Our Infectious Media ‘Career Pathways’ series of interviews aims to highlight working life, as well as the the career options available to our staff. Here, Lieke van Velthoven, Account Director, in our London office, tells us about her journey at Infectious Media.
What did you do before you began working for Infectious Media?
During my Bachelor's Degree at the Rotterdam School of Management, I started working at an omni-channel retailer in the Netherlands, where I was part of the online marketing team as an Affiliate Marketer. I continued to work there as a full-time employee after finishing my Master's degree and was responsible for the strategy and performance. I learned a great deal in my three years there, as everything was done in-house, from software development to advertising execution.
I was seeking a new challenge outside the Dutch borders and wanted to continue working for a company in a fast-paced environment. Infectious Media came on my radar as the company was listed in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500. I got in touch with the team to know more about the company and when I got the job offered, I moved to London!
Tell us about your Infectious Media career journey - where did it begin, and how did you make your way to Account director?
I started at Infectious Media as an Account Executive in July 2014 when the business was much smaller (40/50 people). As the business was growing rapidly, the role was very broad and came with lots of responsibility. Because of this, and the size of the company, there are many opportunities to make a direct impact from day one. In the following six months I was then promoted to Account Manager.
Being part of an agency gives you the possibility to grow digital media experience across different clients and industries very quickly. During this time, I started to manage people with different backgrounds and expertise and grew into the Account Director role, that I am in today. But I couldn't have done this without the great colleagues I'm working with.
Describe a typical working day.
You probably can guess what I'm going to say now, but there isn't a typical working day when you work agency side! As Account Director, your agenda is very much defined by the clients you work with, but the day is also depending on the internal projects you are involved with. I am the intermediary between the client and the rest of the business to drive the client's programmatic strategy forward. As such I'm checking in with the teams daily to see if they need any additional support with client deliverables.
I also work at our client offices, at least once a week. This helps me to get a better understanding of my client's challenges but also how I can support the team to create a solution for this. I also meet with external technology partners, publishers and regularly attend industry events to keep myself informed on market trends.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about entering into a career in digital?
Be curious and a self-starter. The digital industry is incredibly fast-paced and whilst you are surrounded by experts, you need to be eager to learn in order to develop. As part of this, don't be afraid to ask questions!
Challenge the status quo. You might start working with people who have been in the industry for longer, but because things are done in a certain way, it does not necessarily mean it's right.
Lieke was one of the first members to start the IM Running Club initiative.
Finally, what do you like best about working at Infectious Media?
Infectious Media is unique in the industry. I really enjoy working within a smaller company as it means we can be agile and adapt to the changing industry. However, whilst working at an SME, I also work with big household brands where you can have a direct impact on their marketing strategy - which is incredibly exciting.
The best thing for me is the people that work here. I work with an intelligent bunch, who I continue to learn a lot from, which keeps my role challenging and interesting at the same time. Not to mention that I also learn new English puns every day!