, I feel that’s where I will eventually end up.