A Day in the Life of Ceinwen Jarvis, an executive assistant at M&C Saatchi
16th March 2016
The alarm goes off far too early (before six!) for Ceinwen Jarvis and she is on the train before seven. Here she describes a typical day working at agency M&C Saatchi PR
05.50: Alarm goes off. I hit snooze.
06.00: The second, and real, alarm goes off. Whilst still under the duvet I look through any emails that have come through overnight to both my own and my boss’s inboxes from our global teams and clients, clear out any junk mail, and make notes of anything urgent we need to tackle that day. I check her calendar to remind myself of how the day is looking, before clambering out of the warm duvet.
06.15: Put on gym kit and grab my handbag and gym bag, already pre-packed with the day’s clothes. Our days are fast-paced, so if I don’t work out in the morning it just isn’t going to happen.
06.40: Jump on the train, using the commute to check through Twitter to see what’s happened overnight, and schedule the day’s tweets for both my own and my blog @thecleanmenu. I then look ahead through the coming weeks to make sure we’re on top of what’s happening in the agency, and respond to any urgent emails from the night before.
07.30: Hit the gym. Doing a workout in the morning gives me focus and the time to plan the day out in my head, and as my gym is just five minutes from the office, means I arrive feeling refreshed.
09.00: Grab Molly breakfast and a coffee on the way into the office, and get her ready for the day before she arrives at 9.30; computer ready to go, any work that needs to be done that day printed and on her desk, and a print out of her day so she can easily see what’s happening.
09.30: Review my to-do list. My days are very varied as supporting the global CEO means I’m involved across all ten of our offices, so I have to be militant in keeping tabs and to-do lists on everything we have going on. I’ll check in with Molly first thing to make sure we’re aligned on what she needs to achieve that day, brief her on any key meetings, and make sure that she has everything she needs to make the day as efficient as possible. We also look through her to-dos, seeing if there’s been any developments overnight that she needs my support on.
10.30: I look through the month ahead and see what entertaining Molly has coming up and book tables as needed. I love to eat out, so finding the perfect restaurant or venue is really important to me. I’ll read through websites like The Nudge and Just Opened to see what’s opened recently and how the reviews are going – and make a note of anything new on my “Restaurant Little Black Book” (aka a huge Google Sheet).
11.00: Check through Molly’s inbox, deleting any junk mail, printing anything important out, and responding where appropriate. As global CEO, Molly receives a lot of emails, so making sure she’s on top of them and everyone gets a response is really important. I’ll check her inbox regularly throughout the day, to ensure nothing is missed.
11.30: On any given day in I can be working on anything from crafting an internal meeting deck or global comms for my boss, to working with our MD on our award entry submissions, to coordinating logistics for our international offices, or supporting new business efforts, in addition to scheduling Molly’s time and managing expectations of colleagues and clients. Today, I’m planning travel logistics for eight of our international teams to come to London HQ for two pitches we’re working on. Being the EA to the Global CEO means you’re involved in everything she needs to work on or be aware of – you have to be her eyes and ears and support across the board, so my days are as weird and wonderful as you could imagine.
13.00: I pop out for lunch. M&C Saatchi PR HQ is based in Soho so you are spoilt for choice when it comes to lunch. In the hot months I’ll go for a bit of sun worshipping in Golden Square, or up on the roof terrace over at the Ad Agency’s building.
13:30: Back to the office, and a quick check in with Molly. M&C Saatchi PR operates a #freerange way of working, meaning no one has a fixed desk, encouraging flexible working and finding the right space for your productivity. Molly and I always sit near each other so we can communicate easily through the day – you never know when she’ll need my support on something urgent. To support your exec well, especially in such a fast-paced global agency, it’s important to have a strong relationship; she needs to know and trust I’ve got her back and am always one step ahead of what she needs.
16.00: Coffee run, and a quick snack from our in-house café the ‘Eatrium’.
16:30: Today we’re working on the European roll out of ‘Passion Days’. As part of M&C Saatchi PR’s Driven-by-Passion proposition, we give all of our global staff an additional day’s leave – a day to go and explore their own personal passion. One of the London team just secured a day working at Battersea Dog’s Home as a volunteer. We’re asking everyone to record their days so we can make a Passion film at the end of the year so we can have a visual record of us living the brand proposition.
18:00: Home time. Molly and I quickly do a recap before we both leave for the day, though I usually keep an eye on my emails throughout the evening in case anything urgent comes through from our international clients or teams. If I’m out that evening, I’ll see friends for dinner in Soho, and if I’m heading home I’ll use the commute to respond to any emails I’d not managed to get to during the day, and quickly look over the next day so I’m ready when that alarm goes off at 5.50am again.
Article written by Ceinwen Jarvis executive assistant at M&C Saatchi PR