I believe it was the sitcom How I Met Your Mother that put the idea out there of, “When your life-long friend tells you he is going to be a dad, you immediately start thinking about all of the crazy things he has done over the years.” When Brent Scott FaceTimed me to tell me about his forthcoming fatherhood, so many memories from growing up together came rushing back. While this isn’t the appropriate time or platform to dive into Mr. Scott’s thrilling yesteryears, it certainly is time for a HUGE congratulations to him and his wife Jenn, who just recently welcomed their baby boy Gray Robert Scott into the world.
I’ve known Brent for literally my entire life, although the first few years were a blur, and have always thought of him as one of the smartest and most creative people I know. He has a double major from the University at Buffalo in Media Study and Business, which I think proves he’s both smart and creative. So, whether it’s developing a new strategy for a customer, putting on his videographer hat for a wedding or recruiting video, or dropping a seriously witty dad-joke to get everyone laughing, the man does it all. He’s been in quite a few positions here at Terakeet, always tackling the new roles head-on and thriving at them. Now we can add Dad to his resume.
Father’s Day is coming up and Brent is now part of the club celebrated on that day. I was curious to see how his work, creativity, and leadership at Terakeet have helped in preparing him for fatherhood.
A lot of people might not know about your background in video production, photography, and media. Can you tell me a little bit about how and why you got into it?
I got into video production as a kid. My friends and I would get together and shoot skits on an old Hi-8 camcorder. Then on my 16th birthday, I got my own video camera and started shooting even more (very stupid) sketches, many of which you starred in, none of which will be shared here. In high school, I started using my hobby to make money. I produced highlight reels for high school athletes trying to get recruited to play college sports, shot weddings, and even created an educational reading video for a local elementary school.
When I went to school at the University at Buffalo, I decided to pursue my passion for video as a career and major in Media Study. I also tacked on another degree in Business Administration, with the idea that I’d graduate and get into television advertising.
Did it lead you to Terakeet? If not, what brought you to Terakeet?
In a way, it did. When I graduated from college, I stayed in Buffalo and got a job at a local video production company that specialized in web video advertising. I worked there for about six months and learned a lot about what I did and didn’t love about video production. I realized that what I really enjoyed about it was being creative and executing my own ideas, but in advertising, the guy behind the camera or in the editing room usually isn’t the one coming up with those ideas. That coupled with the fact that my baby-mama, formerly known as my wife Jenn and at the time known as the girl I was dating, was back in Syracuse, which caused me to take a bit of a risk and leave that job to move back home.
It wasn’t until then that I heard about a young, exciting, fast-growing marketing company called Terakeet right in my own backyard. I applied and have been here ever since, and it’s given me the opportunity to be more creative and execute more of my own ideas for some of the biggest brands in the world.
You’ve held several roles since joining Terakeet. Can you tell me about your most rewarding, challenging, or memorable experiences?
It’s hard to nail down specific challenges and rewarding moments because, at the risk of sounding corny, every day is challenging and rewarding in its own right. That said, one very memorable moment for me was when my team received the “Founder’s Award” at our inaugural Terakeet Entrepreneurship Day for our presentation titled: The Influence Project.
While the initial idea we presented has since morphed into multiple other projects, I think the basis of what my team and I started pursuing with that project laid the foundation for how parts of our business have evolved over the past two years. Now more than ever, we value every aspect of a brand placement and view the influencers that we work with holistically. In some ways, I think the validation that my team received from our founders on that project certainly pushed the company further down the path that we find ourselves on now.
You even have a new role at home as “dad,” aka CEO of Gray. How have your ever-changing roles at Terakeet prepared you for this major life change?
Working at Terakeet has definitely prepared me for constant change. It’s an incredibly dynamic company, and one of the reasons I’ve enjoyed working here so much for the past 5 years is because I rarely find myself doing the same thing for too long.
Working at Terakeet has also helped me get comfortable figuring things out on the fly. When we sign a new client facing a unique challenge, we often have to enter uncharted territory and figure out what will work for them. In the same way, no one (certainly not me) really knows how to take care of an infant until there’s one there screaming at you to keep it alive, so my Terakeet experience of constantly learning as I go has certainly helped there.
How do you think being a parent will affect your team leadership?
Maybe ask me that question again in like, ten to fifteen years! I imagine that’s when the parallels will really start to present themselves. To date, none of my coworkers have asked me to feed them or change their dirty diapers (thank God). In my limited experience (a total of 4 weeks), that’s about all the kid needs right now.
Now (1 month) into your new role as Dad, you’ve been able to take advantage of Terakeet’s latest Paternity/Family leave benefit. How has this experience been?
Terakeet’s family leave benefit has been amazing. I know a lot of companies don’t offer any time off for new fathers, so I consider myself very lucky to work for one that understands the importance of being home with your family for the first few weeks of a child’s life. I can’t imagine going through the experience of bringing a brand new human into the world (with some assistance from my wife) and then heading back into the office the following day. Being able to be home with my wife and son during the first month of his life has been an enormous gift.
Best advice you’ve received about being a new dad and/or some advice you’d give to a soon-to-be-dad about what to expect during the first month of fatherhood?
I received one piece of advice from my dad throughout pretty much my whole life (and I know for a fact he’s handed it out to you several times as well): “Don’t be stupid.” It’s actually great advice, because it applies to pretty much any situation you can imagine, and it always steers you in the right direction. I think it’s guided me through life pretty well so far.
Advice I’d give to a soon-to-be-dad? Eyes up top. Don’t look down. Just don’t do it.
Most importantly, have you been able to either confirm or bust any baby/parenting myths?
Confirmed: When the diaper comes off, duck and cover. The kid’s had that thing less than a month and he’s already a sharp-shooter. He wrote his name on the bedroom wall within the first week he was home, and he’s sniped me and his mom with a couple of kill-shots on more than one occasion. #prouddad