Amy Green is the Senior Marketing & Business Development Manager at DesignScene, a creative event production agency with offices in New York, LA, London and Singapore.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
After an initial stint in sports journalism (many moons ago I was a presenter for Lotus Motorsports on Sky Sports which I think is probably why these days I jump at any opportunity to pitch and present), I began working in fashion and retail.
I got my first taste at agency life when I accepted a role as PR and Marketing Manager at CAMPAIGN in London, working for the inspiring and creative Philip Handford in 2015.
For two years, I traveled the world while pitching projects for brands like Sunglass Hut, Burberry and Selfridges while learning about the amazing sweet spot where innovation, design, retail and live events intersect.
When CAMPAIGN moved to China, I decided to stay in London and began working at UK-based production agency, JJ Media Group. For two and a bit years I headed up its marketing division where I was assigned the task of rebranding the business to be able to compete with the likes of creative studios such as Spring Studios and Big Sky.
In 2019, I joined DesignScene as its Senior Marketing & Business Development Manager. I’m based in London but lead the firm’s internal and external communications across North America and EMEA. I love to travel so it’s great to be able to spend time between three cities I love — London, New York and LA.
While the business development side of things is great because I get to revisit my love of pitching and presenting from my TV journalism days, marketing is my favorite part of the job. I’m fascinated by consumer behavior and how it dictates how you as a business need to pivot, especially when it comes to catering to an increasingly digital customer base.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
I know everyone says this, but seriously, every day is different even while working remotely from home!
I thrive within the variety though — it keeps me both creative and stimulated and even those there’s plates spinning all over the place, it’s the type of environment I need to do my best work.
The current climate has made us reassess the way we do everything — from operating the business, to pitching new work.
Lately we’ve been starting our days with a Zoom huddle so we’re all aligned on each other’s projects and to ensure we’re getting some face time with each other to keep up morale.
The rest of the day is then usually filled with virtual event planning, assembling new briefs, client calls as well as brainstorming sessions.
We then have a second huddle towards the end of the day so we can hand off to our US team. One of the great benefits of being a global agency with employees in different time zones is that we can have our UK team handover projects to our US team, meaning we get a much longer working day.
If you think that we can work across the UK, NYC and LA, then our potential working hours are 9am to 1am. As such, a job that would normally take several days can be turned around in one or two.
We like to communicate a lot with each other during the day so there’s a lot of Slack notifications, water cooler chats (when we’re in the office), as well as reading and sharing of relevant industry news.
My favorite part of the day is always when we get to pitch which usually happens two to three times a week. Even though we’re doing it virtually at the moment (which is never quite the same as in person), I still love putting forward creative brand experiences to prospective clients.
That moment when you know you’ve just won over a new client with a brilliant idea is what I live for at work. We have such a strong, creative team; I never cease to be amazed by how easily they generate new and boundary pushing ideas day after day.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Fortunately, yes. I can work from anywhere, at any time. Usually (when we’re not in lockdown), I’m outside of the office a lot — either with clients, meeting journalists or traveling internationally to one of our events in the US, Asia or Europe. Obviously right now a lot of that is on pause so I’m enjoying the time I’m getting to spend at home.
Given the current climate, I’m very grateful that our team was so well equipped going into this to be able to handle the transition to remote work while still churning out so many creative ideas.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
I’ve never been very good at the whole work life balance thing as I just really love my job and it’s a core part of who I am and my purpose in life. Most of my friends work in events, PR, marketing and media so we aren’t used to having days off — there’s always a client or industry event to attend.
With that said, I do try to stick to a routine, especially when it comes to exercise as I find it to be a massive stress reliever. I aim to get to the gym or go for a run four times a week.
I’ve also gotten into a really good habit of spending my first five minutes when I wake up journaling and doing it again at night to align my thoughts, reflect on what I achieved that day and set out what my goals are for tomorrow.
I also have a vision board in my room that I like to update regularly to keep myself motivated.
My life is like a beautiful mess; it’s organized in my own way. I tend to take on too much but I believe that you can only grow by pushing yourself; just remember to listen to your body and take time out when you need to.
5) What do you think are some of the best habits or routines that you’ve developed over the years to help you achieve success in your life?
Several years of agency life has certainly taught me a few things. Namely:
- Be resilient. I am a pretty tenacious person. If I believe in something, I will stick to my guns and try to make it happen.
- Be a good listener. This is so important. You can read a room by just listening, keeping eye contact and understanding when you are losing them. You can learn so much by not always being the center of attention.
- Be kind. You don’t need to bulldoze your way through a situation to be the best.
- I keep focused by going home to my family. They are so important to me and know how to bring you back down to earth.
- Value your friendships. Spend time with friends, be honest about what is going on and ask for their help and opinions.
- Diarize daily. I make sure I at least have a to do list so that when I don’t have back-to-back meetings I can actually get some work done.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
- Shawn Achor’s Ted Talk – The happy secret to better work (it’s very funny and inspiring).
- Michelle Obama’s autobiography Becoming.
- Ingrid Fetell Lee’s book Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness (this is amazing inspiration for creativity).
- Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (it’s a classic and very eye opening).
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
Yes! They are:
Nike’s Running app. I’m all about growth so being able to track my runs, my speed and see my overall fitness improve always puts me in a good mood and helps me achieve my goals faster.
iPhone notes. If you haven’t guessed already but I really love jotting ideas down and making lists.
Pinterest. I’m a sucker for good design and Pinterest just makes everything look good. It’s a bit of a rabbit hole but it’s always my go-to when I’m looking for some inspiration both at work and in my personal life.
Spotify. Great for music and podcasts. “The Accidental Creative” is currently on heavy rotation.
Milanote. It’s like Pinterest and Trello had a baby. It speaks to the creative, design side of my brain and the other side that just wants to get shit done.
Slack. Yes the notifications drive me insane, but I live in it and it’s where I spend the majority of my day.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
New York graphic designer, Stefan Sagmeister, co-founder of the design firm Sagmeister & Walsh Inc, is someone I really admire when it comes to work-life balance.
Aside from leading a highly successful career as a designer, typographer and storyteller, when he wants to take time out from agency life, he takes a full year off to do something completely different like become a film guru.
I admire his ability to recognize when he needs to switch it up so he can come back to his work feeling revitalized and with a new way of looking at things.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
My ethos has always been “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”
Work and life can always throw you a curveball, I mean who saw social distancing coming?! It’s all about being tenacious and positive while getting on with it.
I also really love this quote from Shawn Achor which I live my life by:
What we’re finding is it’s not necessarily the reality that shapes us, but the lens through which your brain views the world that shapes your reality. And if we can change the lens, not only can we change your happiness, we can change every single educational and business outcome at the same time.
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