Welcome Sophia, our fabulous new Senior Project Manager

Written by Lee Colbran - 03 Nov 2021

Culture | 4 MIN READ

We caught up with Sophia Wise, who joins our Project Delivery team in the role of Senior Project Manager. We asked Sophia about her career to date, her vision for the role, and what colleagues and clients can expect...

I like to get to know my clients and their projects. It’s essential to understand client goals and needs, establish the key deliverables, and discover what success looks like to ensure your plan delivers. It’s also important you both get along and can have some fun along the way.

Sophia Wise, Senior Project Manager

Firstly, describe your career path to date and how you got into project management?

After finishing a degree in photography, I interned in London for a photographic magazine and studio. Having gained a few months of experience in publishing and making cups of coffee, I decided to move on.

I landed in Brighton, working in various sales roles. My career started when I began working as an account manager, agency side, in branding and design. It was a small agency, where I had many different jobs and responsibilities, including project management. Mainly managing big idea stuff and strategy – I enjoyed being part of the process, so I decided to pursue a career in project management.

I’ve worked as a project manager in agencies specializing in design, marketing, digital and market research recruitment for the past eight years.

What made you choose Fresh Egg as the next step in your career path?

Fresh Egg has always been on my radar (digital is a big industry in Brighton), so I was eager to apply when I saw a position had opened up in the project delivery team.

During the interview process, it was clear that Fresh Egg put a lot of emphasis on finding the right personality fit. Similarly, during my job search, one of the most important factors was finding a company that shared the same values and standards; ‘honesty’ and ‘human’ really resonated with me - it felt like a match!

What is there from your previous jobs that you feel you'll bring to your new role?

I’m used to working in a fast-paced environment, with lots of quick turnaround projects – spinning lots of plates! Being able to manage multiple things at once will hopefully put me in good stead to hit the ground running and join a growing team and company. 

What do you think makes an excellent project manager?

Being a good communicator is vital! A good project manager is 'the glue' that keeps a project together, the middleman between the client and internal/external teams (and beyond). Keeping communication flowing, in turn, helps to keep a project moving along.

Delivering projects isn't always smooth sailing – so I think the ability to think of solutions rather than focusing on problems is a valuable trait too.

Tell us about your most challenging project to date?

I don’t think it would be a specific project, more a specific time for project management. When lockdown first hit, I was working in market research recruitment, specifically qual research – it was unchartered territory in terms of qual, as most focus groups/depths, etc., were being done face-to-face. It was a massive shift to move all my projects, the internal team of coordinators and the related fieldwork online.

One project involved around 200 participants, all needing interviewing remotely - It was a scheduling and logistical challenge! It was specifically challenging for many research participants, as many had never used video calls before!

The shift to remote working was a whirlwind experience, but on reflection, it was a huge learning experience and made me a better project manager. I certainly learnt to embrace change and how to manage it effectively.

What can our clients look forward to when you take the reins of your first project?

It sounds cheesy, but a smile and a friendly face!

I like to get to know my clients and their projects for two reasons – firstly, you get to know each other and build a good relationship. With some projects, they can span months, sometimes years – so it’s important you both get along and can hopefully have some fun along the way. And secondly, it’s essential to understand client goals and needs, establish the key deliverables, and what success looks like to ensure your plan delivers.

I usually ask many questions at the start, but from experience, this is the safest bet as I’ve only ever regretted the questions I didn’t ask (never the ones I did!).

What is the one most important thing you think a successful project needs to have?

Good communication, organisation and a solutions-focused approach! 

What are you looking forward to most about working at Fresh Egg?

So many things! I definitely can't wait to get stuck in and be involved in the nitty-gritty of projects, learning the ropes and bringing my project management skills to the table. I'm a people person, so getting to know the clients and internal teams and understanding the agency processes are at the top of my list.

I'm excited to be working as part of the Fresh Egg team – everyone is so lovely!

What do your friends and family think you do for a job? 

I was genuinely interested to find out what my parents think I do for a job, as when I talk about my working life, glazed expressions often greet me – so I popped the question into our family WhatsApp chat. It quickly turned into a competition between my Mum and Dad, fighting amongst themselves to see who could guess right! 

I was pleasantly surprised, both were pretty spot on, but I couldn't pick a winner. I was too afraid to cause an argument! 

 

If you could only use one website (or app), what one would you choose? 

I would have to flip a coin to pick between Spotify or WhatsApp. I use both every day and would feel very lost without either of them! 

If you were only allowed to use one website, which one would it be? 

If we're talking project management, it would probably have to be Trello! It's a dream for keeping everything organised and for collaborative working.

You can only use one social media platform; which one, and why? 

I use Instagram the most, as I love photography. I studied photography at University and dabbled in the world of being a commercial photographer for a short amount of time (although it wasn't for me, I'm a bit too sensitive for all the critiques!). However, I still love taking photos and seeing other peoples work, although most of the pictures in my Instagram feed are of food and pets – not hugely groundbreaking or inspiring, but I'm not complaining!

Finally, what is your favourite way to eat an egg?

I love food, and for me, eggs are a weekend staple. My 'go to' rather than my favourite (as I can't decide!) would be scrambled eggs, served with buttery sourdough toast and ketchup

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