Project managers are super important in the agency world — without them, our work would likely get done, but it might not happen on time or on budget. Like the ultra-responsible parents in a large family, they metaphorically get all the kids to school and sports practices on time, make sure the family sticks to the budget and help make sure everyone plays well together. For this Day in the Life edition, we asked Chicago project manager Jane Demaree to talk about what it’s like to manage projects at Intouch.
What field did you work in before you joined Intouch, and how long have you been in marketing?
Prior to working at Intouch, I worked at a boutique production company that specialized in pharmaceutical and education- based marketing services. I have worked within the marketing field for almost five years.
How is working in pharma marketing different than you expected when you started here?
We work in a highly regulated industry, and I’m not used to the necessary legal reviews involved before any asset goes live, but it makes sense and it’s a great learning experience.
How would you describe your job to someone who isn’t in the marketing/advertising field?
As a project manager, I’m managing three major aspects (timeline, scope and resources) of any given project. My role is to ensure the project is moving according to the plan we set in place and adjust the timeline as needed. I partner with Account and with all internal subject matter expert teams to understand where and when resources are needed within the project life cycle. I mobilize those resources and lead the teams towards our project goals.
Jane, taking a break from work.
What are your typical responsibilities and challenges — what’s your average day like?
On an average day I’m checking in with internal teams to ensure we’re tracking towards our next deliverable or milestone, scheduling meetings, updating timelines, reviewing cost-management reports, recapping internal meetings and ensuring resources are available for any upcoming tasks.
How often do you interact with clients, and in what capacity?
Our Account team works directly with clients, and we partner in meetings focused on the execution of a project such, for example, with discussions on project estimates, timelines, status. We may also participate in planning sessions where we provide insights about executional efforts and resource needs.
What type of a personality/disposition or skill(s) do you think is best suited for your job?
Time management, attention to detail, ability to manage multiple priorities that are constantly shifting. You need to be able to work with a variety of personalities and be an ally to all teams.
What do you find most challenging about your position?
Having to be the main hub of communication for every department working on a project is the most challenging aspect of my job.
Any advice for people interested in getting into a role like yours, or advertising/marketing in general?
Make sure you are able to work with lots of different people/personalities who have varying demands.
Interested in getting into the project-management game, or maybe another role at Intouch? Visit our jobs page to see what’s available. We have openings in Boston, Chicago, Kansas City and NYC!