gm.Studio:

A Day in the Life of a Client Services Manager

Nicole Porter
  • Client Services Manager
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Now it’s my turn to share my ‘day in the life’…

Tell us about your typical working day in the Client Services Team at gm-design

I start my day with what I think is one of most beautiful commutes in the world – I get the coastal train into the city, and the views never fail to amaze me! The journey also gives me an opportunity to catch up on my emails and check out the latest news before I get into work.

Once I am in the office, I grab a quick tea, run through my to-do list and update it with anything that has come in that morning. Working in the Client Services team means your life is usually run according to one big list!

I put aside half an hour first thing to meet with each of my team, to establish their priorities and pressure points for that day. If there are any conflicts in the schedule, we’ll organise a huddle to assign resource.

No two days are the same when managing client accounts – I may be putting together a schedule for a client’s website re-launch, having a conference call to discuss a new product update, holding a status meeting with our Directors, running through design proposals with the project team, or researching an upcoming networking opportunity. The variety is what keeps me on my toes!

What are your favourite and least favourite things about working in the Client Services team?

My favourite thing about working in the Client Services team at gm-design has to be the team members themselves – we are an eclectic mix, but like-minded in our passion and enthusiasm for the work we do. Everyone has something different to bring to the team dynamic and it’s this that creates such a supportive, fun environment to work in.

I’d say my least favourite, or most frustrating, aspect of working in any agency is technical hiccups – I often take for granted how reliant I am on my computer…nothing grinds my day to a halt more than seeing the dreaded “Office has closed unexpectedly”, “This site is temporarily unavailable”, or worse, the ‘Beachball of Doom’!

When did you decide you wanted to go down the Client Services route, what inspired you?

It was during my Advertising degree that I found out that Client Services was the route for me. Primarily a creative course, where students were prepared for the world of Art Direction and Copywriting, it wasn’t until we had a speaker from a leading advertising agency discuss their role as an Account Manager that I had my ‘light bulb’ moment. The variety of the role inspired me; combining my love of creativity, strategic thinking, relationship building and multitasking… even to this day, I can’t imagine doing any other job!

Which steps did you take to get you where you are today?

I have always loved art and design, and pursued this throughout school. Though, also enjoying Maths (I am afraid I was the child who got excited at the prospect of sitting Maths’ challenges!), I didn’t know quite where my interests would take me.

I decided on my Advertising degree course in Sixth Form after a recommendation from a former student, and knew it would be beneficial to complete an Art and Design Foundation course before applying. This gap year gave me the chance to try my hand at so many new skills – glasswork, screen-printing, and fashion design, to name a few.

In my final year of my Advertising degree, I was approached by a London agency for an Account Executive role on one of their large client accounts, which marked the beginning of my career in Client Services.

London couldn’t keep me away for long though, and with my family and partner based in Devon, I moved back down the following year to continue my progression in Account Management with gm-design.

What 3 words would you use to describe the gm. Client Services team?

Creative, Conscientious, Supportive

What’s your best tip for keeping a cool head?

Don’t suffer in silence!

When juggling multiple projects, sometimes it’s easy to lose perspective when an issue occurs. Taking a step back and airing something to the team often gives you that bit of grounding and reassurance you need.

What advice would you give to any young people who would like to work in a similar role?

Embrace every challenge that comes along and use it as a learning curve to build your experience, fast! If you have to overcome something difficult, ask yourself “what did I learn from this?”… it makes the hard-work, effort and tears worth it!

Any parting words?

Push yourself in your role, and appreciate a workplace that makes you laugh each day!

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