A Q&A with Waggener Edstrom’s Office Manager in Mumbai

Posted on April 10, 2012 by Comments Off

“I don’t think it’s important to be successful and you can’t measure it. I just like to LIVE and take each day as it comes and play my part”, says Shalini Pathak. She is the office manager at Waggener Edstrom’s Mumbai office and is responsible for the office administration and assists the entire team with their administrative needs. Though she efficiently coordinates the finance and HR, she confesses that numbers are not her best friend and even simple math drives her up the wall. Shalini quickly gets attached to people, places and things. She has a mental list of ‘things to do before I die’ and her ambitious nature is symbolized by her stars and dice tattoo. Grishma Samuel, found out a few more interesting things about Shalini, which came out of this brief Q&A session with her.

  1. How do you add value to WE with your roles and responsibilities

  • I believe the best way to lose weight is to help other people lose weight (not literally) and I try to follow it. I might fail to diet on my own, but if I decide to help someone else diet, I will feel more committed and more likely succeed. At work it is just as simple, I try and become an engaged employee, help others (exactly what my role demands) and in the end this is what makes me love my job.

2. Where did you work prior to joining Waggener Edstrom?

  • Skyway RMC Plants

3. How do you prefer to unwind after a hectic day at work?

  • By Spending hours in front of the TV :)

4. One event in history you would’ve loved to be a part of?

  • 15th April 1912, the wreck of the Titanic…not necessarily at the time of the “wreckage” but would have loved to be a part of THE journey to witness the grandeur.

5. If you weren’t working at Waggener Edstrom, what else would you have been doing?

  • Owning a shack in Goa and making enough monies to travel around the world :)

6. You favorite movie quote

  •  ‘Nothing is more necessary than the unnecessary’ (From my most favorite movie “Life is Beautiful”)

7. One thing about your job that you think is the best

  • The people I work with

8. If something could define you, what would it be?

  • A song by Lady Gaga “Born This Way” best defines me.

 (Interview by Grishma Samuel, Account Coordinator, Waggener Edstrom, Mumbai, India)

One Year Later…Home Sweet Home!

Posted on April 4, 2012 by Comments Off

Colby Reade, Account Executive

A few weeks after I started at Waggener, I wrote a post for this blog about the initial integration process and how impressed I was with the way that Waggener “walks the walk” in that department.

 Fast forward and, hard as it is to believe, I’m approaching my one-year “Waggeversary” on the Windows team which means the honeymoon phase is officially over. I’m no longer the happy-go-lucky newbie savoring the “new car smell” of my cube and relishing the various, unique qualities that set Waggener apart from other employers (hello free Talking Rain!). I’ve gotten my hands dirty … I’ve worked the long hours we all hear about … I’ve had the late night client emails … the surprise deliverable asks … the emergency reactive situations. And like any good relationship, I have to say I love it more now than I did 12 months ago.

 

The agency does a lot to make the work environment enjoyable … Intern Fun Week … War Rooms … Donut Thursday … but there are a few big reasons why I am truly passionate about showing up to my cube every day and why I sing Waggener’s praises every chance I get.

 Work Life Balance is more than just a buzz word.  Many companies urge their employees to find “work life balance,” but actually taking the time to achieve this balance can be difficult. In some cases, a team is horribly short staffed so employees can’t get away without the organization collapsing.  In other cases, employees worry about the security of their job if they disappear for time off and the world continues to function in their absence. For several reasons workers are not taking all of their vacation time these days. Not the case at Waggener. While you can’t just take off at any time and for any duration, Waggener makes sure team members feel comfortable logging off to recharge.

 Waggener treats employees like adults. I can remember my first week here, checking in everyday with my manager before I ran to get coffee at Starbucks or ducking out for lunch. After a few days, Bonnie kindly let me know that the head’s up were not necessary … that she’d call my cell phone if the world was collapsing but otherwise, any work could wait fifteen minutes until I got back. This is emblematic of a bigger theme. There are no clock watchers at Waggener. Yes, we monitor our time, but managers know we work hard and will deliver gold standard work on time, so there are no Bill Lumberg’s wandering around making sure that coffee breaks last ONLY 15 minutes and that we are seated at our computers promptly at 9 AM. Management trusts the team because we show up and work hard.

 Waggener believes in flexibility. We had some work done on our house this year which meant a few days with repairmen who needed to be babysat. Instead of having to brick time off of my calendar and be “off” for half a day (or a full day in some cases), I simply plugged in at home and was able to keep plugging away as if I were at my desk in 3CP. For anyone who has had to skip work to wait on a contractor you know how valuable that freedom to stay on top of your to-do list instead of just sitting and waiting can be.

 Waggener hires brilliant people. One of the things that sold me on the chance to come work for Waggener was the opportunity to learn from some really smart individuals and this place has not disappointed. From watching Mark Martin lead the Windows business to the careful review and feedback I get from my manager, Bonnie, to the knowledge sharing sessions I have with my fellow Windows UnLeaded teammates … I am literally surrounded by “brilliant” every day. The growth I have seen in myself over the last 12 months is due, in large, LARGE, part to those folks and their positive influence. 

 Working for Waggener? Best. Career Move. Ever.

Never Fear, TS is always here!

Posted on March 19, 2012 by 1 Comment

Jonathan Scheiner, Service Desk Specialist

New York City

You know when your computer or printer goes haywire and that deep panic, anxiety and even anger sinks in? You think to yourself “how can I possibly fix this? I have no idea how any of this stuff works!!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And as you are about to give up all hope you remember that time when someone in Technology Services (otherwise known as “TS”) saved your day!  And when you remembered this you realized that everything is going to be OK. Your blood pressure begins to return to a safe level…

 

My name is Jonathan Scheiner and I started at Waggener Edstrom only 3 weeks ago as a Service Desk Specialist in the New York City office. My manager, Darcie Opferman, has given me many tasks and goals to work on. One of these goals is to be a learning sponge for understanding the inner workings of Technology Services, their systems, processes and what WE does and stands for.  

 

To help me in this process, I have met with many team leads to get an understand of how they and their teams contribute to making the technology here at WE up to date, effective and integrated.  I am also lucky to have John Lowe here in the NY office to help me integrate and learn as much as I can. In my opinion he should be dubbed “Sensei Lowe” for his masterful wisdom on so much of technology here at WE.

I have just graduated from college and I feel lucky to be associated with Waggener Edstrom. Now that I’m here, I am having a blast getting to know my team mates in the NY office and the ones all over the world. Also since NY is the hub for so many businesses, our office gets to host many team meetings with team members from all over. This week we hosted The North American team leads and had a chance to discuss what they learned while they were here.

Finally, here is one thing that I hope never gets old. The view.  (31st floor looking down at 47th and 3rd)

Smiley, Happy People… My First 2 Days at WE!

Posted on March 6, 2012 by Comments Off

 My First Two Days at Waggener Edstrom!

Cara Archambo, Sr. Administrative Assistant-Consumer Team

Day one at Waggener and I am attending meetings with “Business Services” and “People Services”.  Departments that, in my past life, were referred to as Finance and Human Resources. I begin questioning myself,  have I been out of corporate America that long that departments everywhere have taken on new titles or is this just unique to Waggener Edstrom? The meetings are full of cool Jargon that I don’t recognize as plain English. Mostly acronyms:  APAK, NA, 3CP. My little black note book (that has been tied to my side) has a giant ? at the top of page one followed by a long list of unknowns.   All questions for me to throw at Alison (Sr. VP on the team) on the plane ride to Seattle tomorrow (Day 2) where I will be meeting more members of the NA Consumer team.

Day two – Alison and I catch a bumpy flight to Seattle and I am grilling her with all of my questions! She greets them with enthusiasm and goes above and beyond with her explanations. I don’t remember which question I asked that led to her getting out her laptop and pulling up a PPT deck, (another acronym!) that the consumer team worked on.  Whichever the question, I am happy I asked and even happier she went the extra mile to explain.  Excited about this plan, she starts rolling… Editors photographing the infield of the Kentucky Derby for Men’s Health, Crush Fest in Napa, Coachella music festival, John Mayer dropping a new album….. “Wait, Wait, Wait…..back up” I say, insanely impressed “Who is coming up with these creative ideas?  How do they know John Mayer is dropping a new album? What is Coachella?”

We arrive at Civica (one of the words on my ? list ) the elevator doors open. I can’t help but be struck on how hip and modern this space is.  Before I have a chance to fully admire the beauty of the office something even more inviting is standing in front of me.  Five smiling faces all giggling about something. We are too late to be part of the joke, but their smiles are infectious.  I am introduced and instantly realize these names are the same names I heard 45 minutes earlier.  These kind, genuine, happy faces belong to the same creative, talented team that Alison talked about on the plane.  Minutes later I am greeted with a warm hug by Erin Barnard, a woman who will be a key part of my integration. This is My Team and I couldn’t be happier!

The Thrill of the Hunt!

Posted on February 23, 2012 by Comments Off

The Thrill of the Hunt

 Monica Brown, Senior Account Executive-Consumer

For those individuals currently searching for a job, I’m quite sure you’re least likely to describe the job hunting process as “thrilling.” In an employment market as challenging as the one we’re presently experiencing, job seekers know that looking for a job can easily be described as a tiresome, frustrating, and lengthy process. To make matters more challenging, it’s tough to find a job, but even tougher to find a good job. 

As I reevaluated my professional goals late last year and started my pursuit for a new occupation, I reminded myself that I was not simply looking for just any old job that would pay the bills – I wanted to work for a company where I could be challenged and experience professional growth. Ideally, I also wanted to work for a company that holds some of the same values I also hold personally, however – being the realist that I am, I figured that second request might be too tall of an order.

 Well, as it turns out, the sum of qualities I sought in the company I wanted to work for weren’t so unreasonable after all. Towards the end of 2011, a current WE employee and former classmate reached out to me to say “hello” and catch up. When I shared with her that I wasn’t really finding a thrill in my job hunt, she said to me, “Monica, you should definitely apply to WaggEd – we’re NOT like every other agency.” She and I chatted for a while and she shared her love for Waggener Edstrom and why she thought I would be a great fit. I learned that the agency’s values are positive and felt they were ideals that I could support and promote. I was pleased to be introduced to a company that is equally as passionate about both its clients and its people.  

 As I progressed through the interview process, I found myself more excited about the opportunity to work for a company that truly drove its value proposition and encouraged employees to have a passion for innovation and curiosity – all while treating each individual as a valued contributor both inside and outside of the office. The various Waggener Edstrom Talent Acquisition team members I encountered while interviewing were some of the most professional, kind, and helpful individuals I’ve ever come across during a job search. My wonderful experience with Talent Acquisition combined with the positive interviews I experienced with my new manager and team made selecting Waggener Edstrom as the next step in my career an easy choice.

 To those of you who are still hunting for that right position or career path, don’t give up. And don’t assume that it’s too tall of an order to find a company you mesh with both professionally and personally. In a difficult employment market, it can become easy to relax the standards you might hold for a potential employer. However, trust me when I say that it’s important to decide upon the skills and value you seek to provide to your next company and conversely, know what you would like to receive in return. Hopefully, doing so will lead you to a position that you are happy about and proud to step into every day. And considering the fact that most individuals spend more time at work than with family and friends – this is an invaluable factor. Best of luck to you all!

Life as a Waggener Edstrom Intern!

Posted on February 1, 2012 by Comments Off

Hana Katen – Account Coordinator, Microsoft Windows

I’ve spent my entire life dreaming of things to come—I’ve never been a person able to sit back and enjoy the moment. At the age of seven, I was busy deciding what car I would drive when I was sixteen; by the time I reached driving age, I was preoccupied with college decisions—and once I was enrolled at the University of Oregon, the only thing I could think about was where I would plant my roots and begin my career.

 When I learned that I had been accepted into Waggener Edstrom’s intern program, I was ecstatic—and for the next two weeks, I couldn’t stop thinking, talking and obsessing about what my life would look like during the coming months. 

 Upon starting my career as an intern at Waggener, my historical model of obsessive forward-thinking continued—for about five minutes after walking through the door.

 As I rotated through various teams within the agency, I got to experience in a whirlwind what life was like as a full-time Waggener Edstrom employee—not simply as an intern. Throughout my three-month tenure, I had the opportunity to do hands-on work on a broad variety of projects ranging from handling reactive media requests, to analyzing coverage for Windows announcements, to working as a member of the launch team for Windows Phone 7.5.

 Outside of Waggener’s unprecedented learning opportunities, what struck me the most, day after day, was how gracious and truly excited the Waggener Edstrom employees were to get to know all of the interns. From the moment we began, the WE family was welcoming and engaging—making it clear to us that we were truly a valued piece of the broader agency puzzle.

 

For the next three months, I was so consumed by the excitement I felt coming to work each day that—perhaps for the first time—I learned to live in the moment and appreciate the opportunities at hand. When I finally lifted my eyes off the ground 12 weeks later, after a challenging, engaging and incredible journey, I was lucky enough to land a position on the Microsoft Hardware team—where I can honestly say I get to do amazing work with amazing teammates every day. 

 I wholeheartedly credit Waggener for not only kick-starting my career, but for yanking me out of my futuristic tendencies and teaching me the value of savoring life in the moment, while still intelligently paving a path for personal and professional development.

Becoming a part of the WE Famil-IE

Posted on December 1, 2011 by Comments Off

Guest blog post by: Jordan Bergstrom

Account Coordinator, MS Windows (IE Team)

 

My first few weeks at the agency have been a whirlwind.  Meetings, new faces, and lots and lots of learning. I feel very fortunate to be welcomed so warmly by everyone I have met and especially my team (Go Windows!). Every person has been incredibly helpful and open for anything and everything I need to ramp up and become part of the famil-IE.

After having many one-on-ones with many people across the agency, I heard over and over the word “team.” When I ask how long they have been at WE, I hear “2 years, 10 years, 12 years, going on 6 years!” It says a lot. Coming from smaller agencies in the past, I was impressed and excited to hear about the camaraderie and teamwork that is so highly valued and vital to everyone’s success. In addition, I find it incredibly helpful and valuable to my growth to be able to have one-on-one interaction and conversations with people on my team at every level in the company. (Sometimes over a lovely walk to our conveniently close Starbucks)

Before coming to WE and after many transitions in my professional life this year, I learned many things. These were definitely helpful for me in getting to where I am now at WE. (Here are a few):

1. Always keep networking and keep your relationships strong, personal and professional. I know, firsthand, and it was key for me. Social networking is great and a good happy hour can do the trick too!  You never know when an old friend or coworker could have an opportunity that could jump start something great.

2. Looking for a new job and interviewing can be scary and nerve-racking. I experienced this a few times this year! Be professional and prepared, but make sure you are yourself. You know how to do it best!

Introducing Jenn Warwick, Talent Acquisition Sourcing Strategist!

Posted on November 18, 2011 by Comments Off

We are pleased to introduce you to Jenn Warwick!  Jenn recently joined the agency and the Talent Acquisition team two weeks ago and we are very excited to have her on the team!  Jenn is our Sourcing Strategist, based in our Bellevue office,  who will always be on the lookout for top talent to join the agency.  Read on to learn more!

 

 

How did you first hear about the opportunity at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide and why did you decide to join the agency?

My former colleague and friend had recently joined the Talent Acquisition Team at Waggener Edstrom and was telling me about how great the team and the agency were.  After hearing her speak so highly of the agency and to also see how happy she was with her career, I asked her about possible opportunities. She and I discussed the Sourcing Strategist role and after doing some research on www.waggeneredstrom.com I decided that WE was the place I wanted to take the next step in my career.  Ultimately, it was the challenge of the role and the people on the team who helped solidify my decision to join the agency and I am thrilled I did!

How long have you worked at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide? 

As of Friday, 11/18 I have worked at WE for almost 2 full weeks!

What do you enjoy the most about working at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide and on the Talent Acquisition Team?

 I love the overall group dynamic of this team.  I know that everyone works extremely hard and is very committed to the agency and to the work that we produce.  In addition to that, this is a team of people who genuinely care about one another and strive to make each other look good.  Everyone is collaborative and shares best practices and pitches in when someone on the team needs some additional help.  The great thing for me about working at WE is that it is not a huge corporation and I can tell that people are invested in one another and know who they work with on a deeper level than what you might get at a large company. 

What has been your most favorite experience so far being a Waggener Edstrom Worldwide employee?

 Since I haven’t been here for very long, I don’t have a lot of experience to draw upon, but aside from the great people and the interesting work I am loving the little things about the office environment.  I love that the kitchens are stocked with real plates, glasses, mugs and silverware instead of paper and plastic, I also love working in downtown Bellevue and having so many great places in walking distance.  I am looking forward to summer when the days are longer and I can take walks after work!

 

 

 

What would you consider your one unique talent?

 I have a great memory and can remember names really well.  In my previous job I worked on an HR team with roughly 80 people across multiple HR disciplines.  At an all-hands meeting I won a gift card for being able to name every single person in the room!

Some fun Jenn facts:

I was a theater major in college and I love to sing, act and direct.  I am still actively involved with the Microsoft Theater Troupe and have been involved with 12 shows over the last 11 years.  Another interesting tidbit is that my first babysitter was Julie Brown (singer of Homecoming Queen has a Gun and “star” of Earth Girls are Easy).

What would you want to be doing if you weren’t a rock star Talent Acquisition team member?

 I would be a celebrity chef, perhaps winning Top Chef!

Connect with Jenn:  Twitter / Linked In

 

Say hello to Aimee Brackenbury, Sr. Talent Acquisition Partner

Posted on November 17, 2011 by Comments Off

Aimee Brackenbury, Sr. Talent Acquisition Partner, most recently joined our team in May of 2011 and we are extremely lucky to have her!  Along with Ara Vallaster, together they manage the recruiting for our Microsoft account.  Aimee is located in our Bellevue office (outside of Seattle!) and has hit the ground running from the start.

How did you first hear about the opportunity at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide and why did you decide to join the agency?

I was contacted by Waggener Edstrom via LinkedIn and was thrilled to hear about the opportunity.  Having worked at Microsoft in the past, I was very familiar with the agency, its reputation, and their long-standing commitment to doing only the very best work.

How long have you worked at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide?  (if you’ve worked on multiple teams, would love to hear which ones they specifically are to show the opportunity to move within the agency, etc)

I joined WE in May of 2011—time has flown by and I’m loving the agency and our team.

What do you enjoy the most about working at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide and on the Talent Acquisition Team?

First and foremost, WE has great people at every level of the organization—from the business leaders to the interns, everyone is passionate, motivated, and not afraid to laugh at themselves.  Our Talent Acquisition team is the most supportive group I’ve ever been part of.  I’ve been a Recruiter for almost 14 years and worked in some amazing companies, but I’ve never been made to feel so welcome, so encouraged, or so included.  The TA team has a level of responsiveness to their clients, candidates, and teammates that blows my mind.  Oh, and the fact that we all enjoy the occasional happy hour doesn’t hurt!

What has been your most favorite experience so far being a Waggener Edstrom Worldwide employee?

At the risk of sounding cliché, getting to know the people and building relationships with them has been my favorite experience.  I’ve also really enjoyed getting a better understanding of the ins and outs of PR—I’ve learned a ton in a short amount of time.

What would you consider your one unique talent?

I have an abnormally good memory.  Unfortunately, I usually only remember really random information, but at least it’s something!  If you need a movie quote, song lyric, or the name of someone the team met three years ago, I’m your gal.

List one or two additional interesting facts about yourself

Um…  I’m really not very interesting.  I tried out for College Jeopardy! Back in the day, but let’s just say I didn’t get to meet Alex Trebek in person.  My good memory didn’t help with the 16th Century Architecture questions.

What would you want to be doing if you weren’t a rock star Talent Acquisition team member?

I’m clearly not qualified for the job, but I’d love to work in sports broadcasting or journalism. 

 Connect with Aimee:  Linked In / Twitter

Follow the Talent Acquisition Team on Facebook and Twitter too!

Spotlight on Dorie Overby, HR Generalist Extraordinaire!

Posted on November 16, 2011 by 1 Comment

Ready to learn more?  Dorie Overby, HR Generalist Extraordinaire, represents us from the greatest city in the world, New York!  Dorie has been with our team for almost 4 years and the value she has brought to us has been immeasurable.  We don’t know what we’d do without her!  Dorie helps support our North America Practice Groups, as well as managing the hiring for the North America Practice Internship Program, focused on Consumer, Healthcare, Tech, Public Affairs, among others!  Read on to learn more:

How did you first hear about the opportunity at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide and why did you decide to join the agency?

I heard about the job on the HRNY website. I decided to join the agency because I liked the people I interviewed with (5 people) and I knew this company would help me go to the next level in my career.

How long have you worked at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide? 

I have worked at the agency for almost 4 years

What do you enjoy the most about working at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide and on the Talent Acquisition Team?

I really enjoy working with the people. The ladies on the Talent Acquisition team are great! I love the energy and their teamwork.

What has been your most favorite experience so far being a Waggener Edstrom Worldwide employee?

My favorite experience so far would be participating in the Global Exchange Program! I went to London for the first time and fell in love with it. I love the city, the people, the food, etc. I loved working with my WE colleagues too! I learned a lot about the culture in the London office and learned a lot about the way the PS team functions. It’s very different (we’re spoiled in the US)!

What would you consider your one unique talent?

I don’t think I have one….unless shoe shopping counts?

List one or two additional interesting facts about yourself:

I love to sing (although I’m too shy to do it in front of others)

What would you want to be doing if you weren’t a rock star Talent Acquisition team member?

I’d own a Jazz club

 Connect with Dorie:  Linked In / Twitter

Follow the Talent Acquisition Team on Facebook and Twitter too!

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