We are back for Season 2 of our series This Is How I Get It DONE, where we take a moment to interview members of the PR In Canada & Profectio community members to find out more about the person behind the desk, how they got their start, their current role (and everything in between). For our eighth episode of Season 2 we talked to Stephanie Engel, Senior Vice President of Client Services at energi PR.
SVP, Client Services at energi PR, Resident “Den Mother” or as I prefer to think of it “Older Sister” to the team
One word to describe your working style
Tell us a little about your background and how you got to where you are today
After completing my certificate in PR at Humber, I worked part-time selling rhinestone and bedazzled clothing out of kiosks at Pearson Airport and Yorkdale Mall while I looked for a full-time industry job. I was a terrible salesperson but the owner – a friend of a friend – trusted me and knew I would never steal from her.One day while working at the mall, I bumped into an old acquaintance who had just gotten an internship at a multi-national. She let me know they were looking for an intern in the healthcare practice and suggested I apply. I called the agency right then and there from a pay-phone – which gives you an idea of how long I have been at this – and they invited me in for an interview. Although I did not have a science background and had limited knowledge of pharmaceuticals, they hired me. The rest as they say, is history.
What is a typical work day like for you?
As anyone in agency knows, there is no typical day. I generally check my emails and respond as soon as I wake up. I am trying to curb that habit….I recently attended a Leadership seminar and one piece of advice they gave was to stay off email until you get to work, which is easier said then done, but something I am trying to adopt. I always have two cups of coffee when I first get to the office, and the day begins once they kick-in. Each day is different and can be a combination of meetings – especially as the company owners are based in Montreal – client work, brainstorms, or dealing with operations and administrative items.
What was a moment in your career that really helped define today?
Over the course of my career I have worked with a lot of accomplished and capable women – both colleagues and clients – and learned from each and every one of them. So I don’t think it was one moment, but rather a series of experiences, role-models and opportunities that helped shape me as both a person and professional.
9-5 is LONG gone, what is one shortcut or life hack that works for you?
There is definitely no 9 to 5 in today’s world, and it has been replaced with an “always-on” mentality. Even when I am out in the evening I find myself checking my phone – another habit I am trying to break – but it is tough. I do feel I am in good company at least because many of those around me do the same. I do try to be mindful when possible and remember to breathe or take a pause when the moment requires it.I’m also a big list-maker – I make lists of things to do for the week, the day, and place notations in my calendar as reminders. Sticky note reminders are another favourite, and I have been known to cover my computer monitor – as well as those of my colleagues – with them before leaving for the night. To ensure I make time for myself, my trainer has got me scheduling my workouts in my calendar at least twice a week, so I treat them as plans or an appointment. It works most weeks!