Brian Shaw
Head of Production

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…Online education is a wonderful space to be in, as it’s relatively new, giving the people who work in it a place to create, innovate and ultimately make a mark.

I’m Head of Production here at MakeMatic. I bounce between our Belfast and Derry offices. In a typical week, I juggle people management and development, strategy and capacity forecasting, purchasing and liaising with vendors, along with producing the odd course here and there.

As a kid, I was a daydreamer with a big imagination. My interest in video and television began in high school, where I produced the daily morning show and fell in love with the digital storytelling process. Back then, everything was analog. It was before digital and I loved it.

Majoring in video production and media studies at Ohio University allowed me take part in two sought after internship programmes, during and post studies, both of which provided me with a lot of on the ground experience.

I’ve travelled quite a bit in my lifetime, having being born in Germany and brought up in England and the USA. Early in my career, I sought out a job to compliment both my wanderlust and passion for video production. I joined Royal Caribbean, an international cruise liner, as their on-board video producer. I met my wife onboard somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and we’ve been married for 11 years.

Hanging up our sailors’ hats, we planted our feet firmly on solid ground and moved to Cape Town, South Africa, where my wife hails from. Cape Town’s beauty and charm is something that just blew me away – if you haven’t been, you must visit.  

There, I continued to expand my skill-set and further my career. Amongst some contractual work, I held positions such as Post Production Manager at SABC 3’s Expresso Morning Show, Producer at Digi House Media and finally Manager and Senior Producer at GetSmarter Online Education.

GetSmarter was my introduction to the online educational arena. It was there that I had to flex a muscle, one concentrated in pedagogy, which I’ve never had to do before. As manager, I helped scale my immediate department to 18 video producers and animators. Consequently, in 2017, GetSmarter was acquired by one of the largest online education providers in the US, 2U Inc.

South Africa was wonderful. I made great friends there, had great family and a great job. But my parents moved to Northern Ireland two years ago and I fell in love with the country within days of my first visit. I also have two little rugrats and I’ve always wanted their Nana and Grandad to be in their lives.  

After many long talks and glasses of wine with my better half, the pursuit of a career on the Emerald Isle began. Discovering MakeMatic was one of the biggest stars aligning moments I’ve ever had. MakeMatic’s ethos is ambitious and along with their passion for providing best-in-class online educational content for teachers, they really impressed me.

I’ve seen what an impact further education can have on working professionals, the benefits and opportunities it presents, the lives it changes. Being a part of that is infectious and most definitely fulfilling.

Online education is a wonderful space to be in, as it’s relatively new, giving the people who work in it a place to create, innovate and ultimately make a mark and set a precedent. MakeMatic offers this tenfold and I think I’m going to enjoy this new adventure.

I’m unapologetically an Apple snob and always have been. I love all their gadgets. My first laptop, bought in 2004, was a Powerbook Pro and I’ve never looked back. If you want to see me scared, confused and bewildered, put a Windows PC in front of me.