Archive for the ‘A Day in the Life’ Category

A Day In The Life of…Guinness Ambassador Ryan Wagner

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It’s that time again! Time to get to know another one of our amazing #HumansofMKTG.  To finish off the year, we’re taking a look at a day in the life of Ryan Wagner, our Baltimore-based Guinness Brewery Ambassador.

What exactly does it mean to be a Guinness Brewery Ambassador?

Well, there’s a team of nine of us around the country, we divide up the country evenly. My territory is Maryland, DC, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee. It’s our job to kind of spread the gospel of Guinness in any way that we can. So it’s mainly focused on education, and whether that’s getting in front of the sales team at a distributer, or getting in front of the bartending staff at an on-premise account and making sure that they’re up to date on Guinness’s quality standards and pouring techniques and all those things. Then it’s also designing consumer-facing events. I’m working with the Maryland Zoo for instance, in creating a program surrounding live zoo animals and the animals that are on the Gilroy posters from Guinness. So I do whatever I can to increase awareness of the things that we’re doing and making sure that everyone is as educated as possible about the world of beer. Not just the world of Guinness, because if people are smarter drinkers, then we hope that’ll lead them to Guinness anyway. And then also because I’m based in Baltimore and our new brewery is being built here, I’ve been spending a lot of time helping everybody get up to speed at the brewery and in the taproom as well.

The cat that’s “probably screaming”

Would you tell us a little bit about your morning routine?

Because I work primarily with staff at bars and restaurants and things like that, I tend to use my mornings to get caught up on admin work, whether that’s responding to emails or dealing with expenses. So I usually take my time in the mornings because, more often than not, I know it’s going to be a later evening. I’ll spend the earlier part of the day working on the busy work.

 

What about first thing when you wake up in the morning? The before work stuff…

Oh my goodness. I hit the snooze button like 17 times. I deal with the cat that’s probably screaming at me. If it’s the day my fiancé doesn’t open the gym where she works, then I’ll get up and make breakfast for us. If she’s already gone and it’s just me then breakfast is something really simple like cereal. Then I sit down and turn the TV to CNN or ESPN and get caught up on what’s going on in the world. Finally, I open the computer and get to work.

 

Are you a big podcast listener?

Occasionally I’ll listen to a couple of the beer podcasts. Some of the stuff that the guys at Beervana do or Good Beer Hunting to, again, keep up with what’s going on in the market.

 

Do you have any go-to lunch spots?

Yeah, Smoothie King! When you work in beer, and you know you’re going to be drinking a lot of it, you know a lot of your calories for the day are going to be coming from beer. So you have to try to keep it light for lunch. It’s not always easy, but if there’s a Smoothie King around I try to have that for lunch.

 

What about an after work activity? Do you have a favorite?

Spending time with my fiancé. We both work a lot. Depending on the time of year I work three or four jobs and she’s busy as well. She’s a group fitness director for a regional chain of athletic clubs so my favorite activity is literally something as simple as an SVU marathon and laying on the couch and just being around each other.

So you said you’re typically working 3-4 jobs at a time, can you tell us a little more about what those are?

Yeah it’s quite a few things! My background is really varied. Obviously, Guinness is my fulltime job and where I spend the majority of my time. In addition to the experience I have working with beer, I have a couple other part-time gigs that are a lot of fun that I like to do whenever I have the opportunity to. One of them is teaching a class called Body Pump, which is a group fitness weight-training class. So I’ll typically do that once or twice a week it’s usually early in the morning where I’ll go to the gym and teach a class. And then I also work for the local CBS radio affiliate in Baltimore doing sports talk radio. So I’ll do that a few times a month, where I’ll pick up a few hours and go in and talk sports. Then I also work for the Orioles when they’re in season. I am the announcer at the ballpark at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, so I’m the public address announcer at the stadium.

 

So let’s say the Orioles are in season, what does your workweek look like?

I mean it depends. So they’re home 81 times a year typically for anywhere from 3-10 days in a row at a time so it really just varies from week to week. But if I’m working all of my jobs simultaneously, which doesn’t happen terribly often, I might wake up at 5am to go teach a 6am class. I’d get back to the house at 7:30, have breakfast, and work on some admin stuff until it’s time to go on the road and go do my Guinness day. I’d visit a couple of accounts, do a staff training, work with bartenders on Perfect Pour, meet with a distributor. I’d meet with my distributor manager, see what’s going on for the week with him. Then I would be at the ballpark by 5 or 5:30. The game would start at 7. I’m there until 10. Then there are days where I go right from the ballpark to the radio station to do 10:30 until midnight on the radio. Again, it doesn’t happen often but if I’m doing all four in one day that’s what it’d look like.

It was a pleasure speaking with Ryan about life as a Guinness Brewery Ambassador, sports announcer, group-fitness instructor, and radio host.  You can keep up with Ryan on Instagram and Twitter @rwags614 or just catch him at the Orioles home games next season.  

Now that we’re wrapping-up 2017 A Day In The Life pieces, I highly recommend closing your year by sitting down with a colleague you don’t know so well and getting to know them better. It’s a privilege to hear the stories of the people we surround ourselves with every day. One thing’s for sure, MKTG is full of some pretty amazing humans. – MaryKate

 

 

 

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Written by Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle
Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle

November 30th, 2017 at 2:28 pm

A Day In The Life : Alex Torrey

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Alex celebrating his first week in the MKTG Chicago Office

This month we are featuring A Day In The Life of Alex Torrey. Alex sits in the VP of Strategy and based in Chicago. He joined the team this summer and his main responsibility is simply making sure the team brings their best, smartest thinking to the table in everything they do. Sounds easy right?

Alex moved to Chicago from Athens, GA after working for the CIA (yes, really) and for himself as Co-Founder of Umano, a socially-conscious clothing brand. Read on and learn about his experience at the CIA, as an entrepreneur, and what ‘decision fatigue’ is, in our interview with Alex.

•••

MK: What time do you wake up in the morning on a typical workday?

Alex: I wake up early. I wake up at 5:30. I’m a morning runner, I go for a short little jog. Chicago is a beautiful place for morning jogs.

 

Do you run on the lake?

I do, I run on the lake or the river. I don’t have a route. I’m very spontaneous, I don’t have a plan, so depending on how I’m feeling I either say Is today a lake day? or Is today a river day? and then I go from there.

 

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

My alarm clock is NPR, so I’ll usually lay there for a minute or two listening to NPR. Then I have a glass of water and I pee. Not always in that order.

 

So you use an actual alarm clock?

I use an old-time analog radio with the little scrolly-wheel thing. If I ever bump my alarm clock it’s all messed up and I have to find the right radio station again. Yeah, like an actual alarm clock.

 

Is there a reason for that?

That’s a good question. I don’t know. There’s something very comforting about the alarm clock, like the snooze slap. You actually hit something bigger than your phone. Then literally the first thing you touch is not your phone, which is also nice. The last thing I touch is, well, I double-check my alarm. So the last thing and the first thing that I touch in a day is not my phone.

 

That is really nice. What would you say you can’t properly start your day without?

Run.

 

Even on the weekends?

[hesitates] This is like literally the first thing? Because I also have to have a cup of coffee. Without NPR, running, and coffee, and I sound like an 80-year-old man. But NPR, running, and coffee are the three constants for a weekday/weekend that I couldn’t start my day without.

 

So how do you commute to work, do you enjoy your commute?

I do. And I am embarrassed to say that my commute is a four-minute walk. I live 3-4 blocks from the office so it’s quite lovely, quite quick. Sometimes it takes longer to wait for the elevator than to actually make the walk.

 

When you’re at work do you wear your headphones at your desk?

No.

 

Do you listen to anything at work?

No, that’s why I sometimes do the office DJ thing. Because I like having ambient noise, so when my office door is open I can hear the music outside and I open my window and hear the street, hear the train go by.

 

I totally agree, the train sound is great. Though, I wouldn’t want to be any closer to it. So, what’s your go-to jam right now?

I don’t know if my day has a playlist. Because I don’t think my day follows one story arc. So, sometimes the suspense is right off the bat or whatever that big climax is, the conflict and climax. Sometimes it’s later in the day. I’m really digging the new Foster the People album; it’s surprisingly good. It’s been out for a little bit but I just never got around to it. I love Discover Weekly. Discovery Weekly is a big thing. It’s not a daily thing, but it’s a Monday thing. I have to check out my Discovery Weekly and see what’s on there. Then they do that other curated thing…

 

The Daily Mixes! Those are my favorite!

Yes, the Daily Mixes are great. And, one of my daily mixes, I don’t know why, is this super hard hip-hop, just aggressive rap. I don’t know why, I guess I listen to it more than I think I do or their algorithm is a little wonky. But it’s good if you’re in that mood.

…..

What are your favorite podcasts?

This is not a podcast, but what I just watched a series recently and feel like I need to include it here. I just watched The Defiant Ones, the HBO series. I don’t usually do ‘series’ of things. I’m not a Netflixer or a Huluer. So it was a really big thing for me that I actually watched the whole four episodes. I was like Wow! I actually watched four episodes of something.

In terms of podcasts, I love Ted Talks. The Ted radio hour on NPR as well. There’s just something about them. That little sound effect at the beginning of Ted Talks, you know that psychology experiment where they rang the bell and fed the dogs, I’m pretty sure I salivate when I hear that Ted Talk sound. Because I’m so conditioned to think Ooh, something really great is about to happen and I’m about to learn something!

Then it’s about discovering. I’m not a loyal listener, I don’t have a podcast that I listen to religiously. I love searching random things like Hey! I want to learn more about why people love the food they love. And lo and behold, there’s a podcast about people loving food!

 

I think it’s funny that you say you’re not a loyal podcast listener, but you wear all black every day! I was meaning to ask you about this before.

What about wearing all black every day means I would listen to the same podcasts? [he kids]

 

Well, to me, the uniform suggests being a creature of habit!

Can I talk to you for a minute about decision fatigue?

 

Yeah [I eagerly respond]

Decision fatigue is a real thing. The human brain can only make a certain number of decisions and then it’s done. Then you go to sleep, reset, and get your decisions again. So what really important people do, and I just simply try to copy cat and emulate…

 

Like Steve Jobs!

Yes, like Steve Jobs, very much so. Also like former President Barack Obama. There was a great article on Fast Company about Barack Obama talking about how he tries to conserve his decisions. He doesn’t pick-out his wardrobe, he doesn’t pick-out any meal, he doesn’t pick-out any workouts. Obviously, he’s the President of the United States, so he has people to do that for him and I do not. Therefore, to simplify and save my decision making, so I can bring my best brainpower to work every day, I don’t pick anything. I hang my t-shirts. Clean shirts go on the right, the next shirt I wear goes on the left and I literally reach in every morning to the left side and grab whatever the next shirt is, next black t-shirt. Doesn’t matter! It’s beautiful. You don’t have to think about it. I use the same cycle for pants. New clean pants go on the right, the next pair I wear goes on the left. I actually don’t have a cycle for shoes, I actually have to look down and grab whatever pair is closest to me usually. So yeah, it’s all about decision fatigue. I can be really indecisive in general. So, for little things, I’m the worst. Like if I’m going to dinner with a friend, I am the worst human on the face of planet because they ask, “Where do you want to go?” I say “ Doesn’t matter”. It’s genuine, like I really don’t care. If I have preference, or something I don’t like I will voice it like a normal human. But genuinely it doesn’t matter.

 

Have you always dressed in all black? Or is this new?

Well, running a t-shirt company gets you a lot of t-shirts in your wardrobe. So all of a sudden, I had a lot of t-shirts that I really liked. So, because of Umano I started wearing only t-shirts, mainly t-shirts. And at Umano, the last couple years, we only did white, black and gray. So between the white, black, and gray I started getting more and more black tees. The next thing I know my closet’s full of black tees. The all-black thing has been going on for a couple years, but not very long.

 

Oh my god. I have to rethink everything.

[we talk for a minute about how grateful we are that we don’t have to wear suits to work]

So anyways, all black, it works!

 

I’m freaking out.

You should try it! And if you want to get really nerdy and geek out for a second about the human brain. There’s a game, surprise element of my system. To see what shirt am I going to get today, and I’m like, Oh, I got a plain one! or I got one with a design! Or I got a crew neck. Those are really the only options, plain, design, crew neck, v-neck, pocket, no pocket. They’re all black, but those are the only options. And I don’t know what I’m going to get, it’s actually a little endorphin rush. That’s a crazy thing about people. I don’t know what shirt’s coming and I grab it and I’m surprised.

 

What are the top five apps that you can’t live without on your phone?

Well, I’m not technologically inclined. I’d say Nike+ because I run with that. But I can live without it. I did for many years. So actually I would say these are the 5 apps that I would miss the most or that I use the most, but I really believe that I could live without them. I’d have to say, Text message or iMessage, Nike+, Medium, Business Insider, and probably Instagram.

 

Are there any restaurants or spots near your office that make your day?

I do like the after-work beer at Green Door. It’s cool to be so close to such a great drinking institution of America. It’s cool to swing by Green Door to grab a beer, and it’s literally next-door. It’s also great to bring lunch but go eat it by the park.

 

What after-work activity seals off your day?

Drinking that beer, usually. I’m not good at working out in the evenings. That’s part of why I’m a morning runner. There usually is a good little post-work beer, making dinner or meeting friends for dinner. And then I chill. I’m trying to read more physical books, so I read.

 

I’m inclined to ask about being on Shark Tank, because my last A Day In The Life subject, Drew, was also on Shark Tank! But I also kind of want you to talk about the CIA. Are you allowed to talk about the CIA?

I can, a little bit. All the un-classified things.

 

Anything is good. In my made-up version of your life, the all-black clothes thing was part of you having worked for the CIA.

Those were the suit days!

 

Yeah, as soon as you mentioned suits I realized you wouldn’t probably wear a t-shirt, jeans and sneakers to work at the CIA, haha. When you talk about not being technologically inclined, is that a result of working for the CIA?

Well, I guess I would say I’m not gadget inclined if that makes sense. I do like technology, but I’m definitely not gadget inclined. Which completely de-funks any idea you had about a secret agent or spy with all his gizmos and gadgets because I’m not a gadget guy, never have been, even in the CIA. I did, no joke, get to use a pen with a secret camera on it. I got to use it once, and that’s the only gadget I ever used.

 

I’ve seen that gadget before, I’m pretty sure it was in Spy Kids or an episode of Alias!

So I worked for the CIA, and did that for about four years. Spent a year in Afghanistan, got to do some really cool things like fly under the cover of darkness of the Afghan desert in a helicopter while bad guys shot rockets at us. It was a very cool experience and I have a tremendous amount of pride in that. I also have a huge, huge amount of appreciation for people who still do that stuff being, out in that type of environment, in a war zone. It was really cool. I got to brief the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense. I was involved in the POTUS visit, when President Obama visited Afghanistan. It was a surprise visit, for security reasons, but his advanced team was at station so we got to participate in that and get front row seats to the logistics of bringing the President of the United States to a war zone.

Then I quit that to go home, screen print t-shirts out of my parent’s garage and then sell the t-shirts. People didn’t believe me, they thought it was a cover story, that I was going deeper undercover because it was crazy. But I wasn’t, it was true. I legitimately quit. Long story short, CIA is an amazing place, a phenomenal experience, I describe it as 99% perfect. Not even 99% good, 99% perfect. The only thing that could have pulled me away was that I was a 25-year-old punk-ass and I wanted to find what was 100% perfect. Which is crazy, because when you have 99% why would you be so focused on that last percent? I thought the only way I would get the last percentage point was to start my own thing. For me, in particular, it was social entrepreneurship.

I started this company with my brother, called Umano, Italian for ‘mankind’. The concept was to showcase a kid’s drawing as a work of art. So the clothing was the canvas and wanted to connect the consumer to the story behind the art and really get to show a kid’s drawing as a work of art. There’s a raw confidence in a kid’s drawing, and we wanted to use our brand to showcase that. With every product purchased we would donate a backpack filled with art supplies. We would go on “giving trips” to give the backpacks and that’s where we would get the drawings, through our giving partners. So the team, going boots-on-the-ground, to give the backpacks on giving trips, gather the drawings, the virtuous cycle would restart. Really it was about that story of the giving trip and connecting the consumer to that story.

 

It was awesome, we did it for about 4-5 years. We were on Shark Tank. Mark Cuban is super tall, with a super long face. John Kerry too. Super tall men with super long faces. The camera does not do the lengths of their faces justice. Anyways, we were on Shark Tank, we got a deal from Mark Cuban and Lori Greiner. It was an awesome experience. They’re actually very nice, even Mr. Wonderful. The whole process, as you can imagine, is a massive production.

It was great, we did a couple other pitch competitions. We’d raised a seed fund from other venture capitalists and we were sold in Bloomingdales. It was great!

Social entrepreneurship is about making the greatest impact possible. True social entrepreneurship is when the cause is the reason you exist, it’s in your DNA, it’s why you’re there. So you attach a business engine to a cause and it’s powerful. I set out for  explosive growth. I wanted to be venture funded, with that hockey stick growth, and be the next Warby Parker kind of thing. But it was clear that we weren’t going to hit the high of explosive growth, and I decided to say, Well, that’s what I was looking to do. I am not looking for a four-day work week or to start a lifestyle business or play golf. I don’t play golf. So I went to look for what else was out there. Then, MKTG Chicago came along.

•••

If you can’t tell, it’s hard to talk to Alex for an hour, because you leave with about three more hours worth of questions. It’s okay though, I’ve been busy thinking about decision fatigue and all of the other ways I can cut small decisions from my daily life. Anyone else?

You can follow Alex on Instagram @alexxtorrey

 

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Written by Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle
Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle

October 2nd, 2017 at 4:28 pm

A Day In The Life : Drew Ocon

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For this month’s edition of MKTG’s A Day in the Life, I had the pleasure of getting to know MKTG San Francisco’s Drew Ocon. You can call him Ocon, pronounced OH-conn. He works primarily on our B2B business for clients including Facebook, Shopify and Stripe. He’s a two-time MKTGer, having first worked for the company for about a year nearly six years ago. He then took a bit of a break and re-joined the family 18 months ago.

While he’s best known for his handlebar mustache, there is so much more to know about him. So much so, that it wasn’t until the end of our 40-minute conversation to learn that he started and sold a company that, at one time, was the 7th highest-funded Kickstarter campaign, AND was featured on Shark Tank! Hope you enjoy this interview as much as I had conducting it.

-Your friendly reporter, MK

What time do you wake up on a typically workday?

So, unfortunately, I can’t separate my weekend and weekday wake-up time. I’m not a big “sleeper inner.” So, no matter whether my alarm goes off or not, even on a weekend when I’m just doing my own thing, I always happen to wake up at 6:18. It’s kind of a random thing, but it’s when my alarm is set on the weekdays, and my body just continues to wake up at that time.

 

Oof! I can totally relate except my time is even a little earlier, which is rough. But I get that.

Yeah and I’m not somebody who hits the snooze-button, so if I ever wake up any earlier I just figure I’m ahead of schedule.

 

That’s a great way to look it! So, after 6:18, what do you do next? Do you have a morning ritual?

Not really. I just jump out of bed and I’m like “Okay, I have to start the day so I’m not going to hit the snooze button.” Then I just go directly to the shower to wake myself up. Majority of the time I am a cold shower taker so I can just jump into the day.

 

Now, that’s one way to jump-start the day! So what would you say you couldn’t get your day started without?

Well, see I have a very unique look. What I’m known for look-wise is my mustache. It’s something I’ve had for years and years. So it takes me a long time do my hair, like my face hair. Ya know, I have to get all groomed. I have it down to a science where it takes me like seven minutes to get ready. But it’s something I can’t do without whether I’m camping or on an airplane or just getting to the office.

 

I mean, that’s kind of a commitment! How long have you had this mustache?

The last day that I shaved was my wedding day, so it has been almost five years. And nearly every day I ask my wife “is it okay to have this?” because she has to look at me more than I do. And I think as long as she says it’s cool to have, I’m going to keep it. I feel like this is who I’m supposed to be as an adult.

 

Yes! I think that’s something cool to realize and, you know, ‘own’.

Exactly. It at least brings a smile to people’s faces. And I don’t know if they like it, but they like looking at it. So that’s good.

[Laughs] Now this interview will only be about me and my mustache.

 

Oh don’t even worry. I can totally relate. For me, my height usually is what hi-jacks the conversation. But at least people don’t forget who you are!

So let’s move along. What’s your commute to the office like?

I’m usually one of the first people here at the office. I get in at like 7:45, but my form of transportation depends on the weather; here in San Francisco you never know what the weather will be. So if it’s chilly out or I want to catch up on podcasts I take the bus. It’s super easy – about

First person view of Ocon’s ride to work

20 minutes to get downtown and then a 30-minute walk to the office. So I get a good amount of time listening to podcasts. But majority of the time I am a bike rider. I try to ride my bike to the office on a daily basis. But even if I take the bus in, I have an office bike here, so I am on my bike at least once a day.

 

Cool. We just learned the Westport office has office bikes and office razor scooters. We’re pretty jealous in Chicago.

Yeah, I feel like in San Francisco we should incorporate that into our daily life. It’s just so easy and the city is perfect for it. Plus, we don’t have so many food options by the office, so you’re kind of stuck with whatever is in walking distance and that just opens up the possibilities.

 

So I know you said you like to listen to podcasts. When you’re in the office, do you wear headphones at your desk?

I am not really a headphones user when I’m in the office. I sit smack-dab in the middle of the office in the front row. So I actually like to hear all the conversations and be a part of the conversations all day. Unless I have some major stuff to do, then I’ll zone out and go into headphone mode.

 

But yeah, that’s good, because then when you have your headphones on people know you’re ‘in the zone’ and don’t want to talk about “The Voice” finale or whatever the talk of the day is.

Yeah, and that’s really a big reason why I get in to the office so early. I’m in by 7:30, and most people get in about 9:30. And I feel like I get the majority of my work done in that two-hour span of time.

 

This is so funny, Drew, because I’m pretty sure if we worked in the same office we’d be buds. It’s very rare that I’m at the office after 7:30. We run on the same routine!

So which podcasts are your favorites?

I’m an award-winning listener to Pardon My Take. It’s a sports podcast by BarStool Sports and I listen to that pretty frequently. There’s a lot of design podcasts that are based here in San Francisco, like 99% Invisible, which is a great one about day-to-day life and the little design aspects that you walk by every day without realizing it’s functionality, and they talk about different parts of the country too even though it’s based here [in San Francisco]. I listen to NPR Politics, especially ever since the election season last year. It’s one of the main reasons I couldn’t ride my bike because I had to listen to the news every morning. And now it’s just a part of my every day life. I also haven’t been able to stop listening to NPR’s Houston Public Radio – “Classical Classroom,” especially episodes 4, 145, and 153.

 

So after your early start, and your day chatting with your colleagues, as the workday starts coming to a close, is there a specific after-work activity that completes your week? Or makes for a really good day?

Well, the nice thing is that we are a really social office. And we have that open office layout, but you still kind of sit with a group of people in your little open space. And it’s nice because we have a small beer fridge in my little “cell block” as we call it. So whether it’s celebratory or drowning our sorrows we try to do a cheers at the end of the day at least between a few of us. So that’s really nice. Especially because we’re busting our asses most of the time, and there’s not a lot of us that leaves right at 5:00, so that’s when it turns to a more social space. That’s something that happens at least once or twice a week.

And here in San Francisco, it’s very bike friendly, and there are a lot of more outdoorsy aspects to living here. So, one of my favorite things in the summer is to jump on my bike and make it up across the Golden Gate bridge in an hour or so to a campsite. I’ll be there for a couple hours see the sunset, pitch a tent, and then ride back in the morning. I do that at least every other week during the summer. It’s super easy.

 

Woah! That’s super cool. Do you do that solo, or is there a group from the office who goes?

I think this year I’m going to really try to push for a group of people to do it. Typically it’s just my wife and myself. There are some amazing views, and it’s like you’re totally disconnected from city life, but at the same time you’re just over the hill and you can get to work in the morning.

 

That is so cool. I didn’t even know that’s a thing!

Yeah, haha. It’s like a little getaway, especially because it doesn’t really get dark until 8 or 9 o’clock. So if you get somewhere by like 5 or 6 you still have plenty of time to drink wine and watch the sunset. It’s pretty awesome.

I’d sleep outside for that view, too.

 

Wow, that’s amazing. That’s why California is so awesome.

Yeah, that and then at the end of the day, I’ll go play softball a few nights a week. I’m not someone who goes to the gym to exercise, so I’m on a lot of athletic teams. Not that it’s a sport, but I am in a pinball league too.

 

Haha, yes, but it’s still good to have things on the schedule that hold you accountable to a life! This is a question that I keep asking because I’m always so curious. But do you have a current obsession right now? Or, like, something you can’t stop talking about?

Hmmm.

[He thinks, and I provide my own example. I’m currently obsessed with Selena Gomez]

I’m really trying to learn new skills. So right now I’m doing a lot of sewing. Like reupholstering things. So at my house I have a little workshop, and I’ve been doing that and I’ve been doing a lot of woodworking. Does that count?

 

Oh, making stuff? Totally! I also recently took up sewing. Was ‘taking on new skills’ your New Year’s Resolution?

Something I’m always trying to do, rather than a New Year’s Resolution, is to challenge myself to do something new. Sometimes it’s taking something out of my diet like “I’m never going to drink soda ever again…starting today.” I just up and decided to do that

And it happens sometimes that I there are projects to do in my personal life where I’m like “I know I could do this,” so I know I need to learn how to do it, and it just takes me a lot longer than if I just paid someone to go do it but now I have the skill to do it on my own.

I feel like a lot of people here at the San Francisco office are very entrepreneurial. So it’s kind of cool because we’re always talking about “what’s inspired us this week” or “what is the next project that we could make”. I could talk about this forever because the time I left MKTG, I was really well known for having projects funded on kick-starter and a company featured on Shark Tank. So –

 

WAIT WOAH!

But I know that’s not “day-to-day” life

 

Wait. I want to know all about this. Because I was going to ask next: Is there anything else about your life that’s interesting that you’d want to share? And if I asked that and you didn’t’ talk about Shark Tank that would be super lame. Let’s hear it!

Ok. So after I left MKTG about six years ago I was at this point in my life where I was like “okay, what do I want to do next? Do I want to go back to school and get my MBA or do I want to get some more real world experience?” I was working with some of my buddies from high school that were in school getting their MBAs and one of them was down at Stanford getting his Doctorate in electrical engineering. We had to make a business plan for my buddy who was getting his MBA. So we were working together and found a product that didn’t have any patents around it, and it was potentially something that we could start. So we began re-designing the bicycle light. We started a company, put it on Kickstarter back in 2010, and raised $300,000 there. Through out the years we probably did four other campaigns and raised over a million dollars worth of crowd funding. It was a crazy four years.

Yes, that’s a headline about their product on CNN.

So we did really well. We were really well known. At the time we were the 7th highest grossing project on Kickstarter. It was cool. It was so inspiring. I knew it was exactly what I wanted to do. We stuck with it, I quit all my jobs, focused on this and worked a couple years without pay and just lived off of savings. And one day we were like “we’re getting investment, we’re pitching to all these investors locally,” and Shark Tank came back to us and said, “Hi, we pitched to you back in the day and you said no. Would you be willing to come on the show now?” So we made the decision to go on the show, to have only one person on the stage and go in really low on the offer to start a bidding war. It was actually an exciting episode to watch and be a part of because we thought for sure we were going to start working with Mark Cuban. But he’s the one who started calling us out right away like he didn’t like us at all.

We ended up making a deal with Robert Herjavec. We ended up selling the company, I did some traveling, and came back to MKTG. And this industry is something I’ve known and loved for so long and it was such an easy place to land because I still knew a lot of people here and they were great friends. So I couldn’t really think of a reason not to come back to a place that I really enjoyed.

 

WOW WHAT A WHIRLWIND.

I know. It’s always interesting, because yeah, I’m a producer. But I really challenge myself to explore every aspect of marketing. So it’s really nice to be a part of the conversations that are about the bigger picture because I have that experience. It’s fun because you wouldn’t think by looking at me like, “Oh! This guy is really well versed in business!”

 

Yeah, I can imagine.

 

You can follow along with Drew Ocon on social media @sfocon

If you are wondering what the name of his company from the Shark Tank story is, it’s Revolights. Read all about ’em.

If you’re wondering if Drew Ocon has any other cool side hustle projects, he does. They’re Fellbury and High Boys (website in the works).

 

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Written by Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle
Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle

May 30th, 2017 at 3:32 pm

A Day In The Life: Kristin Laux

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MK here from MKTG Chicago and welcome to this month’s edition of “A Day in the Life” featuring my friend Kristin Laux. I’ve known Kristin for about five years via various work situations and I’m so happy to know and work with her.

Kristin hails from Wisconsin, which is important to note because it’s at the core of her personality. Have you ever met anyone from Wisconsin? They’re basically the nicest people you’ll ever meet, and Kristin is no exception. She’s a peach.

This sweet midwestern girl joined the MKTG family about two years ago on the Nike team in Chicago. In the last year, she took the plunge and moved to New York City where she is still a proud member of our “Swoosh squad,” specializing in Running and Women’s Training events.

I took some time to sit down with Kristin on a recent trip to the New York office to learn more about her day-to-day and how it’s changed since her move. I’m glad I caught her when I did, because she was just about to leave for her first weeklong vacation where she’ll be road tripping between some of the nation’s most beautiful National Parks! (So jealous)

MKP: What time do you wake up on a typical work day?

KL: It varies. Sometimes I get up at 5. Well, twice a week I wake up at 5 to go to the gym. And otherwise it’s like 6:30 usually, if I don’t workout.

 

Ok, and you go to workout classes in the morning, like…

Rumble Boxing. I box every Thursday at 6, and I go to spin on Wednesdays and I try to go to at least 1 yoga class a week.

 

Ok, wow, and all before work?

Mhmm!

 

And all different studios?

Yeah, cause now I finally got ClassPass. It was like $19 to sign up for the first month and I tried to cancel it the next month and they were like “Oh! We hate to see you go!” and I told them it was too expensive and they said “Okay! We’ll give you another month at a discount.” So I was like, “Ok! That works!” And then I have a membership for the boxing gym.

[MK: I feel it’s important to note that K. Laux very politely invited me to boxing at Rumble the next morning. I didn’t pack workout clothes, but promised the next time I’m in NYC on a Thursday morning I’ll plan on it.]

 

So what’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? Do you have a home routine?

Yep, I get up. I open the shades and look at the amazing view, because we look over the RFK Bridge and the east river. You can see the sunrise every morning because we don’t have a building in front of us. Then, I make the bed. I go and turn on the coffee machine, take a shower, I sound like a robot, haha.

 

No! no no. It’s very regular. It makes sense!

Yeah, I mean I just don’t sit still. I turn on the Today Show. I wake up with Matt and Savannah every day too, that’s what I have in the background.

She wasn’t kidding about that view.

 

Yeah I feel like that’s such a good choice. I wake up and watch whatever show I fell asleep watching and sometimes they’re very bleak and that’s a weird way to start the day. I feel like The Today Show can’t get that bleak.

Okay, so your day cannot be properly started without _______?

I guess I just need to make the bed because I feel so accomplished! It’s one thing I need to do. Colleen [our old manager at Nike Chicago] always told us this thing someone told her once, I think it was her dad and he was a drill sergeant or something, but she said that if you make the bed in the morning you can’t start your day bad because you already accomplished one thing. And they just talked about a study, on the Today Show actually, that said a lot of millionaires and successful people also start their day by making the bed. You start the day accomplished because you know you did one thing.

 

Well damn! Guess that’s the secret!

Haha, if that’s a weird answer you can just say coffee.

 

No! That’s a good one, that’s way more interesting. Let’s talk about your commute. How do you commute to the office?

Uh, the Q changed my life. I used to take the 6 and it was like 14 stops. But they just opened the Q in January and it’s right on our block. So I literally take the Q and it’s express and it takes like 20 minutes and you always get a seat! Seriously changed my life.

 

Kristin and Alyssa

Oh yeah, that’s amazing. At my old apartment we had an express bus that picked up right outside of our front door and it was amazing. So I know you wear headphones at your desk cause I saw you in your fancy Beats. Do you do that to block people out and concentrate? Are you listening to music or more of a podcast person?

I tried to get into podcasts, but there was too much stopping and talking to people throughout the day I couldn’t really follow. So I just switched to music and just listen to Spotify. Alyssa [Nike teammate] and I share music like all day long.

 

That’s awesome! Does she make the playlists or do you make them?

Well, we both like country music, really any kind of music that pops up, we’ll just share the songs a couple times a day like “listen to this quick.”

 

I love that so much. You need someone with similar music taste in your life, everyone does. Okay, here’s a fun one, what are your top five apps and why?

Hahaha, I keep thinking of Kevin’s from last month and I don’t know how to top that. Should I say mozzarella sticks? Okay, okay, let me think. Of course, Instagram. Probably Buzzfeed News and Huffington Post. Fresh Direct. Well, I do that on my computer but it’s an app I order food with at least once a week. And then of course Spotify.

 

Are there any places around the office that make your day? Like bars or lunch spots?

Umm, there’s not too much around the office. I’d say La Colombe because they have great coffee. Abbie [Nike teammate] just took me to Two Hands. Have you ever been there?

 

Nope!

You’ve got to go. They have the best avocado toast I’ve literally ever had. It’s just one street past Baked. Plus everything is Instagrammable.

 

Is there anything in the area that you live in that you love?

Not really, we mostly just go to Fillmore for subs, haha. We just go to the same places because it’s all in our block and close by. There are so many other cool places [in New York] but they’re convenient to get to from work or from home.

 

Oh yeah. This town is huge! Well, what about after work? Is there an activity that just makes your week? We laugh briefly, because Kristin and I both know we aren’t the “going out” types.

Well it used to be kickball at the Chicago office. Are you guys doing that again?

 

We are. We can’t wait. Though, I don’t remember when it starts, haha.

That was so much fun. They do softball in New York, but that’s not quite the same. Let me think. Well, I honestly just like to go walk in the park. We’re right either on the river path or on the park so you can go either direction, which is really nice. But I literally love it, like in summer, I would get off the train and walk home through the park which is close to two or three miles. 

This is Kristin and fellow MKTGer Ozzie’s pet bird Oliver Coconuts. She says she bird-sits sometimes when Oz is out of town.

 

That’s so nice!

Yeah, it’s really nice. So sometimes in the summer Danny [boyfriend] and I will run home. So I’ll meet him at the store [where he works] and we’ll just run home together through the park. But this isn’t the current activity. Literally, when I get home, I watch the nightly news with Lester Holt. If I’m home I mean. If I’m actually home by 6 o’clock, I watch the nightly news and then literally we watch Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune cause we’re 90 years old. [Laughs]

 

That’s great! Honestly I think in this job where we are so go-go-go it’s so underrated to have a night at home like that.

Yeah, honestly it’s just Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune and then I pass out and go to bed.

 

Well you have to if you’re going to get up for the gym at 6am for boxing!

So you moved to New York from Chicago, is there anything like an activity or restaurant in Chicago that you just can’t get in New York?

Studio Three! That place became like my second home. You could go from a Yoga class to a Spin class and then step out and grab a smoothie, like that’s what I did every day before I left for like 6 months. And you could just grab a snack and go to work.

 

Okay yeah, and here you just can’t get all of that in one spot? Or is it that there’s too many options?

It’s that there isn’t a spot that has all three without joining an Equinox or something but that doesn’t have the same boutique gym feel. And we had this amazing Thai place across the street in Chicago that I loved and we just haven’t found the perfect Thai place. And we’ve tried places on Seamless but it’s like ‘ dude, this is not it.’

Kristin’s manicure game went up 15 points moving to NYC

 

Oh that is a struggle even just moving neighborhoods in Chicago.

Yeah, it’s just not the same. That and my nail place.

 

Well, hold on! You’ve been getting killer manicures since you’ve moved.

Haha, actually Alyssa and I are going tonight! That’s the great thing about coming here, the nail game is strong here.


Okay, is there something that if you ever moved back to Chicago that you’d miss about New York? Like something you wouldn’t have expected to love so much?

Probably my apartment here. The building is so nice, there’s a package room, Danny was good at picking it it’s definitely not typical for New York. I lived in the same place in Chicago since I moved there so this is huge upgrade. And I miss the Chicago lakefront but the view here and the park are the best. Central Park has so much to do and see, and also having the option to run along the river, compared to the lakefront in Chicago got tedious after a while.  The park gives so many different routes and never gets old. Coming from Wisconsin and loving being outside, the park has the only real grass in the city and it’s so nice just being out there. It’s hard to find that here without leaving the city.

If you want to live vicariously through Kristin’s National Park Road Trip Adventure, you can follow her on Instagram here.

 

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Written by Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle
Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle

May 3rd, 2017 at 5:27 pm

A Day In The Life | Kevin Collins

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The Collins Family

This month, for A Day In The Life, we are featuring America’s favorite former ice-sculpture delivery man. The famously bearded, and famously off-the-grid, Chicago Office Michael Scott, ahem, General Manager, Kevin Collins.  You may have met Kevin when he lived in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, London, or Chicago again. One thing we all know, if you have met him, you’re lucky. Cause he’s really cool.
—-
Name: Kevin Collins
Office Location: Chi-city
What do you work on?
All things Nike, Beats, Gatorade, NCAA, among others; I dabble in additional agency projects whenever and wherever I can.
What time do you wake up on a typical work day?
I typically get punched in the tummy by a small child around 6:30am CST every morning.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? Do you have a routine?
First I try to drink a glass of water. Next, I use all my willpower to try and not look at my phone until I’m out the door and headed to the train. Finally, I make the bedroom rounds to get the little people up and ready to start their day.
Your day cannot be properly started without ______…
A shower. Pretty basic. But I guess if the key word is ‘properly’ then it would require making breakfast for my kids.
How do you commute to work and do you enjoy your commute?
I take the train. It’s enjoyable, yes. I typically go on the quiet car. The quiet car is the car where people must remain quiet.
Does your day have a soundtrack? If so, what’s on your playlist that is a daily obsession or gives you that stroke of genius?
Sturgill Simpson tops the list this month.
Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which ones?
Sort of. I like Neil deGrasse Tyson and anything that explores the cosmos. Space fascinates me.
Name your top five apps and why:
Well #1 is easily mozzarella sticks. Love em. Any type of mozz stick really. #2 would probably be tots – any type of tot really. Rounding out my top 3 would be spinach artichoke dip. My 4th favorite app is the Poutine at Green Door Tavern. And my 5th favorite app is Twitter.
What are some restaurants or spots near your office that make your day- from a lunch place that knows your ‘usual’ to a beautiful park- what locales do you live by?
There is only one spot. The Green Door Tavern. It’s an emotional wrecking ball – a watering hole with a great menu. I use the word emotional because it can play whatever role you need it to – a high five after a great day, warm hug after a not so great day. It’s an old school, mischievous haunt that I could not love more. Thanks for asking.
What after-work activity makes your week complete?  
What makes my week complete? Well I do like routine, so any week that involves bath and bedtime with my little people makes any week complete. I could say it was something healthier like yoga or crossfit but that’d be a lie.
What’s your New Year’s Resolution? 
Eat less apps (see above).
Anything else we didn’t ask you that you really want to tell us about your life?
Gosh there are so many things. Um, I’ve had like 30 different jobs in my life. Here are some highlights: lawn maintenance, barista @ Nordstrom, stocked shelves in the Men’s Department @ Nordstrom, delivered pizza’s, delivered ice sculptures, delivered flowers, cleaned dishes in college cafeteria, Resident Advisor (RA – yep, that’s right).
What else. I have two beautiful kids – Rockey (daughter, 5) and Dodge (son, 2) and a third due in early April 2017; a stunning wife with a beautiful mind, Margot, who I met in 2003, married in 2009 and couldn’t be luckier to have in my life.
—-
It’s important to note that Kevin Collins is also the only person in America to never have ever had a Facebook or Instagram account, so there is no handle to suggest you follow. Remember when we said he was cool? Yes, he’s really “I’ve literally never had a Facebook” cool.
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Written by Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle
Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle

March 24th, 2017 at 12:43 pm

A Day In The Life : Kati Kasch

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In this month’s installment of A Day in the Life, we are featuring Kati Kasch, a director in the Sports & Entertainment team (formerly Team Epic) who lives on the road, but calls Denver home. Kati is one of the minds behind the Women’s Leadership and Empowerment Group that started at Epic and is going to be gaining steam across the US this year. Get to know Kati, her experiences, and her love for adventure below and by following her on Instagram. We promise, you won’t be sorry.
What do you work on? 
I help lead the charge on the IBM business, our longest client for over 20 years, overseeing teams across our hospitality, consulting and digital departments. I’m one of the lucky few who get to attend the Super Bowl each year for my work on FedEx’s NFL sponsorship and have dabbled with their golf sponsorship, too. A sucker for meeting new people and making connections, I am involved with our new business efforts from prospecting to pitching, acting as a subject matter buff on anything events, action sports, golf, food or outdoor lifestyle related. My biggest personal accomplishment is starting the women’s leadership and empowerment group alongside Samantha Bond which now spans offices across the country.
What time do you wake up on a typical work day? 
 6:00am…Okay fine, 6:07 after a quick snooze – I stick to East Coast work hours so I need to up and at ’em early.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? Do you have a routine? Come on, tell us! 
Step 1 – Disable first alarm. Step 2 – Sleep for seven more minutes until second alarm rings. Step 3 – Wipe drool from cheek. Step 4 – Five minutes of stretching – nothing wakes me up like a good stretch! Step 5 – Check TheSkimm, Google Alerts (for news on clients) and ClassPass to figure out how I’m going to get my butt kicked later that day.
Your day cannot be properly started without ______… 
A stretch, strong coffee and a couple minutes of sunshine – it’s Colorado, people, we love our sunshine!
How do you commute to work and do you enjoy your commute? Details please! 
I take a treacherous 67 steps down to Kaschbucks (my kitchen coffee shop) and then 43 back upstairs to my office. I can’t complain…no traffic, nice people and small carbon footprint – a big difference from my commute when I lived in NYC that was an hour and 45 minutes each way to and from Connecticut. A lot of my work is on the road so my commute often consists of Uber and Delta to places all across the country.
Does your day have a soundtrack? If so, what’s on your playlist that is a daily obsession or gives you that stroke of genius?
I can’t do anything without music – drive my car, work out, etc. However, when it comes to my work day the only thing I can work to is Explosions in the Sky. Who the heck are they you might ask? Well, they’re a quartet who plays only instrumental music and who you might know for curating the entire Friday Night Lights soundtrack. You’re welcome in advance.
Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which ones? 
How I Built This on NPR
Name your top five apps and why:
OnTheSnow – it gives me the snow report for every ski resort across the world so I can chase powder all winter long.
All Trails – it shows you all the hiking, biking or snowshoeing trails based on your location. It includes directions to the tail head, info on distance, elevation gain, etc. and people review and upload photos.
Hotel Tonight – seeing as I spend a lot of nights away from home, and often at a minute’s notice, I like to book my hotels through Hotel Tonight. You can’t book until the day of your stay but I can get into some of New York’s hottest hotels for a fraction of the price.
Snapseed – because photos never do real life any justice, this app helps me enhance them to look almoooosttt as good. Admittedly, I am an Instagram addict.
Nextdoor – it’s a private social media network for your neighborhood community. After verifying your address you’re connected to your neighbors who can alert you if they’re selling furniture, if a crime has been committed in your neighborhood or simply to ask for a handyman recommendation.
What are some restaurants or spots near your (home) office that make your day- from a lunch place that knows your ‘usual’ to a beautiful park- what locales do you live by?
I live in Five Points, a Historic Neighborhood in Denver which includes RiNo a section of town with breweries on every corner, innovative eateries and one of the largest collections of street art. Working from a coffee shop there or grabbing an Old Fashioned at night is the bees knees.
What after-work activity makes your week complete?
During the week I try to be as active as possible – from a surfing workout to hip hop to spinning, I like to try it all. Not to mention, my favorite is the wheelchair lacrosse team I play on – Go Rolling Mammoth! An every night MUST is to watch Jeopardy – complete with yelling answers at the TV. I’m working up the courage to apply one day. You can just call me the next Ken Jennings. On the weekend you can find me in the mountains or on a plane – I will do whatever it takes to be skiing, snowboarding, camping or traveling the world.
What’s your New Year’s Resolution? (If you have one) 
Speak with conviction and advocate wholeheartedly for things that are important to me like women’s rights and the future of our planet.
——–
Follow Kati on Instagram, Spotify, and Twitter!
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Written by Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle
Mary Kate Pleggenkuhle

January 30th, 2017 at 1:43 pm

A Day in the Life: Karina Munoz, MKTG NY

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karinam

For the past 3.5 years, Karina Munoz has been living in NYC as a Diageo Account Director at MKTG NY. A Sydney native, Karina misses such after work perks like being able to jump into the sea (jealous!), but does not miss most things closing at 6pm. Clearly, convenience is king for Karina and since Manhattan has become her home for the moment, she’s not sure she’ll be able to revert back to her Sydney ways.

A Diageo veteran, Karina has been working for the brand over the past eight years both here and in Australia. Currently she oversees a number of the Diageo brands – Smirnoff, Bulleit, George Dickel, North American Whiskies, Naked Turtle (the list goes on!). As a Diageo global veteran, Karina feels gratitude for the high volume of travel she’s clocked in and has completed more Diageo Marketing Code courses than she can keep track of!

As common with many ex-pats, when the quintessentially American holiday Thanksgiving looms, Karina has found herself doing a “Friendsgiving” with her Aussie mates. However, this year she was adopted by her boyfriend’s family and had her first official American Thanksgiving. In true tradition, Karina brought the pie- a festive rite of passage!

MKTG: What time do you wake up on a typical work day and do you have a routine?
KM: It depends. I set my alarm for 6.30am with high hopes of working out. Generally, 7.30am though.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
KM: Press snooze.

Your day cannot be properly started without ______…
KM: Coffee and HuffPost.

How do you commute to work and do you enjoy your commute? Details please!
KM: I love my commute. I walk to work and stop for (more) coffee along the way and listen to music. My favorite mornings are when it’s sunny and crisp.

Does your day have a soundtrack? If so, what’s on your playlist that is a daily obsession or gives you that stroke of genius?
KM: It might sound trite, but I start my day listening to classical music. I find it helps to get the brain ticking.

Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which ones?
KM: Not really. I was obsessed with Serial and listened to all 12 episodes of the first season in one day. I haven’t found anything I’ve liked as much since.

Name your top five apps and why.
KM: 1) WhatsApp – being an expat.
2) Seamless – like most people who live in New York, I don’t use my kitchen much.
3) SoulCycle – I look at all the classes I might go to if something social doesn’t get in the way.
4) Hotels.com and Kayak (equally) – always planning the next weekend getaway.
5) NYTimes Crossword – you can use it without wifi so it’s good for train commutes.

What are some restaurants or spots near your office that make your day- from a lunch place that knows your ‘usual’ to a beautiful park- what locales do you live by?
KM: Belle Reve is always a winner. Sweetgreen when I feel like a walk.

What after-work activity makes your week complete?
KM: I like to make sure my team has had a good week. That always makes the week worthwhile. That, and a dirty martini.

–Contributed by Karina Munoz, MKTG NY and MKTG Global Communications Team
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Written by Andrea D'Alessandro
Andrea D'Alessandro

November 28th, 2016 at 3:04 pm

A Day in the Life: Heikal Aliakber, MKTG NY

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 heikal

MKTG’s “A Day in the Life” series has spanned the US talking to our amazing colleagues. In this profile, we circle back to MKTG HQ in New York City and chat with native New Yorker Heikal Aliakber. Heikal works in Client Services on the R.J. Reynolds account, managing four mobile tours that conduct consumer engagement activity at music festivals, bars, clubs and retail locations. His days are full on- involving everything from working with major promoters to source/contract events, routing Brand Ambassadors to different locations based on strategic needs and managing on-site at client activations – from communications, creative ideation and sometimes rolling up his sleeves and hitting things with sledgehammers (seriously).

When back home in NYC, Heikel maneuvers his hometown with a nonplussed sense of know-how only true New Yorker’s can encompass – a skill that tourists must definitely gaze at with wonderment.

MKTG: What time do you wake up on a typical work day?
HA: This is highly dependent on where I’m waking up.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? Do you have a routine?
HA: I’m the world’s worst morning person. Seriously. I could go to bed the following night, knowing that the next day will be the best day in recorded history, and I will still wake up and shake my fist in the air while yelling incoherently (like Grandpa Simpson). I feel like my brain doesn’t wake up until about 10AM, and that only happens if I do the following:
1) put food in my stomach prior to trying to actually get things done
2) shower (which may or may not serve as a platform for me to warm up my vocal cords so that I don’t grunt on the first few phone calls of the day
3) catch up on current events and anything that transpired over the period of time I was asleep. In our business, knowledge is power (but also, FOMO is real).

Your day cannot be properly started without ______…
HA: A huge bowl of oatmeal.

How do you commute to work, and do you enjoy your commute? Details please!
HA: I was born and raised in Queens, so dealing with NYC public transit isn’t anything new to me. I’m constantly traveling between Queens, Manhattan and Staten Island (where my fiancée currently lives), so suffice it to say, commuting is a major part of my life. Whether I enjoy it or not depends on the characters I meet. The dude who blasts relaxing string quartet music through a boombox on the Staten Island ferry, while doing his morning yoga routine? I’m cool with that. The dude that carries two live, noisy chickens in a puppy crate onto the E train at rush hour, while man-spreading against the pole that I’m trying to cling to? NOPE.

Does your day have a soundtrack? If so, what’s on your playlist that is a daily obsession or gives you that stroke of genius?
HA: My typical day oscillates between rap, reggae, international music, heavy metal, movie scores and slow jams. My current obsessions? “Amazing” – Spit Syndicate (Australian rap group), “Picture Perfect” – Culture Shock (hip hop/bhangra group), “No Leaf Clover” – Metallica, “Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst” – Kendrick Lamar, “Made You Look (Remix)” – Nas ft. Ludacris and “Time” – Hans Zimmer.

Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which ones?
HA: Anything NPR-related I find to be gold. But I also enjoy listening to The Joe Rogan Experience, and Anna Faris is Unqualified is charming.

Name your top five apps and why.
HA:
1) Venmo – because I’m always leaving my wallet somewhere
2) Delta – checking in early is a nervous tick of mine
3) Netflix – because I hate doing cardio, and watching new series “The Get Down” while slaving away on a
treadmill is the only thing getting me through it currently
4) Spotify – perfect for tuning out the chicken-carrying denizens of the NYC public transit system
5) News – to get my daily dose of what’s real in this world

What are some restaurants or spots near your office that make your day- from a lunch place that knows your ‘usual’ to a beautiful park- what locales do you live by?
HA: The fish tacos at Belle Reve are fantastic. But, I’m a Queens kid at heart, so most of the places I know aren’t local to the office, and are more often than not hole-in-the-wall establishments.

What after-work activity makes your week complete?
HA: I like picking heavy things up and putting them back down.

–Contributed by Heikal Aliakber, MKTG NY & Global Communications team

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Written by Andrea D'Alessandro
Andrea D'Alessandro

October 28th, 2016 at 10:20 am