Create Happiness: An interview with Jacob Sibbald

By Seth Robinson

Jacob Sibbald graduated from the Bachelor of Commerce in 2018. Now, he works as a consultant in KPMG’s Customer, Brand and Marketing Advisory.

Jacob Sibbald decided he wanted to be a consultant a year into his Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), when he discovered that he could take his studies in marketing and management and apply them in the space. His first choice of employer was KPMG, and a role in their Customer, Brand and Marketing Advisory.

“I think, going to a school like Melbourne you establish an idea of what the consulting environment looks like. Since I’ve graduated, I’ve done multiple engagements in several states, in companies ranging from energy retail and freight haulage, to fitness apps, banks and disability service providers. It’s a really broad variety of areas you work in, and often, you’re dealing with the executive leadership team within these organisations,” says Jacob.

“Working in the Customer, Brand and Marketing Advisory (CBMA) team, I have personally focused a lot on customer experience, or CX, however my team also specialises in market research, brand value, media value, sales and marketing, social media advisory and Design Thinking.

Jacob Sibbald
Jacob Sibbald.

We have a lot of senior practitioners in the Design Thinking space, who generously guide us (junior staff) through the whole thinking approach and ideation process. We then apply those processes to solving real client problems, and eventually will try to make whole organisations more customer-centric.”

Jacob’s passion for CX was established when he undertook an internship at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

“At Disney, they’re world renowned for their incredible guest experience standards. Essentially, you ‘create happiness’, that’s what they call it, it’s a mantra you learn from your first day. I loved being able to create those moments for guests,” he says. “I think in Australia we’re behind in the CX game, and I think a lot of my colleagues would agree. There is a lot of progress being made in the digital space in Australia, but not necessarily in the physical experience and emotional resonance spaces, so that sense of brand affinity is lost.”

Even as he tries to apply those lessons from his experience overseas here in Australia, Jacob is eager to keep learning. Ultimately, he wants to continue his career in the CX sphere and the entertainment industry.

“I would like to continue consulting for the next two to five years I think, but then I think I’d like to go back to the US for a while and pursue an MBA. I would love to find my way back into the entertainment industry, perhaps even at Disney. If not there, I think I’d like to do something that’s globally oriented, whether that be in cinema, or tourism, but that’s still a long way off.”

Jacob has some advice for students who are about to graduate and enter the world of work.

“I think the most important thing is to trust yourself and always remain curious. Even now, we're bombarded with so many different ways of thinking and thought pieces about how companies can overcome COVID-19, or how people can work from home or expand their skill set through online learning. If you want to expand your skills, keep doing that and be someone to offer help. There's so many clients and small businesses that would love the help of people who might be studying their final year of uni and have some level of knowledge about the digital space and how to maintain a brand in times of crisis. If you can help a small business now and build your reputation, you’ll find that helpful when you go out into what is now a really tough job market.”