Jointly written by Jack Sandbach and Megan Jay
It’s 14 February. You know what that means?
That’s right, two of Haggie Partners’ PR assistants, Megan (M) and Jack (J) have been here for a whole year!
To celebrate the pair’s one-year Haggieversary we decided to interview the young couple and ask them on how their year has been.
Q: So, how are you both doing?
J: Very happy to be here, thank you, and glad finally to be at the big boy desk.
M: Definitely happy we’ve migrated to the centre of the office.
Q: What do you make of clients?
M: I’m now at the point where I’m happy with the number and variety of clients I work with. I get to experience different things working with each of them, so it definitely doesn’t get boring.
J: I’d agree, how many are you on now? Three or four?
M: I’m on nine.
J: Oh, well I’m on six so that’s definitely a difference between us.
M: That said, on three or four of those, I play a minor role – such as morning media scanning, or a client who retains us only for crisis management, and thankfully there haven’t been any crises, so I haven’t got to work with them yet.
Q: Would you say you’re more confident now?
J: Improving my confidence was a genuine ambition when I joined Haggie Partners. I definitely feel more at home now. I know we were both nervous at the start.
M: I’m probably still a little nervous to be honest.
J: I think everyone has their moments. When I feel like I have to be in two places at once that can sometimes be tricky. But for the most part, I think my time management is a skill that’s come a long way since I started my career.
M: Same here. I do feel more settled in the job. Partners and directors ask me to do new and more complicated tasks than they did originally for example. Their confidence in asking me to do new things or handle media opportunities for clients by myself is really encouraging.
Q: What would you say your standout moment from your first year here was?
M: I have to say the very concept of working in an office was something I had yet to experience. My only real taste of teamwork that I can compare is sports or group projects at university, but it’s nothing like this. Sometimes we’ll be laughing and joking, but we do keep the focus on the fact that this is an office space: we have meetings, deadlines, and work to do. We do always manage to balance the work and fun.
J: I agree, it was very alien at first. And now I’d say I’m used to it. It’s honestly weird to reflect on, when I first joined I’d see the sweeping vistas of London and it seemed like something out of a film, but now I don’t really see the wood for the trees. It’s basically normal now.
M: Looking back to when we first joined, I can’t believe how much we’ve learnt.
J: Definitely, I can’t speak for Meg here, but I struggled with nerves for quite some time, and it’s got to a point now where it’s second nature, and I feel like I’d have less sympathy for people who can’t do what I do right away. In that regard I appreciate our mentors for having such patience with us!
M: I remember when I joined, I really looked up to our mentors and I feel like I built them up in my head as having so much experience, but now we’ve caught up. They’d been here for just over a year when we joined.
Q: What events made an impression on you this year?
M: Our summer party when we went to the races still makes me chuckle, I was thinking about me hobbling about on crutches and you got the boat home…
J: I did! I went home on a boat with Michael (a partner) which was huge fun. For me, I don’t think I’ll ever forget that we had two Christmas parties last year,* how mad was that?
*[Ed: Lockdown II forced the postponement of the 2021 Christmas party to early 2022.]
M: Definitely, though I think the client ‘Late Late Summer’ party has been the stand-out event for me, so far.
J: I agree, I hadn’t really met clients out of the context of online meetings. It was great to see them in a more laid-back atmosphere and put faces to names. That’s one I’m looking forward to going to again.
Q: How has your personal life changed since you joined Haggie Partners?
M: I feel like I’m in the same place, still live in the same place with the same person, but last year I’d only just moved to London – so in reality probably a lot! It’s like you don’t notice something growing when you see it every day.
I feel like I’m a bit more part of the community, I’m involved in a local football team, where I’ve somehow found myself managing the social activities. The players were making plans on how to improve their clubhouse and connect with the community, become a registered charity, and all these amazing things. The caveat was they didn’t have anything that resembled a plan and just hoped it would happen. Which, I had to break to them – is not how things work. So, I somehow fell into it.
J: So, you’re the group’s mum now?
M: Yeah, but also, it’s started a ripple effect because now all the boys’ wives, girlfriends, fiancés, partners etc. have to come to watch football after being persuaded by the argument “Meg will be there,” so now when I meet them I get asked “so you’re Meg?” and it’s because of me that we’re watching amateur football in the rain. Strength in numbers though, eh?
J: Personally, I feel similarly to you in that sort of everything has changed and nothing’s changed. I’m still living in the same place, though I’m not in the same relationship.
I think more than anything my social sphere has changed. The main things I do out of work are more events-based rather than the things I’d regularly do and people I’d regularly see before. So instead of visiting my friend down the road the way it was at university, now it’ll be “I’ll book off a week and spend it with you.”
More than anything I now have to fit my life around work, rather than work around life, which I suppose isn’t surprising.
Q: Any closing remarks?
M: I’ve been here a year, and after my first couple of months I had three things on my Haggie bucket list: get to a point where I can call Damian ‘Damo’, go to the City of London Club, and go to the reinsurance Rendez-Vous in Monte Carlo. Monte Carlo is far off in the horizon, but, until then, two out of three is not bad.
J: Coming full circle I guess, I’d say my biggest aim was to be less nervous, and I definitely am. I feel like anyone who knew me at the start of my time here would agree that I’ve developed a lot.
I suppose the only other thing to say is good luck to the next PR assistant who joins. I look forward to hearing their thoughts this time next year.
Oh, and Haggie Valentine’s Day…