By Bekki Bushnell, Head of Business Development
@ Work questions:
1. What’s your career background, in brief?
I originally planned on working in HR, but after a year in the industry as part of my Psychology degree I decided to pursue a more creative path. Once I’d graduated, I went off to India to work in advertising, before returning to the UK and landing my job with Whiteoaks as a Junior Account Executive. I’ve been here ever since and now work as an Account Manager in Team Aries, looking after clients across the B2B tech spectrum. It was definitely the right move for me.
2. What’s the most challenging job you’ve ever had?
The most challenging job I ever had was selling balloons at a local theme park. Especially during the warm summer months. The uniform was not designed to withstand temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius, and my hands were full so there was no way of carrying around a water bottle. To make matters worse, everywhere I looked there were people enjoying the sun with ice creams and drinks while I melted around the park on my feet for hours on end trying not to let the balloons go (which I often would — accidentally of course). The icing on the cake was that most days I would actually make a loss on balloons but I assure you I am much better at PR than I am at balloon selling. My next student job was signing up sixth form students to UCAS cards at student fairs which was much more exciting and successful, I really enjoyed being target driven and getting to engage with groups of people as I tried to make ‘the sell’.
3. What apps, technology items and gadgets can’t you live without?
Right Move and my Amazon Echo. I have developed a growing obsession with checking out properties on Right Move; I probably do it about three times a day. I like looking for inspiration (as well as checking out the many great home interior accounts on Instagram), and I’m always planning my next house move, whenever that may be. I also love my Amazon Echo, mainly for playing music at home and keeping timers when I cook, but it has so many useful features.
4. What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
‘It’s better to be at the bottom of the ladder you want to climb, than to be at the top of one you don’t’. Obviously it speaks of the importance in being in a career that you genuinely enjoy, but I think it also applies to other aspects of life too. Do what makes you happy is essentially the take home message.
5. Name one thing about your job that gives you a sense of satisfaction or makes you leave the office smiling…
Great coverage for the client. Nothing beats seeing a story that you’ve worked on with your client covered in a top tier publication or seeing them on a TV screen talking through the angles you’ve developed together. When your coverage also sparks conversation in the industry and amongst readers it’s really rewarding to know that the work you’ve done has actually made people think and generated debate.
6. Do you personalise your workspace?
Not particularly! At the moment there’s a cool pair of cat themed sunglasses in a pencil pot and some cat shaped highlighters (are you noticing a theme?) but that’s about it. Currently, I think it might be overkill to bring in a framed picture of my cat too.
7. What’s the first thing you do in the office in the morning?
Once the laptop is up and running I like to check any emails that might have come through since I left home in the morning, before having a chat with the team. Then we’ll talk about the priorities for the day and make sure everyone knows where their focus needs to be, followed by a scan of the day’s news, including my guilty pleasure, online celebrity news.
8. What are you reading, watching or listening to at the moment?
I’ve just finished watching Stranger Things 3 which was amazing as expected and I’ve started with Keeping Faith on the BBC which was recommended to me by my Account Director, Mary. I’ve also just read that the new season of Orange Is The New Black is on Netflix now so that’ll be binge watched over the next week, much to the delight of my boyfriend. I’m on the lookout for a new book, so if anyone has any good thriller or comedy recommendations do get in touch!