A DAY IN THE LIFE: SIMON QUINTON

Culture |

We asked Simon Quinton, an Account Director in our London office, to give us an inside look at what his job is really like – from how he gets to work in the morning, to the social platforms he uses most often, and the most unique thing about his team.

Tell us about your job.

How long do you have? In all seriousness, I tend to find that I have many areas I get to focus on at EI. As a Digital Specialist by nature, be it strategy or analytics, I also specialize in all things secondary, influencer, and measurement. The great thing about EI is the variety of clients and needs that we get to work on, making for an ever-changing day to day.

How do you commute to work in the morning?

I commute to the London office twice a week via coach. This allows me some much-appreciated downtime, be it catching up on emails, playing Nintendo Switch, listening to a podcast, or taking a good power nap.

What is your beverage of choice when you get to the office? Coffee or tea?

This is likely controversial, but I’m a Brit who does not like or drink tea. I’m a coffee guy through and through, and although I limit my intake, boy, does that early morning cup do the trick!

What might you find yourself doing around 10 a.m. on a regular work day?

Regular work day? Never heard of it. Ha! Typically, around 10 a.m., you will find me checking in with project teams, attending a meeting, or just setting down to my work. I like to plough through daily tasks as early as possible so that I can free up time later in the day to rethink and revisit a problem, or that not-quite-right insight, the one that nags away at you until you crack it.

What are your top two sources of news and how often do you check them?

From a mainstream news perspective, I’m an avid reader of the BBC. I’m not one to seek out opinion pieces often, but will sometimes check out The Guardian, although I do mainly rely on friends to keep me updated on anything noteworthy via messaging apps, etc. A good source for work-related news is Social Media Today, which keeps me abreast of industry goings-on.

Which social platforms do you use most often? What do you like about them? Are they relevant to your work or is their purpose solely leisure?

As my whole career is based around social, I tend to have a strong opinion on all of them! I’ve been on so many social networks through the years that I’ve lost count (anyone remember LiveJournal or Bebo?). These days I tend to mostly read, rather than produce content, although I’ve been a devout Flickr user for 10 years.

How do you think the research and analytics trends in your region differ from other regions?

Our London office is lucky in that we are able to work across regions, be it EMEA, US, or APAC, which means we get to learn about different trends and ways of working. As a leading Digital Specialist in the region, I aim to bring a different perspective to the table and enhance our existing research methods.

What is the most unique thing about your office team?

Our team is one of the largest in the EI network (30+ people!) and we have a variety of people from all types of backgrounds and experiences – both personal and professional. As a result, we are always learning from each other, with knowledge-sharing being a cornerstone of EI London.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned since graduating college — about the workplace or the communications world in general?

Over the years, I have always tried to listen, understand, and appreciate the opinions and thoughts of others. From my experience, the best ideas and solutions can come from literally anyone or anywhere, so keep your mind open.

If you told yourself ten years ago what you would be doing today, what would have your response been then?

Interesting question! When I set out in the industry 12 years ago, digital marketing and research were just getting started. However, I do think the industry has changed SO much since then that it would be impossible to predict the impact it’s had on myself and society at large. That being said, I love what I do and am fortunate to have been around at the right time to have seen all the change, as a younger me would be very happy to still be so involved.

Which “Be” do you most closely associate with? Why? 

I nearly always go by ‘be curious’, but ‘be savvy’ is a strong contender. I am nearly always that guy who asks the difficult or probing question in a briefing or meeting. I like to make sure we are doing our best work and push both teams and clients to think differently and challenge themselves, as there is often so much we can do to make our work successful and drive real impact.

What are you doing when you’re not at work?

I have a 2.5-year-old son and we play a lot, mostly with LEGO. I love the ability to be creative outside of work and playing with him is a great and personal way to switch my mind off from other things. I am also a keen photographer and have been the official photographer for University of Oxford’s calendar in the past!

What is your favorite restaurant in your city?

Oxford has a diverse range of food options, but I’d say Atomic Burger is pretty awesome. It’s just full of retro pop-culture references, and amazing burgers, of course! I also live near Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Raymond Blanc’s world-famous restaurant, but I’ve never been as it is not cheap!

What motto do you live by?

Work to live, not live to work. Saying that, however, doesn’t mean one shouldn’t enjoy or get passionate about the work they do. Just find the right balance because, from my experience, a healthy personal life leads to a better work life.

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