It’s a bank holiday today and I’m taking a trip with my family to visit one of the world’s most renowned university campuses.
In my second year of college I had decided I wanted to be a professor and although I’ve found an alternate fulfilling career, I still enjoy visiting campuses. We arrive in Oxford at 11am after a quick bus ride from London.
Experiencing Oxford redefines what a campus is, and I find myself not only inspired by the architecture and academic history, but moved by the sense of knowledge and creativity that surrounds the city.
It is a fitting way to kick off a week that will be focused on educating clients, team members and partners of one the world's most creative digital platforms that is Tumblr.
One year ago I moved from New York to London to lead the Yahoo/Tumblr Advertising Solutions team across EMEA.
My team is responsible for developing our sales strategy, working with our customers to build custom solutions. We’ve been spending a good amount of our recent efforts focused on growing the Tumblr business in the region.
There are many things people warned me about when I moved, like driving on the other side of the road and the rain, of course, but no one ever mentioned that the sun comes up before 5am in the morning.
I am normally an early riser, but 4:45am is my new wake up time. Some days I use this time to exercise or catch up on industry news, but most days I quietly catch up on work.
Today, like most days, my diary is full of back-to-back meetings with usually a 30-minute break for lunch. This week is particularly full as Tumblr CEO and founder David Karp is in town and we're hosting events to coincide with his visit.
My day starts with a commercial team meeting, where I update all of our regional teams across EMEA on our Tumblr sales strategy and the upcoming events. I continue on to a weekly meeting of the EMEA leadership team.
In the afternoon I have calls scheduled to prepare for meetings with clients at the Cannes Lions festival and a video conference call with three new team members in Germany who recently joined after an acquisition.
The day in the office wraps at 7pm with my standard walk to Holborn, email on the tube, central line to Holland Park and walk home to my family.
The early sun is a good thing today, as the 5am-7am hours are a perfect time to prep my talking points for the Tumblr events.
The experts say that the earlier hours of the day should be spent on strategic work vs. answering email, so I typically try to push the most important projects as early in the day as I can.
David Karp arrives for our first of many meetings. It’s a special occurrence to have David in London and our aim over the next two days is to help our clients better understand Tumblr and show how they can incorporate it into their content marketing strategies.
David is one of the most successful internet entrepreneurs of our time, and while amazingly energetic and smart, he’s also extremely personable, open and friendly.
Each month we host a video conference for all Yahoo employees across EMEA, led by our SVP Dawn Airey and her leadership team. After the business updates, we continue on to a fireside chat with David and he does a terrific job of sharing the Tumblr vision with the team and answering questions.
Around 7pm David and I head to Soho House for dinner with 20 clients and agency partners. Dinner and discussions are lively and once the "Oreo Meringue Mess" (as good as it sounds) is served, the evening wraps up. Uber home and I’m asleep by midnight.
Today I am the MC of our client event in Shoreditch. I spend the early morning finalising my opening remarks and some questions for the panel I will chair. I hop into another Uber at 7am and warn the driver that I will be talking to myself (rehearsing) so not to be alarmed.
Our event team has done an amazing job transforming the space, with a big Tumblr "t" painted on the outside wall, touch screens to demo some of the best brand blogs on Tumblr and a mannequin wearing the "Blue and Black Dress" (yes, it is blue and black) that was originally shared on Tumblr and became a social media phenomenon earlier this year.
After my opening remarks, David shares his experience with the audience. We follow with a panel where a marketer, photographer and content creator give different perspectives on how they have achieved success for brands on Tumblr. After we finish there is a queue of people waiting to take selfies with David.
We walk over to a lunch we are hosting with our agency partners at a restaurant called Duck and Waffle. Lunch is eclectic (pig ears, chunky beef tartare and of course, duck and waffle) and conversation ranges from the future of technology to the best ways for agencies to activate across Tumblr and Yahoo.
I head back to the office with a quick stop at Monmouth Coffee. A flat white helps me gear up to answer some of the emails I haven’t been able to respond to over the past few days.
I’m taking the next week off and I want to make sure I can touch base with my team before I go. I make a little dent in the email, have some good discussions with the team and head home around 7:30pm.
My team is launching a music related project and my first call of the day comes in from a direct report who needs my help on a decision.
I always appreciate when one of my team members challenges me with their opinion. It’s my job to help them consider all of the angles but also support their strategies and help them succeed. In this case, I’m convinced and I agree to change our plan and go with his recommendation.
I have a call in the afternoon with a customer to help finalize a big deal, work with some of my team members on process setting with a team in the US and I finalise the hiring of a new team member set to start next week.
Heading home a bit early tonight to pack for my trip tomorrow. It’s been a long but fulfilling week.
Favourite media: social
My biggest inspiration: my family
Dream job: singer/songwriter
Not a lot of people know this about me... I had my dream job for seven exciting and confusing months. I made a total of $227 in that line of work, and the fact that I was paid any money at all qualifies me as a professional.