How many years of experience do you have: 15 years in agencies
Places you have worked before: Fieldworks, Cognition, Southpaw, Cheeky Communications
What do you have to take to a meeting: I take Vaseline wherever I go!
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I was quite a musical kid, always on the karaoke machine. My favourite hobby was creating mix tapes by pushing start and stop on the tape recorder when the charts were on and watching Top of The Pops! So when I was younger, I wanted to be a drummer! Whilst I still enjoy a good beat, marketing stole my heart after school. In fact, I’ve only played the drums twice in my adult life! How life changes.
What has been the most surprising thing you’ve learned in your career?
One piece of advice that has stuck with me is that I distinctly remember being told always to hire people you think have the potential to be better than you. Not only will they take the pressure off in terms of workload, but they will also support your personal growth. Interviewing strong candidates before this advice always made me doubt myself, but now I see the opportunity.
What motivates you to keep working hard in your job?
I want to make a difference. I want to be proud of the impact I hopefully have on the world around me. Whether that’s the people I work with or through collaborative work we create as an agency with purpose. I actually get a great sense of personal satisfaction in helping motivate others around me to excel. It’s essential to keep the positivity amongst the team, which makes for an open and welcoming work environment. This always creates an engaged team that works efficiently, resulting in positive benefits for us and our clients. I honestly care about the people I work with and the work I am doing, which makes it easy to stay on track. Be professional but keep it fun!
What is your favourite project you’ve worked on in your career so far, and why?
I worked on a ghd pink campaign back in 2019 called My Tattoo, My Story. It was designed to raise money for the charity Breast Cancer Now through a powerful and emotive campaign with global reach. The creative execution had a real impact featuring the true story of a woman who turned their mastectomy scars into works of art, expressing her pride and empowerment. It was a very talented team involved in the project, from strategy and social through to production and execution. It was a huge success becoming the most successful campaign in the history of ghd supporting breast cancer charities, raising a staggering £750,000.
The project encompassed many things that inspire me – women, those who have and still are bravely battling cancer, and personal expression through tattooed art. Working on such an emotional campaign was so rewarding, and being one of their most successful was the cherry on top.
If you could work in any other industry, regardless of qualifications or experience, which would it be and why?
Account management can be pretty intense. Managing multiple projects simultaneously, with a range of clients, all with different ways of working, while ensuring deadlines and budgets are followed. Then knowing what your financial projections are for the coming 6 months and dealing with daily complications which have a knock-on effect on the delivery of the project in some way. (Rant over 😊). That said, I really thrive off the creative agency world. I love the roller-coaster of it and the fast-paced nature, which is hard to find outside the agency environment. The ideas are kept fresh, and we’re constantly evolving and growing through experience as individuals and as a team. So, I would stay in agency life but perhaps bring my creative flair to the front a little more and become a video editor instead. Alex McDowell, watch this space…
What’s something you’ve learned about yourself through your career?
That I am extremely adaptable to change. Within Account Management, you must be strong, empathetic, consistent, agile, and strong-minded, while not taking it to heart when it doesn’t quite go to plan. It involves managing projects across different industries and geological markets, with people from all backgrounds and personality profiles, with varying timescales and demand levels. You have to be adaptable, and that’s what I have learnt to be, and I am proud of that.
What made you apply to be an account director at Catch A Fire?
I interviewed four years ago when Catch A Fire was brand new, but it wasn’t the right time for either of us on reflection. But three years later, they got back in touch to see if I was ready. This time I jumped at the opportunity to be involved.
Working with like-minded people on brands that have purpose felt like I was giving back to the world. Marketing can often be deemed a ‘nice to have’ rather than a ‘must have’, but at Catch A Fire I have found a group of talented people working hard on brands I can get behind, which gives me a strong sense of purpose and belonging.
Want to join Catch A Fire?
If you like the idea of taking your career further and combining it with a B Corp business on a mission to create work that ignites positive change. Then take a look at our open roles on LinkedIn or drop us a message.
01892 887239 | email@example.com
Or check out last month’s interview with Senior Creative Rich Fuller. 🔥