What’s it like working at...This Way Up?
"What is it like to work at TWU? The first word that springs to mind is ‘refreshing’. The founders have a fantastic outlook on not only the creative output of the agency but also of agency life in general. Having worked at other agencies, TWU delivers on those classic traits but in a way that feels approachable and achievable. You’ll always have those ups and downs, but you always know you can rely upon the bosses to support you in every way.
Working for TWU is like being part of a family, everyone’s opinion is valued and we’re all working toward the same goal.
At a basic level, the office is cosy but comfortable, the team are wonderfully vibrant and engaging, and we do enjoy a good lunch in the sun!
Tell us a short history about This Way Up and your role there
I joined TWU as a Senior Account Manager in January having moved from another agency.
I'm responsible for growing clients such as Unilever and KP Snacks. I'm heavily involved in strategy and managing the artwork roll out of the back end of projects.
My role includes all of the general day-to-day tasks of managing client relationships and I’ve also taken on responsibility for organising some of the social events, introducing some practices and hope to continue to play an active role in the agencies development.
Do you think This Way Up has a ‘design style’ & how would you best describe the agencies work?
We create a wide breadth of design styles, drawing on the relevant inspiration required for each brief and category.
We are adaptable; I think it’s limiting to pigeon hole an agency with a style.
Our speciality is creating big bold creative ideas that engage with the consumer, and stand out on shelf. Our focus is shifted toward health and wellness brands, but we have experience beyond that space, from entrepreneurs to global leaders.
What does a normal day look like for you?
A day at TWU often doesn’t look the same, so I’ll describe what I did over the last couple of days. I’ll usually get in for 8 having cycled from home, jump in the shower and am at my desk for 8.30. Everyone starts coming in around then so often it’s a cup of tea and a ‘how was your night’ whilst printing and preparing for a brief at 9. From 9-11 I’ll be briefing/reviewing work, whilst emailing clients and answering the phone. 11-12 I’ll work on a presentation, or review feedback before going to a client meeting between 12.30 and 2. Then it’s time for lunch from many of the great eateries around the area. 2.30-3 I’ll summarise the client meeting and circulate the deck, before continuing on the strategy deck I’ve been working on. 4pm is time for a cup of tea and another review, then studio planning alongside any invoicing I need to catch up on. I’d probably have missed a call from a client whilst I was in a meeting, so I’ll probably jump on a conf with a client from 4.45-5.30. From 5.30 onwards I’ll send any work that needs to go out and prepare anything I need for the next day – most days we leave around 6-6.30.
What’s your career journey been like to date?
I’ve had an engaging career path so far, alongside a few hobbies and charity work. I started my working career at a boat chandlers (I’m a keen sailor!), before taking on a second job in a restaurant in the evenings. I then became assistant manager of the restaurant before heading off sailing for a year. University came along and I picked up a job in a pub, then decided that wasn’t for me so bought the lease to a bar with a friend and set up our own! Summers were filled with skippering superyachts, so I soon had to knuckle down and finish my degree. I left Uni with a 2;1 in Psychology.
After finishing my degree i headed straight to London with a close friend. After a month working in Harrods I was offered a permanent job and went on to become Brand Manager for Alexander McQueen, followed by Brand Ambassador for Tom Ford.
Fashion wasn’t for me, I’m more of a deck shoes and scruffy shirt on the weekend kind of guy, but I was completely in love with brand image and brand design, so this led me to my entry level role as Account Exec for a leading design agency, working up through Account Manager to Senior Account Manager.
It was a steep learning curve adjusting to the pace of agency life, but I soon got on board and eventually took on responsibility for some important social events and was an active voice in the department.
I left in December, before starting at TWU and the rest is history. Alongside my day job I also volunteer for the IWA and am on the committee for the Canalway Cavalcade – boating/waterways being an ongoing passion of mine.
Have you had a favourite project or achievement at This Way Up?
I’ve of course only been with TWU since January, but have seen some fantastic projects go out the door. Some of the most exciting are still underway in the studio, or they haven’t been announced yet – one in particular which comes up is the KP Nuts redesign. The opportunity to work with such a renowned brand was an honour, and the creative output really does look great. I’m eagerly waiting for the results and hopefully the inevitable awards!
What would you be doing if you weren’t Senior Account Manager at This Way Up?
If I didn’t work for TWU, or as a SAM I’d most likely be a SAM at an ad agency or something completely different – a marine engineer.
I love my job, the industry and the wealth of friends and colleagues I’ve met. So if I was to change I think it would be to do something completely different,
I'd add another string to my bow in something I’m also passionate about.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Cliché I know, but the people. Not only the people I work with in the office, who are honestly fantastic and always laughing – I was once on the floor from laughing so much. But also the clients, it’s important to remember that we’re all working toward the same goal so we all need to work together. Clear communication, appreciation and a general understanding is fundamental to any relationship.
What has being Senior Accounts Manager at This Way Up taught you?
Being a SAM at TWU has only helped strengthen my abilities.
Every day is a school day, no one should ever become complacent.
I’ve learnt a lot from our MD Chris about strategy, helped implement a few practices to streamline our approach and really understood what life is like at a smaller agency. We all get stuck in, and that’s part of what makes it so unique. I’ve had an incredible opportunity to work with some amazing brands and look forward to continuing into the future.