As we enter the festive season, it’s time to get wrapping, cooking, and preparing yourself for the recurrent trial of explaining to your relatives what it is that you actually do for a living. If you’ve been working in account management for a while, chances are it won’t be the first year that you’ve had to politely explain that despite what Aunt Anne tells all her friends, you’re still, without a doubt, not an accountant.
While refraining from exhibiting an eye roll is its own unique challenge, articulating a conversation-friendly summary of your role and responsibilities can be a whole new test in itself. This is especially the case for Account Executives where no two days at work are the same and adapting to the variety of tasks becomes second nature.
We asked Senior Account Executives Frankie, Izzy and Becky, to give us the lowdown on what it’s really like working at the forefront of client services.
So, whether you’re considering venturing into the wonderful world of Med Comms, or simply looking for a little help in holding back that sigh of frustration, our Account Executives have got your back.
How long have you been at AS&K?
Izzy: Nearly 10 months.
Rebecca: Just over a year!
Frankie: Almost a year.
What attracted you to Med Comms? And to AS&K in particular?
Izzy: I wanted to find a job where I could use my degree, social and creative skills together. I was also looking for a company that shared similar values, promoted an open, friendly, sociable working environment and was a place where I felt part of a team.
Rebecca: I did a degree in Biochemistry and knew that I wanted to work in healthcare, but not in a lab or hospital, so Med Comms seemed a great fit! AS&K was a nice sized company and I remember being impressed by the climate conscious attitude.
What are the best bits about your job?
Izzy: One of the best things about my job is that it’s very varied. I also like the teamwork/collaboration aspect, the sense of group achievement when a project comes to an end, as well as meeting new people and building relationships with my team and clients.
Frankie: Absolutely the people I work with. I am also really grateful for the ability to have greater autonomy over certain projects and really progress in the field.
And the worst?
Izzy: Through busy periods it can be pressurized when numerous deadlines are coming up at the same time. However, this can also be exciting and makes the days go quickly.
Rebecca: COVID has meant that although I am still working on congresses taking place in Las Vegas and other amazing locations, I don’t get to travel over there and attend. Instead, I do the work from rainy London!
What does a typical day look like?
Izzy: Generally, no day is the same; however, examples of some typical responsibilities include:
- Liaising with the internal team:
- - Project status calls to discuss action points, project progress and timelines
- - Briefing the internal content or creative team on the materials that need to be developed
- - Reviewing materials and providing feedback to the team
- Liaising with global clients:
- - Booking in status calls with the client to discuss project progress, questions or to receive feedback on materials
- - Development of agendas for client calls (involves thinking about key points/questions to be discussed)
- - Email communication, e.g., sharing materials or updates
- Liaising with Thought Leaders:
- - Arranging briefing calls to discuss requirements at the meeting/event
- - Reviewing client briefs to understand their requirements and goals
- - Tracking the timeline and financial status of the project (and invoicing)
What was it like to start a job when we’re still in the middle of a pandemic, with most people working remotely, etc.? Did you still manage to meet and bond with your team?
Rebecca: I think that working entirely virtually for the first year meant that I picked things up a bit more slowly, especially as it was my first job in Med Comms. However, I am fortunate that my team are lovely, and I got to know them virtually until we were able to meet up outside of working hours. My manager is actually based in the US, so we have never met in-person, but we get on amazingly and I am very excited for the day we get to meet!
Frankie: It could be isolating at times but having at least one team call a day makes so much difference. I’ve still got to know my team really well, and I’ve taken every opportunity while the office has been open to go in to meet people in person.
What area of science are you most passionate about?
Izzy: I have a personal interest in oncology and dermatology; however, I have had the opportunity to work on several other therapy areas (e.g., neurology, cardiology), which have also been very interesting.
Frankie: I have always loved gynecology, and originally wanted to go into midwifery. My dissertation was on fetal liver development and stem cells, so anything in that area I find really interesting.
If your role was an animal, what animal would it be?
Izzy: I would say a chameleon as you have to adapt to many different, changing situations, e.g., liaising with different people (internal team and clients), adapting to problems that may arise (timeline changes/delays) and juggling many different tasks throughout the day to keep all projects moving forward.
Rebecca: An octopus – I am always doing about eight different things at once!
Frankie: Probably a duck – making sure everything looks calm on top, whilst madly paddling away underneath.
Finally, can you sum up your role in three words?
Izzy: Varied, collaborative, fulfilling.
Rebecca: Varied, collaborative, rewarding.
Frankie: Busy, varied, organized.
If you think you have what it takes to be part of our account management team, take a look at our current opportunities or just drop our Talent Acquisition Partner, Amy Bremner an email at Amy.Bremner@asandk.com
Learn more about the perks and benefits of working at the AS&K Group here.