Vanessa’s Flite Mobility Blog
Vanessa Gross works for IPG Mediabrands Frankfurt, and has spent 3 months working in the London office.
Today marks exactly four weeks that I’ve been living in London. I’ve heard people say that time flies while you’re living here, and yep – those people are absolutely right. These past four weeks have felt more like one or two.
London has so much to offer. I don’t think there’s anything you can’t do over here, and there are already tons of things I love about this city:
You can’t get bored. Even if you have lived here for ten years and saw all the major shows, museums, and sights, there would still be events cropping up to fill your time. I already feel stressed to get my to do-list ticked off within my time here.
Getting everywhere at any time. No matter where I’m going, I just walk it. And If I can’t walk it, I just take the bus or the tube. Speaking of walking, I still can’t get used to cars coming from the opposite direction. After a couple heart-stopping near misses, I have resigned myself to (mostly) waiting for the little green man on the sign to flash before I cross the street.
The East. Eating out, going to pubs on the weekend, battling the crowds at markets, getting groceries 24/7… I really like the area I’m living in.
London’s diversity. I’ve heard that London is made up of 50% British folks and 50% everybody else. I don’t know how correct that statement is, but in my own experience it sounds about right. I got to meet so many open-minded people from all backgrounds, each of them lovely in their very own way.
I’m really happy to have been given the chance to spend so much time in this beautiful city.
Tapping into a planner’s role for the UK market is a great experience.
I have learned a lot in the past 2 month and experienced a very integrated working culture in the London office. The J3 team really made an effort in showing me around, organizing several inductions and introducing me to their market.
After a warm welcome in my first week, including an introduction to the entire floor and welcome drinks at a pub, I had the chance to join several media owner- and (after)work-activities with my workmates. I really enjoyed having a German afternoon tea (which, to be fair, was quite new for me as a German), trying Ethiopian food at a workmates’ house or visiting the crystal maze.
Day-to-day work is very diverse in London:
- I discovered lots of helpful tools, innovative media strategies and new approaches to comms planning. Besides that I had the chance to tap into other clients’ businesses apart from J&J, which was really interesting.
- It feels like knowledge is shared actively in the London office, offering lots of training and formats such as ‘Lunch & Learn’ and ‘Spotlight’.
- One major difference between the London and the Frankfurt office is that the teams are hot-desking here, meaning we’re changing desks on a daily basis. It took me quite a few days to get familiar with having a different neighbour every day, but now I think it’s one of the best things to foster communication and togetherness within a team.
I really love how everybody’s mood rises on Fridays. Fridays are literally a celebration over here:
- Many colleagues bring their dogs to work, which instantly creates a good atmosphere in the office.
- At 12pm, the entire floor rounds up for ‘Friday 15’: a 15-minute catch up on what happened throughout the week. After that, some colleagues within the open-plan office usually turn up their music.
- Finally, at 3 pm (beer o’clock), weekend is almost there
Getting an all-round view of all the strategies and innovative ideas the planning teams develop over here has really inspired me.
Media planning and data usage are quite different in the UK and it was a great experience to see how many small pieces fit together in one strategy/RTB.
One thing I’ll definitely bring back to Germany is the Precision Engine Framework – a connected planning approach that includes a massive audience understanding – and data part to finally deliver the best outcomes for the client.
Also, I got introduced to so many media owners I wasn’t aware of before. Some of them are currently building up their business in Germany, others are already working with IPG back home. Either way, I’d be happy to meet them again and introduce them to my team in Frankfurt.
One personal thing I’ve learned from this experience is, that it doesn’t matter if you’re working longer hours or have to sometimes do a job that is not fun, as long as you spend your time with the right people.
Working with an inclusive and easy going team is one of the most important things.
Thanks again, UM London, for being so welcoming, considerate and kind. I will definitely miss all of you.