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Learning at Work Week 2021

Reflections from RYers

24 May 2021

Last week marked Learning at Work Week, and to celebrate the week we have been internally sharing different learning resources, talking about how it improves our mental health and discussing our different mindsets on the topic.


We've spoken about how learning ties into our company strategy, how we can help clients create cultures of learning and we've shared some of our people's development journeys. We all have a development story that is unique to us, here are five from RYers across the business.

Tell us about your learning journey at RY so far.
Eileen Chen | Sustainability Consultant
What a ride it’s been. I came in with no prior agency experience so constantly felt the need to catch up. Although ‘learning by doing’ has accelerated my development, complementing it with outside knowledge, people and resources has been really helpful. I’m also so grateful for our team of brainiac consultants, who are always sharing reports and articles and willing to lend a helping hand.
What advice do you have for anyone who’s keen to learn and develop more?

It’s easy to let development go by the wayside when there aren’t enough hours in the day. But here are a few things that have helped me.

Integrate learning into your routine: just by carving 10 minutes daily for reading articles and newsletters you’ll always be learning.

Work on your blind spots: set a direction for what you’d like to learn, based on what you think you’re weak at or what will get you that promotion.

Take advantage of those spurts of motivation: Take advantage of the days you’re feeling motivated to learn by signing up to a bunch of webinars, reaching out to people on LinkedIn or whatever you’re in the mood for.

Share what you learn: not only will writing it down help embed the learning in your head, it’ll benefit your teammates too.

Tell us about your development journey at RY so far.
Emily Clements | Head of Film

It’s been long and interesting. I first joined RY through an acquisition, at the time I was a Producer in my third role. After a fairly short time, I left to go freelance to widen my experience. I then re-joined RY as a freelancer in 2011 (initially for one day!) and six-months later joined permanently as Senior Producer. Shortly after, I moved onto an Executive Producer role which was more focussed around thought leadership, pitching and overseeing projects. In my current role, I lead the team while retaining the client facing side of things which I have always loved.

What methods do you use to keep your skills and knowledge up to date?

My main method is watching what’s going on in the wider market: in cinemas, on Netflix and in commercials. I am also a judge at the New York Festivals and Cannes Corporate film awards, which gives me an insight into some of the programmes that get made for corporate clients that we otherwise might not see. I also rely on my network to keep me inspired and up to date on the more technical side of film-making. Lastly, and I don’t think we should underestimate this, I rely on RYers for inspiration, knowledge-sharing and craft.

Tell us about your development journey at RY so far.
Rob Heads | Researcher

I started in Client Services where I was a Project Assistant for 1.5 years. I then seized an opportunity to move into Consultancy as a Researcher. Since then, I’ve been working on a huge amount of varied projects, strengthening my strategic thinking and gaining exposure within the world of creative strategy and consultancy. I have also taken this knowledge externally into an industry-wide program as a D&I Council Researcher, working to create more inclusive advertising.

Tell us about someone who’s supported your learning and how they helped.

I’ve been lucky with my managers, having felt really supported by them. From pointing me in the direction of resources, to providing advice on areas and skills that would be valuable and supporting my ideas.

Tell us about your development journey at RY so far.
Ben Marples | Designer

I joined RY as an intern in 2019. I had freelanced a little out of university but felt I needed a place to grow, learn and improve my craft. Lucky for me I found just that at RY. After my internship I was taken on as a Junior and as of October last year I was promoted to Designer.

What are some of the key things you needed to learn? Where did you go to learn it?

Since RY was the first agency I worked at, there was a lot for me to learn. I needed to learn the process of completing projects and how the different teams work together to do so. Fortunately, my teammates have been more than willing to guide me. From a creative point of view, I wanted to develop my story telling skills – designing work that didn’t just look good on the surface, but had a deeper meaning and narrative. I feel like this is something I am still learning and improving with help from my fellow creatives.

Tell us about your development journey at RY so far.
Nicola Gunn | Client Services Director

I’ve been at RY for 10 years and it’s been a rewarding and fulfilling time. Working in Client Services, I’ve had the chance to work on a range of projects across our different offers, for a variety of clients and with a host of different people. No one project, client or team is the same so I’m constantly learning. That’s why I love my job and why I stay at RY.

What’s your learning focus today?

Sustainability is my focus. It’s something I’ve had a personal interest in ever since I studied for my geography degree and it’s also a strategic priority for RY. So I’m currently enjoying a combination of self-driven learning and a sustainability course.