Interviews / Marketing & Advertising

Balancing the Grind With Jennyfer Nguyen, Digital Marketing & Communications Manager at White Ribbon Australia

Jennyfer Nguyen is the Digital Marketing & Communications Manager at White Ribbon Australia, a non-profit organisation working to end men’s violence against women and girls, promote gender equality and create a new vision of masculinity.

Balance the Grind spoke to Jennyfer about her marketing-communications career, her role at White Ribbon, not checking emails after 5pm, playing dodgeball for stress relief and more.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your background and career?

I’m currently the Head of Digital Marketing & Communications at White Ribbon Australia, and I really feel it’s a culmination of over eight years of kicking off my love of social media and websites.

When I graduated from uni armed with Commerce (Marketing) and Communications degree, the global financial crisis had hit and no one was really hiring in that space.

I went into the retail world but kept on learning, playing and tinkering with social media and the digital space.

It wasn’t something that was taught when I was studying at uni – social media was not a standard inclusion in any marketing or communications subject.

Since those early days until now, each role has been about mastering the intricacies of the digital space and making sure it works in an integrated marketing communications mix.

2) What is your current role and what does it entail on a day to day basis?

As Head of Digital Marketing and Communications at White Ribbon, it’s never really the same.

On a day-to-day basis, there’s a lot of campaign planning and execution work. My role is to make sure the customer experience from web through to the shop to payment forms, from emails and Google ads is smooth and the message is consistent.

I can be drawing up journey plans, building eDMs, redesigning webpage layouts, or simply even writing a blog post for the website.

3) What does a typical day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

Today was one of those really full days, but not out of the ordinary.

It kicked off with the usual following up of emails, smashing out any quick job requests. If anything takes less than five minutes to do, I do it as soon as possible.

Then I had an urgent request for mass email-out to be sent. I quickly drafted, built and got it approved. Once all approvals and checks were done, that was sent off.

Then I was fiddling around and fine-tuning elements on our new fundraising website. I was helping the team out, training others and doing the tricky coding bits and SEO work.

After that, was an afternoon of meetings regarding a new campaign and working with our PR agency.

After work, I quickly dashed off to teach a year 3/4 tutoring class for Maths and English. This is a casual role I do about three times a week. And after class today, I headed off to play trivia a pub in the city with some friends!

4) In between everything you do and all your responsibilities, how do you ensure you find some sort of balance in your life?

One of my biggest rules is to not check work emails after 5pm. I make sure everyone knows this about me and if it’s urgent, they can text or call me.

I also try my best to not eat at my desk and if I have to work through lunch, I still try go for an afternoon walk outside for coffee or just fresh air.

Once in awhile, you will have to work after hours (especially, in the social media world), but you need to make sure it stays an exception and not become the rule. A tired you is an inefficient you.

5) What are some of the things you do to take time out and recharge?

My two favourite recharge activities are seeing friends and sport. If I can combine both – even better!

I currently play dodgeball every Sunday and it is just an amazing source of stress relief! It’s fun and addictive.

6) Are there any gadgets, tools or products can’t you live without?

I think the most common answer for everyone would be their phone and I wouldn’t challenge that.

The other life-saving gadget for me lately has been the Roomba vacuum cleaner. It seriously has saved me so much time and effort. Instead of spending once a week vacuuming, I only have to do it every three weeks or so.

7) Do you have any books that you love and would like to recommend?

I highly recommend Michelle Obama’s Becoming. She has such a way with words! Learning from someone who has come from a world full of barriers, and yet, still become so successful, even before being First Lady is inspiring.

Hearing how she navigates the public space is eye-opening and really makes you critical of news reporting.

If you’re not a reader, get the audiobook. Her soothing tones make it just that bit more enjoyable.

8) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?

I create check-lists using Trello boards and plan my things-to-do list for the day.

I don’t just do this for work but also on my days off when I plan on getting all that life admin done.

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.