20 Questions with Ben

It's time for some new 20 Questions, and this time we're chatting with Ben Collis, our new Manchester Community Manager! Ben recently joined the Karshare team to help us expand our platform up north and took time out of his busy day to tell us a bit more about himself.

1. How would you describe what you do for a living to family and friends?

Being relatively new to my role, everyone is asking me what I’m doing now. I tell them I’m helping to build a community of car sharers in Manchester, meeting with potential owners and renters, telling them all about the benefits of sharing our cars – my wife is sick of hearing me talk about it, I think!

2. What’s one professional skill you’re currently working on?

During lockdown I downloaded Photoshop, I’m self-teaching it. It’s not directly related to my role, but I enjoy being creative and learning new things.

3. What’s the farthest you’ve ever been from home?

The farthest I’ve been from home is the South Island of New Zealand, Dunedin. I just checked and it’s 11,803 miles from Manchester!

4. How do you prefer to start your day?

I like to get up early, then I’ll either go to the gym or outside for a walk or a run. It’s great to do some exercise before work because it wakes you up and you feel more energised for the day. Sounds cheesy, but it works for me.

5. How do you prefer to end your day?

A cup of decaf tea, a biscuit and some non-taxing TV.

6. What was your first job?

I worked in a factory making industrial filters – it made me realise factory life wasn’t for me. However, with my first pay check I bought myself a Henri Lloyd jacket, which I still have today!

7. What’s your go-to productivity trick?

If I’m not out seeing people, working from home can mean you are stationary for long periods of time. I try to make sure I have a break to be active, even if it’s walking from one side of the flat to the other. Activity helps me maintain focus and concentration.

8. What are your pet peeves?

Bad manners – they don’t cost anything.

9. What’s the coolest or most interesting thing you’re working on right now?

Building our owner base in Manchester, I’m getting the opportunity to meet loads of nice local people and talk to them about Karshare.

10. If you could snap your fingers and become an expert in something, what would it be?

I’d love to be an expert music producer/DJ. It must be amazing to travel the world, seeing and hearing a crowd react to something you have created and played.

11. If you had to listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Tough question as I think it depends on your mood, but if I had to choose just one then it would be ‘Finally’ by Kings of Tomorrow, it never gets old.

12. What’s your most used emoji?

😂The crying laughing emoji, I clearly have a lot of funny friends.

13. If you could only have three apps on your smartphone, which would you pick?

Spotify, Google Maps and Karshare – very journey focused apps!

14. Where are you in birth order and do you think it affects your personality?

Oldest to one brother. I think being the eldest means I’m comfortable with my own company. I also like being there to give advice or guidance to my bro and anyone else who’ll listen.

15. What trend do you hope makes a comeback?

Anything 80’s, I have a fondness for the movies and fashion from that era for some reason – perhaps it’s a Goonies thing.

16. What’s been the most challenging part of your role at Karshare?

Not having enough time to reach everyone. I feel like when I have the opportunity to speak to people about Karshare, they understand it much better.

17. What’s your favourite famous or inspirational quote?

“Be the change you want to see in the world” – Gandhi said something to this effect.

It fits perfectly with the Karshare ethos and what we’re trying to achieve.

18. What’s your best memory of working at Karshare?

It’s only early days but my best memory so far was getting to meet with all the team in London in my second week for a brainstorming day.

19. What’s something that you’re really good at?

I think I’m good at building relationships, really important when you’re meeting new people all the time!

20. Who do you admire and why?

Sean Dyche, the Burnley FC manager. He’s achieved so much with so little (in comparative terms). The culture he’s created at the club has transformed Burnley into something to be proud of as a fan.