By Wendy Verdaasdonk
Meet Mangahigh’s New CEO, Mike Brooksbank!
Hey Mike, let’s start with a simple question, where did you grow up?
I was born and spent my entire childhood in Cambridgeshire, UK. It’s where I went to primary and secondary school. It’s a great place to live and grow up. Currently, after many decades and much international travel, I’m now living in South Oxfordshire with my family.
When you were in school, what was always your favourite subject?
Sadly, not maths! I was more interested in the humanities; history has been my all-time favourite. I still devour a good history book now and again. However, maths has been one of the most valuable subjects when it comes to real-life applications. In my time as a pilot, quick maths skills were essential. I’m excited to work with a company that helps children find joy and value in learning maths too!
What jobs do you enjoy looking back on?
I started off in the RAF, and very much enjoyed flying for years afterwards. After this, I naturally rolled into software and business, where I found a new passion. The jobs I’ve held have always had an international element, which gave me the opportunity to live in various places including the United States and New Zealand. I’ve spent a significant amount of time in South East Asia during my career and it’s these international experiences - living and working with different cultures - that have been the greatest privilege I have taken from my professional life so far.
Did you have aspirations for edtech?
I actually came into edtech by accident, my first job in education was an interim role for an education-based charity; it was supposed to be for 6 months, but I ended up working there for 6 years! What I loved about it was doing things for the greater good, helping the sector to do things more effectively and enabling all children to have ready access to education.
What are you most excited about when it comes to working at Mangahigh?
Mangahigh already helps so many schools and students so I’m excited to see how we can expand that even further. I’ve only been with the company for a couple of weeks, and I can already see the immense passion the employees have for the company. It’s truly something special.
Now let’s get into some more informal questions. What has been your latest lockdown project?
I’m very lucky to live in the countryside and I have the woods pretty much across the road. One of my favourite things to do is be outside with the dogs or go trail running. Before lockdown I ran competitively, I’m looking forward to doing that again (hopefully) soon!
What are you most excited about outside of work?
When it comes to hobbies, I’m interested in quite a lot of different sports. As I mentioned, I like trail running competitions, but I enjoy real-tennis too; Real Tennis should not be confused with Lawn Tennis. It is a different game altogether. The competitive spirit of it is really motivating to me, and keeps it challenging. To relax, I enjoy going fly fishing with my nephew. I have to admit, we don’t always catch anything, but it’s the quality downtime that I find important.
What do you think the world will look like in 20 years?
Well, I’d love to believe that we will be in flying cars and on hoverboards, but that’s probably a bit of a stretch! What I do hope to see in 20 years, is a cleaner and more sustainable world.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I think the older I get, the more I want to be mindful of what I spend my time on and make more time for my passions. Spending time with my family is a big part of that of course, but I also aim to do more charitable work in the future.
And that’s all for Mike! We hope you enjoyed getting to know our CEO a little better. If you have anything you want to ask Mike, please feel free to get in touch. Are you curious to know more about the other team members of Mangahigh? Visit our Meet the Team page to get to know us better!