Studio Manager, Visual Imaging Ltd
What attracted you to this career?
What I love about being Studio Manager is the responsibility of looking after the scheduling of work as well as the HR running’s of the office, whilst dealing with customers on a day to day basis. It's the best of both worlds for me. As much as it's not my main motivation, the salary is quite attractive at this stage in my career.
How did you get into your current job?
Previously I had been working as an Account Manager for a digital agency, and I wanted to progress my career by working with an agency that worked with bigger brands and high profile clients. I was successful in April 2012 in landing an Account Manager role in a Glasgow based digital creative agency called Chunk, who create apps and games for power brands like Cadbury, BBC and Channel 4 (to name a few). This role was the worst career mistake I have made thus far as it was 100% a sales role. Where in my previous role as Account Manager I was looking after the day-to-day running of client accounts, sales were only part of the job, the majority of it was project management and customer service. I left Chunk after just 3 months as I knew a job in sales was not for me and I phoned my old MD asking for a chance to get back into my old role. Unfortunately that role was filled by a new member of staff but he had just acquired a new company, and placed me in the role of Studio Manager so I could apply my HR background as well as my Account Management experience.
Describe what your current job involves:
It involves the day-to-day running of a print studio for large format, vehicle graphics, digital printing and litho printing. My role is 'team facing' as well as 'client facing', where clients contact me directly to place orders or pass over projects and I relay this to the team accordingly and work the schedule out based on these requirements. We do it all from artwork design to the physical printing and application of graphics, so there's an awful lot to organise every day! I log all of the new projects in a system and prepare the weekly schedule for the team. As well as this I deal with employee welfare such as Health & Safety, employee contracts, sickness / absence, holidays, recruitment and general HR related duties.
Describe a typical working day:
At the start of every day I have a meeting with the Team Leaders and we run through the live jobs we have in the system. It is at this meeting we highlight the priority jobs of the day raise any concerns (normally with deadlines!). After this my main responsibility is updating / maintaining our project management system throughout the day and contacting customers relating to their work. I share an office with two Account Managers, and we look at all of the upcoming work for that week and how this can be planned. I also the first point of contact for holiday requests, sickness reporting and time keeping, so I will deal with any of these types of things as and when the arise throughout the day.
In what way did your time at Stirling shape your career to date?
The knowledge and skills I gained during my time at Stirling are priceless to me. The psychology part of my degree allows me to communicate well with customers and read into different kinds of situations and personality types, allowing me to manage customers and workers to the best of my ability, and wearing a different hat for each different kind of person I deal with! You need to be a real people person in the kind of job I do, so understanding the psychology of people is an invaluable asset. As well as this, because of the HR part of my job, the other part of my degree fits in perfectly with this. As well as the educational side of being at Stirling, the circumstances of my degree also play a part in the role I do today. I found flitting between the two types of groups of throughout my joint honours again allowed me to be adaptable and flexible in terms of the types of people I was dealing with as well as the different lectures I was listening to. At one point in my degree I was jumping between lectures on Animal Psychology and Health and Safety in the Modern Workplace....so you can imagine how flexible I had to be to adapt to different information/conversations on a daily basis!
List three things that you love about your job:
Looking after the workforce.
Having a happy customer at the end of each job.
List three things you dislike about your job:
Dealing with disciplinaries.
Lack of teamwork sometimes.
Those who can't stick to deadlines.
What advice do you have for current students as they prepare for life after graduation?
I stand by this 100%: As long as you wake up every day and you're happy with the place you're going to work for the next 8 or 9 hours, then you've found the right job. Your ideal job might not necessarily be what you imagined yourself doing when you were young or might not necessarily 'fit in' exactly with what you studied at uni...but no-one is going to live your life other than you. So if you love it, stick with it.