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ARMLife Interview with Rhona Dalglish

Tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
I grew up in London and, fearing to live anywhere smaller than a city, moved to Manchester to study the Management and Marketing of Fashion Textiles at the University of Manchester. My degree was a BSc so covered the science behind materials, application of marketing and branding along with more creative aspects. I loved this variety in my degree and knew I needed the same level of diversity in my working life.

How did you get into the media industry?
After university, I went straight into an allocator job at an international jeweler. I really enjoyed the role but after a year there I realised that given the cyclical nature of the fashion industry, many of the tasks repeated quarter on quarter and year on year. The thought of spending my life in ‘Groundhog Day’ was terrifying! So, I explored LinkedIn’s job section to see what jobs with more variation existed and found the Media Executive role at All Response Media. After some back and forth with the internal recruiter, a Grad day and a one-on-one interview with my potential managers – I secured the job and found my way into media, which is now almost 3 years ago!

What made you choose to move from the London office to Amsterdam?
I had worked in the London office for two years when I was itching for a change from the constant hustle of London. Originally, I was looking at moving to Stockholm as I love that the city is on the water and less polluted than London, but when the opportunity arose to move to the ARM Amsterdam office it seemed too perfect to pass up. The move to Amsterdam combined all the things I love about Stockholm with (slightly) warmer weather, a company and role I was familiar with!

How have you enjoyed the transition?
The transition was easy and enjoyable! The Amsterdam team were so welcoming and as many of the daily processes, culture and values are the same across the ARM offices, I felt like I easily slotted into the team.

How does the Amsterdam office differ from London?
The Amsterdam office is much smaller than London, with the total number of employees lower than some individual teams in the UK! Also, our work differs from the UK; as we plan, activate and optimise campaigns for clients operating across many different counties. Meaning we have a wide appreciation of various media channels across many European markets (each with their own interesting quirks).

What’s a typical day like for you?
A typical day begins with checking emails that have come in overnight and dealing with anything urgent. Then my day can vary depending on current client campaigns; ranging mainly between analysing results and suggesting optimisations based on our latest data, negotiating deals with media owners and planning future campaigns. But given the varying nature of media, fluctuating client budgets and changes to TV scheduling there are always ad hoc tasks that pop up and keep you on your toes.

What’s your favourite thing about your role as an International Media Planner/Buyer?
My favourite thing is the high level of ownership that I have over how I execute tasks, devise and feedback media recommendations to clients personally. It’s a great feeling knowing that your managers trust your decisions and output!

What’s your favourite thing about working here?
Definitely the fact that we have more range in our roles compared to other media agencies. Other agencies have specific individual roles for campaign analysis/ campaign planning/ client contact, but we take on all facets which help develop a wider range of skills at an earlier stage.

What’s your most memorable moment at All Response Media so far?
I’d say my first away day when we all traveled to Dublin and enjoyed a couple of days in the city visiting the attractions…. mainly the pubs and the Guinness Factory. At the time I had only been at the company for 5 months and having the opportunity to socialise in a non-work setting was great for building relationships and getting to know your friends… too well.

What are some of your favourite things to do in Amsterdam in your spare time?
There’s always something exciting happening in Amsterdam, so my favourite thing to do is find an event, get on my bike and explore what’s on. Recently there’s been the Amsterdam Dance Event, Ajax matches to watch and Art Gallery openings to drink free wine at!

Do you have any hidden talents or facts that people here don’t know about you?
If I told you it wouldn’t be a hidden talent!