One of my favourite things about the Fellowship (and account management in general) is that no two days are the same.
At Ogilvy and Mather Advertising, your calendar is mostly yours to manage; so aside from cemented meetings you can be pretty flexible with how you get your work done. Some days are spent at a desk, elbows deep in a spreadsheet or a PowerPoint deck, some are entirely on your feet and face-to-face. Vive la difference. Embrace it.
That said, here’s your ‘average day’ (if that exists), to give you the gist:
I am one of those hideous morning people, which means I aim to arrive at the office around 0830 (but this is totally personal preference).
Every day should start with coffee, so upon arrival I grab a desk (hot desking is the new thing – securing your favourite seat is a must), hunt down a cappuccino and dig out my to-do list. Sea Containers is all about agile working. My preference is to bunk down next to the other Fellows, one of my Account Managers, or other friends depending on the way my day is shaping up.
If we’re behaving, most days we’ll do an Expedia team scrum at 0930 where we’ll go through the combined to-do list and make sure nothing is being missed. Over coffee. Always.
I’m currently working on a couple of teams simultaneously, so once we’ve covered off the Expedia things, I’ll check-in with the Account Manager on the Heineken brands and similarly run through our priorities there. Generally mornings are mostly spent sending emails, doing team admin and checking things off my to do list where possible.
I try really hard not to eat lunch al-desko so normally I’ll pester the people around me and the group WhatsApp to see who’s free and hungry. Again, personal preference - the nature of the Fellowship programme means you’re immediately established with a network of peers and someone is always hungry!
Most important meetings tend to be in the afternoon. As the junior account person on the team I’ll be making sure we’ve prepared anything that might be needed for those meetings. This can involve everything from printing visuals, to a mad dash to a nearby bar for a few bottles of Blind Pig (it’s a new liquor-based cider – try it!).
Our teams are keenly aware of the Fellowship scheme, so where possible my Business Director involves me in meetings so I can see the broadest variety of account work as I can. I’ve spent afternoons in production studios, recordings, client meetings and in bars. I’ve also spent afternoons in Excel. And PowerPoint. It’s not all sparkly.
Mid afternoon I’ll grab a coffee with a friend and aim to have some time away from work. I know making time for a break keeps me working efficiently, rather than just working hard - each to their own. Account Management is all about building effective relationships, so that’s my excuse.
Most days are finished circa 6pm, but there can be late nights too. I’ll round up every day by writing tomorrow’s to-do list. In theory this way, I’m less likely to miss something and it makes it easier to hit the important tasks first thing, rather than whatever’s top of your inbox. In theory.
As a Fellow, your job is to be a safe pair of hands. People understand you’re inexperienced and are incredibly patient with you. These early days are about learning processes, and watching how those with more experience handle things: Watch them make things happen, watch them charm, pitch and present, but most importantly watch them handle curveballs.
Finding your feet takes time, and learning your style takes even longer. Being a Fellow is ultimately having our team’s back just as they have ours, and striving to never make the same mistake twice.