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A Day in the Life: Assistant Account Executive

9:00 a.m.: Arrive at office. Very tired. We just launched a new campaign for one of our client’s so the past few days have been crazed. A few people are already at their desks, but a lot of others aren’t in yet. Need a big coffee. I drop my bag in my cubicle, turn computer on, and head to the kitchen armed with coffee mug. And…someone beat me to it—have to wait my turn.

9:15 a.m.: Listen to phone messages. Nothing urgent. Check e-mails. A few need to be followed up on. Top priority is from one of the copywriters, telling me he’s working off site today and wants to reconfirm that our progress meeting with the creative team is still happening at 11:00. I write back to reconfirm, and give him the conference call number he can dial in to at meeting time. (I set the conference call up also, by the way.)

9:30 a.m.–10:30 a.m.: My boss calls to check in. She’s at a client’s office just a few blocks away, discussing some stats that research provided us for a digital ad campaign we started to work on. She asks if I can get her the stats on the Web page views for the client’s product from 4th quarter of last year, and if I can get that to her in the next hour. I get off the phone and immediately e-mail the research person, and cc my boss, about this. I find some stats in a document we’d presented to the client a few months back. Research responds with answers by 10:30 a.m., but they e-mail only to me, so I forward their e-mail, along with some of the stats I found. My boss e-mails back from her phone that it’s exactly what she needed and we’re all set.

10:30 a.m.–11:00 a.m.: Quiet time at my desk. I check our company’s Web site, intranet, Facebook, and Twitter for recent news and announcements—have to know what our company’s up to and what our other departments are working on. I also spend some time reading through adage.com and adweek.com, and also check out nytimes.com and some other online papers. I’ll search for our clients’ names and products, to see if there are any updates we should be aware of.  If I find something, I’ll send it to my boss and our junior account exec.

11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.: Boss is back and we meet with art director and the two copywriters (one on conference call) to review the client’s brief and the creative team’s copy and layout proposals. For a change, the details in the brief are specific (usually they’re not!). This is a new product but it isn’t a new client, and we know they don’t like to be overwhelmed with ideas, so we’re going to propose two options for them. We’re presenting to them in a few days, and so we set another progress meeting for tomorrow.

12:00 p.m.–12:30 p.m.: Back at desk. Check e-mails and phone calls. Return a call to a vendor, who’s checking on an invoice he’d sent last month. I tell him he can contact accounting directly and that as far as we knew, it should have been processed by now.

12:30 p.m.–1:15 p.m.: Write report on the meeting we just had with creative, covering the basics of what was discussed and next steps. Send it to boss for review. After she approves it, I’ll send to the team.

1:15 p.m.–1:45 p.m.: Run out and grab sandwich. Eat at desk. I can get out for a full hour sometimes but not today.

1:45 p.m.–2:15 p.m.: Meet with boss to review status of projects, and my workload, etc. We have this sort of meeting just about every day.

2:15 p.m.–4:00 p.m.: Work on a production estimate for another client, and start tackling a production schedule for another campaign we just landed. Field e-mails and phone calls throughout.

4:00 p.m.: E-mail reminder to team and some people in the other departments about birthday gathering in conference room.

4:15 p.m.–4:45 p.m.: Cake, candles, surprise for junior AE’s birthday. We do this for everyone’s birthday, promotion, baby shower, etc. If it’s a slow week, we’ll go out for lunch or dinner. But regardless, we pay attention to this sort of stuff.  (Note: We never really “check out” from working. We’ll eat cake with one hand and have our mobile phones in the other.)

4:45 p.m.–5:30 p.m.: Some budget work—open job numbers, update the tracking sheets and info on the finance system, etc.

5:30 p.m.–6:00 p.m.: Make some edits to the weekly status report, per boss’s suggestions, then e-mail to boss and team.

6:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.: The boss tells me about a company that the new business group is pitching. Asks me to do some research on them over the next few days—check out their Web site, Facebook pages, etc.  I start to dig into this and take notes.

7:00 p.m.: Decide to call it a night. Will pick up where I left off on the research tomorrow morning.

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