Time Out is the ultimate fun finder in cities across the world and, here in London, makes everyone’s Tuesday commute that bit more bearable. But what is it like on the other side? I spoke to Rosie, whose job is essentially to make sure we keep reading!
I’m Rosie Akenhead and I’m Senior Manager of Audience Engagement for Time Out Group.
Sounds very important! Tell me more
“What does a Senior Manager of Audience Engagement actually do though, Rosie?” Is a question I get from my parents almost every time I see them. In essence, my job involves driving community and engagement from the public on Time Out. How do we do it? Well, for one, we’ve set up Tastemaker communities in major cities around the world. Secondly, I’m working on a host of other projects to make Time Out’s user experience better for consumers visiting the site. I also work on campaigns like The Love London Awards throughout the year.
How did you get here?
I’ve worked a lot of weird jobs but eventually I ended up at Time Out, which honestly is a dream job for me. I get to work on what I’m passionate about – sharing the best things with people about a city. Better still, I get to do it for a brand that I love and use daily anyway. Further back, I worked for online review site Yelp, a B2B travel newspaper, a theatrical agency, had my own events business, sold products for Neutrogena in Boots and was once even in a New Woman advert. To get away from what I call The-New-Woman-Neutrogena-Anyth
I also just met with my cousin who’s leaving University this year and she said “Oh my god, how did you land that job at Time Out?” I told her that it doesn’t happen overnight. Most people don’t just wake up and fall into a great job. You may have to step through a lot of other roles to build up the skills you need to even get hired for your dream position.
Who has been your biggest support/inspiration?
On a personal level, my three siblings, Ellie, Iso and Ed – all of whom are hugely successful career people. Being their littlest sister, they never fail to give me a boost if I’m feeling uncertain and they are my go-to trio for work advice. Similarly, they bring me down a peg or three if I’m being an idiot (a fairly frequent occurrence). On a work level, I’ve worked with so many inspiring women and I’m lucky in that respect. Time Out is incredibly good at hiring intelligent and interesting female leaders. Both my bosses, Eve Ireland and Sarah Bartlett – are a huge support and inspiration to me, as are many other awesome people across the Time Out business.
Advice to your high school self?
Don’t wear combat trousers with crop tops. It didn’t look that good on Britney Spears, so it certainly doesn’t look good on you.
If you weren’t doing this, you would be…?
In my dreamier moments I imagine I’d be travelling the world for the entirety of the next 60 years with no fixed address. In reality, work is a big part of my life and I think if I wasn’t here, I’d be running my own (undoubtedly haphazard) business and I’d have a dog to take to meetings.
What’s your favourite thing about London?
There are too many to mention. Trying out everything that’s new in London is part of my job but to be honest it’s also just in my DNA. A few weeks ago, I went to a Natural History Museum Lates night and went on a torchlit wander with the dinosaurs. In London, you’ll never be bored. There’s always something fun to do, somewhere new to try. Up next I want to try out Oxygen Trampoline Park in Acton.
And your favourite thing to do in London?
My favourite spot is definitely Waterloo Bridge. Every time I walk over it and look both ways it always reminds me that London is the best city in the whole wide world. Besides that, the crazier the better, usually. I’m into rock climbing at The Arch in Bermondsey and I want to get better at wakeboarding in Victoria docks when the weather gets warmer.
Thanks Rosie! Final question – what’s your top tip for London career girls?
Two things. The first tip is not to overthink it. If you’re a new graduate, just focus on getting a job, largely any job will do! Try it out and see if it feels right. If you’re a student, sample some different companies with internships or work experience. No one successful that I know in my industry started out with a clear, “I’m going to do this” direction. Sometimes you only figure stuff out a few years down the line. The main thing is to be working consistently, and keep innovating. Just doing your job isn’t enough – always go the extra mile and eventually something you love will come your way. The second thing is to network and meet other people in your field. Don’t be afraid to go to a networking party or event and just say “Hi, what do you do?” I’ve met a lot of great contacts that way, people that have become friends, colleagues and business partners. Everyone who is in that room is in the same boat (i.e. feeling terrified, nervously checking their phone, hoping someone will come and say hi). Make the first step and you’ll probably make their night, as well as make those all-important contacts.