In the first of a new series on Chief Nation, we’re shining the spotlight on our esteemed colleagues. We’re a talented bunch, but telling you that is easy; in this series, we want to show you. We’ll show you how our skilled colleagues have progressed since joining the company, what they do now, and what the future holds for them.

First up, we’re putting Mike Sambrook, one of our Digital Campaign Managers, front and centre. Here’s a little about his journey so far at Chief Nation.

Mike (left), with team members Helen & Kalin


An apprenticeship to remember


“I started out at Chief Nation back in 2017, joining the company as a Data Researcher & Assistant. It was a great opportunity and a step in the right direction for me and my career. Before that I’d been at Pearson in Holborn, studying business and marketing alongside working in retail. But I was keen to branch out into digital marketing, which I thought would bring exciting opportunities.

“After a year of studying, I decided the time was right to get my foot in the door at a great company. I ended up widening my search as I looked for the right opening, and started considering data roles as well. My thinking was that because data was becoming an ever more important part of our lives – and still is – having a working understanding of how to use it would help me thrive in digital marketing. Analytics, after all, is driving value at companies of all shapes and sizes nowadays.

“That’s when I started looking at apprenticeships, too. Not only would I be able to learn, I’d be able to earn. Some of the initial places I interviewed for treated the apprenticeship scheme as easy workers. Chief Nation didn’t; I felt like the company would be a fantastic place to work as an apprentice, with a decent wage, decent work, and ample room to learn what it means to be a data researcher.

“The apprenticeship I undertook was through Just IT, the L4 Data Science & Big Data Analytics programme. Learning through the course and in my full-time role at Chief Nation really deepened my knowledge of data analytics, as well as working as part of a coordinated team that collaborated with other departments.

"My thinking was that because data was becoming an ever more important part of our lives – and still is – having a working understanding of how to use it would help me thrive in digital marketing. Analytics, after all, is driving value at companies of all shapes and sizes nowadays."

— Mike Sambrook, Digital Campaign Manager


Mike (right) with his dad

Leading with data


“I finished off my apprenticeship with a 5-day project after almost two years of development. At that time, I became a fully fledged employee in Chief Nation’s data team. My role and responsibilities shifted slightly as I took on bigger projects, including researching and building data sets for all our campaign projects, liaising with clients to ensure we were targeting the right accounts, and fine tuning our processes through SQL and Python with my colleagues.

“But my ambition to work digital marketing campaigns as a marketing pro never faded.

“When the pandemic hit in March 2020, Chief Nation was affected just like everyone else. And like a lot of other companies, it was all hands on deck as we adapted to the so-called ‘new normal’. I was no different. As the company pivoted to deliver our famed Chief Wine Officer events virtually, so the team had to take on new responsibilities. I was keen to take on more digital marketing tasks.


Digital marketing, at last!


“The management team were completely behind me in this regard. I ended up splitting my time between the data and marketing teams, with mornings dedicated to data research and the afternoons dedicated to marketing activities like our LinkedIn Ambassador and email marketing campaigns.

“There were some exciting projects that I could sink my teeth into straight away. Two of my favourites were working on our campaigns with Dell Technologies and Digital Realty. With Dell, we were delivering extensive lead nurturing campaigns, all with the aim of bringing C-level enterprise leaders together for peer-to-peer networking and knowledge sharing opportunities. With Digital Realty, we created a whole content hub called the Digital Centre to get their thought leadership out to the world.

“But I didn’t stop there. I was starting to get interested in the events that are Chief Nation’s specialty. I was eager to get involved, and the company was more than happy for me to get stuck in.

“I was learning more and more about what it takes to succeed with digital marketing. So when the chance to join the digital team as a permanent member arose, I decided the time was right to take my expertise in data and trade places. Seeing an opportunity to bridge skills from one team to another, my managers were fully on board.

"I’ve been at Chief Nation for over four years now, but every day is a new day. There’s always something going on, and such a dynamic company has kept me engaged throughout my time here."

— Mike Sambrook, Digital Campaign Manager


“I now apply a data-driven approach to my campaigns and help companies like Akamai Technologies to reach their key target accounts. Whether that’s through CEO.digital, our C-suite thought leadership community, or Chief Wine Officer, I play a pivotal role here.

“I’ve been at Chief Nation for over four years now, but every day is a new day. There’s always something going on, and such a dynamic company has kept me engaged throughout my time here. The people, the culture, the work – it all comes together for me.”

Get to know more team members