Bobby Hochberg's ways to Aim for new heights
by Bobby Hochberg, associate with Aim7
As the semester is coming to an end, I reflected on my experience as an account supervisor and what I have learned about running a team of students, while communicating with the client. This was my first semester at Hill Communications, and it was the best way to end my four years at Syracuse University. I am a strong believer that Newhouse does provide an exceptional education, but the real learning happens through experiences.
I jumped into this role head-first with excitement, but there was a sense of unknown. At the beginning of February, I remember thinking, “What did I get myself into?” As the semester continued, I learned, grew and adapted by evaluating what was working and what wasn’t. With that being said, I want to provide you with a few lessons and tools that I learned while working with the client and my team.
Tip #1 Send weekly updates describing your work
This might seem simple, but it is the most important advice I can provide. Every week, send a quick update outlining your tasks and what is happening with those tasks. This helps outline for you and the client what is being done. This also helps you think of any questions you might have regarding other tasks. Clients don’t want quick texts with questions all the time. They are working on their own projects. Sending a large email in one place, will help them understand that you are on top of your work. In this email, outline which team member is working on what. This email can then be sent to your team members to show and remind them of the work that they need to complete.
**Tip**: Bold the assignment name and highlight any questions or deadlines for the client. It pops off the screen better, so your question can be addressed.
Tip #2 Sometimes long emails are better than texts (and sometimes calls are better than emails)
To go off tip #1, when working with your team, sometimes texts can get confusing. People are walking in and out of class, and information can be lost in the thread. Instead of causing confusion, sit down and write out an email outlining tasks. This helps outline the work for you, while also having all announcements in one place.
Phone calls are also helpful. Sometimes the tone of our voice is not portrayed properly over text. I have found that calling or setting up a Zoom meeting helps decrease any confusion.
Tip #3: Macro vs. Micro
Look at things from a macro and micro point of view. When the semester began, I wrote down all client activities. I found that there were two large groups that the activities fell under. I then divided them up into two categories or “groups”. I split up the team into those two groups and set tasks accordingly based on the work. This allows for more work to be done. The two groups can split up the work among themselves, so they still have time for school work and priorities.
Obviously, sometimes more work that didn’t fit into those categories came up. During our weekly meetings, I assessed who was available that week to work, and I assigned the work accordingly.
**Tip** Make a group chat with yourself and the smaller groups. This helps streamline communication.
Tip #4: Adaptability, Flexibility, Enthusiasm, Responsibility
These four words were my mantra this semester, and helped guide and motivate me.
Adaptability: This year has shown that being adaptable is important. When new projects were added onto the team, I had to assess the current work, and adapt. I pushed some work to the side, and made that new assignment a priority. It’s important to understand that schedules and timelines change.
Flexibility: Like being adaptable, you have to be flexible. Sometimes a staff member was busy and some work could not be completed. As an account supervisor, you have to ensure that client work is being done. You have to be flexible with your schedule and take on work that you might have not had the time for.
Enthusiasm: When you’re an account supervisor, you are the leader. As a leader, you have to show positivity when communicating with your client and staff members. During meetings with my team, even if I was having a difficult day, I put a smile on my face.
Responsibility: As an account supervisor, you have the responsibility to provide counsel to your client and finish work in a timely manner. You are responsible for your staff members. You are also responsible for being confidential and ethical with the work. With responsibility also means being able to actively listen to staff members and the client. Be a trusted listener and individual for your staff to look up to.
You will do great! Thank you to everyone at Hill Communications that made my second semester senior year so meaningful.
Best of luck to all the next account supervisors.