My name’s Andrew and I’ve loved stories from the moment I first picked up a crayon as a baby and attempted to carve meaning into my bedroom walls. I’ve loved studying them, and I’ve loved telling them. I believe stories build identities and communities.
That’s why I read for a B.A. in English at the University of Malta, and why I then went on to an M.Litt in Playwriting and Dramaturgy at the University of Glasgow. It’s also why I followed that up with an M.A. in Screenwriting at the National University of Ireland in Galway.
I spent many a summer in Malta teaching English as a foreign language, speaking to people from different backgrounds, and delivering educational content that was as entertaining as it was engaging. Perhaps my desire to communicate and inform the narrative is what then led me to activism and political writing – much of my work is on the award-winning Maltese news outlet The Shift News, you can read my contributions here.
My Work at Shopify
I started as a guru at Shopify in October 2017 and I loved it. I answered calls, emails, and chat helping merchants using Shopify to navigate the platform and build their businesses.
Such was my passion for the job that of my own volition, in my first year at Shopify, I made a little spotlight video about what were then called gurus but are now known as Support Advisors:
Social Media and Content
In January 2020 I assumed a role with the Social Care team. My responsibilities included providing information about the Shopify platform in a 1:many format across Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and the community forums. This naturally meant maintaining the brand tone and messaging.
In the wake of COVID-19, I championed a Content Strategy prototype for Shopify merchants and new entrepreneurs. We created a hub that strove to help merchants think in terms of the best content for these very particular, difficult times.
Each section would link to blog posts, case studies, and tools that show how a merchant can best connect with their customers right now. In essence, we outlined an actionable checklist of resources and ideas, with scope to include tutorial videos. Here’s our explanatory video:
Shopify Blog and Conference
I also submitted a blog post about the importance of the Hero’s Journey storytelling model in branding and marketing. The Corona Virus meant that the blog had to pivot its editorial line away from marketing to a more technical focus and sadly my post had to take a backseat. Here’s the first written edit of the blog post.
And here is a video I did to pitch the Hero’s Journey as a presentation for a Shopify conference:
Corporate Social Responsibility
I also championed a project to help members of marginalized communities start their own websites and businesses on the Shopify platform. This meant liaising with Local Development Companies, community representatives, and Non-Governmental Organizations. It also meant managing a team that had to develop tailored content for asylum seekers, survivors of domestic violence, the Traveller community, and former convicts.
Speechwriter, Communications Liaison Officer, and videographer
My role was to create accessible, enjoyable content to speak to a wide audience for local Irish Social Democrat general election candidate Niall Ó Tuathail in his last campaign. A few of the campaign videos I directed and edited are listed on my Youtube channel here, but here is one I’m highlighting as an example of turning directly to the voters to create a sense of movement, community, and of urgency:
- My teaching and my activism have given me experience across a variety of media, from writing to filmmaking, from podcasting to presenting.
- My background in political campaigning has inculcated strong engagement and consensus-gathering skills in me, forcing me to make rational tactical decisions that can inspire and motivate a team.
- My Shopify projects hopefully speak to my knack for creative problem-solving, project planning, and talent for bringing a project to fruition.
- My experience as a journalist and political writer means I have had to be incredibly resourceful, with a sharp eye for detail and keen communication skills.