We interviewed the three members of our Executive Team Viktoria Gal, Jennifer Umali and Zowie Orridge about their role at Flint to find out what keeps them busy and how they have adapted to life under lockdown.
How do you find working at Flint? What makes your role interesting?
I’ve been working at Flint for three years. What I like is that although I’m surrounded by a lot of focused and busy people, it’s not a soulless place to work, on the contrary, it's a very interesting place to work.
My primary role is to support one of the Managing Partners, but my position has gradually transformed into a more hybrid one: I’ve been supporting Partners and client teams in the Markets and Investors Advisory (MIA) and Competition and Regulation (C&R) practices, I’ve also been helping our Head of Marketing on website and CRM management, as well as overseeing the day-to-day management of our London office. Hopefully, there will be even more opportunities to add more variety to my role.
I have been with Flint for exactly 2 years this month. I find Flint to be a busy fast paced environment. This past year I have seen how Flint has adapted to the pandemic. I think it was done well and the openness, understanding and the support that Flint provided was reassuring and very much appreciated.
I work with the Executive team and support Managing Partner, Simon Fraser. What makes my role interesting is the variety of tasks I do day-to-day. I also support the Partners and client teams within the Policy and Political Analysis (PPA) practice area. Alongside this, I support our Head of Marketing with delivering our Flint Virtual events and Flint Briefing calls. I found the process of moving the format of these from in person to online interesting and learnt many useful tools. With that, I help to oversee the day-to-day management of the London office.
When I first started at Flint, I did not know what to expect, but I was made to feel like part of the team straight away. I have been working with Flint for over a year now and started my Executive role at the beginning of the pandemic - quite an adjustment when learning to adapt to working from home. Despite the change, the Flint work ethic and pace continued and I was able to get stuck in and help support where needed.
My main role is to support our Specialist Partners and the wider Operations team and acting as a support function to the Head of Human Resources (HR). But my role has developed into other interesting areas - one of them is School21, where Flint supports sixth form students from diverse backgrounds with work experience. I can proudly say I am happy to be a part of this and the development of Flint and to be part of the positive change that Flint continues to bring.
How do you work together as a team?
I like to think of ourselves as a unit, rather than individuals. The three of us have a similar work style which helps a lot; and we communicate with each other and share information on a daily basis, which allows us to be more proactive in our job. Last year has obviously been a challenge for everyone, but despite the lack of face-to-face communication, I’m confident that our team has become stronger.
Communication, work ethic and being on the same page is how we work really well together as a team. Especially in lockdown we keep all lines of communication open in staying coordinated. Not being scared to ask for help is also important, after all we are human-beings and not robots! Supporting each other as well as the business I think helped to build our Team to where it is today.
Being part of the Executive team and having the opportunity to work alongside Jennifer and Viktoria has been a blessing. They have handled my transition into the company with ease and despite the pandemic it has made us work even harder as a team. Our work ethic and communication are very strong, and I think that is what makes us work as a great team. We are always on the same page and transparent with each other on all levels, ready to accept feedback whether it is good or bad. I am such a big advocate for self-Improvement and striving to do better and I know Jennifer and Viktoria are the same.
How have you adapted to life under lockdown?
At the beginning I felt a bit lost, I was quite used to the routine of having to go to the office. But by creating a routine at home, I managed to get back on track easily. I’ve also been visiting the office regularly, during the first lockdown I walked there every week to sort our post and water plants, which was a good excuse to get away from the laptop. Since then, I’ve got myself a bike, so the journey has become much faster and occasionally my puppy also joins me (he loves running around in the open plan office, but please don’t tell the building managers ????).
I have a 12-year old daughter and her dad is a school teacher, so the of three of us had to adapt to learning, working and teaching from home. Like most parents it was challenging but we made it work by having a good routine in place. Last year, I volunteered and taught online classes at my daughters dance school and primary school. I even managed to get some of the Flinters moving in low impact salsa online classes – this was a great way to stay connected. For me, this was about bringing a fun element to help uplift the moral. My lockdown hobby was taking an interest in ways to use essential oils and my little one teaching me the art of making bathbombs.
Working at home during the pandemic and adapting to new ways of working was not easy. However, this unprecedented time has taught me the importance of having a better attitude towards a work life balance and managing my time more effectively.
Working in the city we always tend to rush and fit things in and around our lives. Working from home has allowed my work life to be a lot calmer and balanced. I have taken up running in the mornings, which is now a part of my lifestyle. My lockdown boredom has also rekindled my creative side and I have taken up drawing and creating event props for lockdown home bound celebrations.