May 23, 2019 | By Alice Gividen
Big data meets consumer insights. Experience WGSN.
Aug 15, 2017
By Laura Welch
Laura Welch is one of the most organised people at our WGSN office in London. She makes sure everything is running smoothly, from diary appointments to scheduling travel, she also writes articles for WGSN Insider and attends glam press launches. As Executive Assistant to Carla Buzasi, WGSN’s Global Chief Content Officer, no two days are the same!
After spending six years working at Peroni, with four of those as Executive Assistant to the Sales Director, it was only a matter of time before she found herself back in the fashion industry. Laura studied Fashion Technology at De Montfort University, did an internship at The Daily Express, and then spent two years at TV shopping haven QVC before she saw the role for EA at WGSN.
Here she is, in her own words, talking through what a day in the life of Laura is really like at WGSN:
To be honest there is no typical day at WGSN. One morning I can be doing a Cadbury’s Crème egg desk drop, another I will be frantically ringing around looking for a make-up artist as Carla has a last-minute request for an interview or a TV show. Or I’m researching and drafting blogs for the WGSN Insider. I love writing about current trends and utilising the numerous experts we have here at WGSN. I also tag along with the team here to all their events, from beauty press launches to new fitness classes before they hit the mainstream- that’s the great thing about working here, I feel so ahead of the curve.
I can also be doing the less exciting (but super necessary) part of the job, which includes setting up Skype calls, kicking people out of meeting rooms while trying to house them somewhere else, or I can be taking minutes in our weekly content meeting. Whatever it may be, these are all tasks which are part and parcel of being an EA, and I firmly believe the busier I am, the better I am at my job!
8:45am-ish – I get into the office armed with a latte and check any emails that have come in overnight from our offices in Hong Kong and New York.
Check Carla’s diary for the day and make any last-minute room bookings if there have been changes. Also a quick flick through the usual social media sites, my favourite ones being Instagram, The Pool and Twitter – because I am that old! I love lists. To Do lists and Post It notes… my desk is covered with them – it’s an organised mess I like to say, but I know where everything is, what I have written down, what that number means and what that short-hand note means.
As well as being Carla’s assistant, one of my additional projects is planning our Trends Day twice a year. I am currently planning for September where the whole global content team will fly over to London and we spend two intense days together presenting findings from all of our regions which will then help to focus The Vision.
I liaise with my contact at the venue and take some calls with suppliers; last year we sampled some blue wine, but this year it is going to be all about orange wine. With my mid-morning coffee, I spend an hour or so on our website, reading the latest reports on Festival Street Style and getting some tips from the updated Copenhagen city guide – I’m heading back there next month.
As well as my own blog posts, I also upload Carla’s posts, the latest one being an interview she’d done with Bloom & Wild’s Aron Gelbard.
1:00 Lunch time! If Carla has back-to-back meetings, then I will run out and pick her up some sushi or a salad from Pure. She goes through stages of eating the same thing for months on end, and then it’ll change and it’s that for the next eight weeks. Earlier this year she ate tuna maki rolls from Itsu for four months straight, but now it’s the Celebrity Skin salad from Pure.
Grab lunch for myself from Rice & Wine (don’t let the name fool you, I am buying sushi and Hello Kitty cookies) and run to Topshop if there is a need – who am I kidding? There is always a need! Pick up some tassel earrings or another pair of sunglasses.
Enter expense hell – every PA’s favourite part of the job!
Running from the printer back to my desk, to the scanner and back to my desk. Hounding people to send me their receipts so I can process Carla’s expenses, but once it is done, it is done – for this month anyway!
2:30 Get Involved meeting – A group of us get together and plan fun, social events for the whole office; we have just had our annual WGSN sports day, so getting great feedback from that! We have a New Starter breakfast coming up soon and lots more exciting plans for August and September.
The afternoons can be somewhat busier as the NY office are up and on their emails.
I confirm Carla’s NY agenda, book taxis, confirm meetings with the NY content team and liaise with my counterpart in the NY office and moan about the weather, it’s too hot and sticky over there, it’s miserable and rainy over here in London – standard. Can we do a job swap?!
5:00- Check the diary for the next day, make any last-minute changes if necessary, check there are meeting rooms available or negotiate with the team if a last-minute meeting has come in and I desperately need a room for this.
Finish the day going through my To Do list, checking off completed tasks, and sometimes writing ones down that weren’t on there, just to cross through them – but I hear everyone does that, don’t they?!
Finally, a quick look through my ever growing inbox, filing away emails that have been completed, flagging up any urgent emails that need looking at and making sure I am on top of everything for that day and there aren’t any outstanding meetings or emails that need instant responses.
I usually leave the office between 5:30 and 6:00pm depending on the day. After sending Carla off on time so she can make her tennis lesson, I’ll head off for an appointment at WAH London to get my nails done. Or to a press launch. Last month was very busy I went to a Topman event at the Ace hotel, Disco Yoga with beauty brand Barry M, and the Fred Perry press launch where they showcased next season key items. So you see, there’s never a dull day at WGSN 🙂
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