We were lucky enough today to grab five minutes with Michael Boland, a Commercial Executive at Betfair, based in their Dublin office. Michael has been in the role for just six weeks and he took the time to answer some key questions we had about the role...
Tell us about your role at Betfair
I work in our commercial negotiation team and there are many different elements to my role. Our team supports the commercial negotiation process in all areas of the business. We are responsible for the actual brokering of a deal and, once a deal is agreed, providing a main point of contact to help manage the assets and the deal effectively. We focus on anything the company spends money on - from marketing and branding with sports clubs to the more nuts and bolts supplier agreements.
How have your first six weeks been?
I was actually straight into the deep end and busy from day one. It's one of the things I really like about the role. I was empowered and involved immediately. On my first day I sat in on a lengthy negotiation with in a room full of people from across the business and representatives from one of our external partners. It was an amazing start! I've also been involved in some other projects right from the very beginning which has been a great chance to see projects end to end.
What has been the most interesting project you’ve worked on to date?
I studied Economics in university, so applying these principles to commercial sporting opportunities is fascinating for me. More recently I’ve been exploring opportunities with professional sporting clubs for next season. As a sports fan, it’s great to learn how these businesses work.
What is best thing about your current job?
Definitely the variety. I really enjoy working with people across the whole business. It's also very satisfying to see the impact you are making from the very start. I have great exposure across all business areas which is a great learning opportunity.
And the hardest part?
The variety is probably the hardest thing, too. The breadth of our role means we need to know a bit about everything - which is brilliant and challenging at the same time. Lots of people in the team come from within the Betting industry so there is a huge amount of expertise in the team. This can mean that it's sometimes daunting asking a question as these guys know the industry inside out. However, I have very quickly learned that you have to be brave and a quick learner in this role, in order to succeed.
What advice would you give someone who’s looking to work for Betfair?
I would tell anyone applying for this role that your people skills are absolutely key. You need to be able to develop and maintain relationships across the business and externally and you must be prepared to have some difficult conversations and deal with tough business scenarios. If you want to apply for this role, evidencing your ability to manage relationships will stand you in good stead.
Is there one thing you wish you’d known when starting out…
Any industry knowledge you can bring to the role will be hugely beneficial - even if it's desk based research you do ahead of joining. I did not come from a betting background and so getting up to speed has been a key part of the process. One thing to be mindful of - you will be working with people at the top of their game - incredibly intelligent and passionate about the company. Once you start talking to them you realise they are brilliant so you would need to be switched on.