3rd and Final Agency: Ascentium

August 13, 2008

Obliviously, I am not doing a very good job updating this blog, because it is my second to last day here at Ascentium and this is my first post…  I know, I know (keep the comments to yourself).  Mason West, a writer here at Ascentium as well as a member of the PAF Committe, is probably shaking his head at me right now in disgust.

What can I say about Ascentium… well it’s probably the most interesting agency I’ve been at thus far.  Ascentium is an interactive agency but that is just one part of what they do under the larger umbrella of Ascentium.  If I understand it correctly the three parts of the biz are: Interactive, CRM, and Infrastructure.  And magically all the different departments overlap together and are used in a way to enhance the client’s needs.  In all honestly, I don’t know any other company who does something like this, and from what I hear there isn’t one.  James Rice, Creative Director of Portland’s Ascentium explained it by saying (now I’m paraphrasing here), Ascentium figures out creative ways to use technology, and that is exactly what they are doing.

My time at Ascentium has pretty much been me being a fly on the wall.  Just being a sponge and soaking up everything I can and trying to compile it together and make sense out of it.  I got the opportunity to talk with Mike Caplan, Ascentium’s Engagement Manager, who was very honest with me about the ins and outs of the Account Services side of an agency.  It was refreshing to get a straight to the point description of what account people do, and how do be successful in this business.  The main point I took from my talk with Mike was that being an account person isn’t rocket science, but it does require you to have an amplitude for emotional intelligence and a passion to be “on” 24/7.

Not only do you need to be able to communicate with your team and clients effectively but you need to be constantly thinking about what you can do to make them more successful in their jobs.  As a project manager you are responsible for the delivery of all projects across the organization, you are the glue connecting all the different parts together.  So, being “on” 24/7 is a must, or your team will fall apart.

During this conversation with Mike, I kept thinking, “oh this is me, I am that person, trying to please people and help wherever I can”  but then something that Mike said caught my attention.  He explained that you do everything you can for your team and look out for them, but realize that there is no one looking out for you, and that no one is there to make your job easier.  Which is sad, but then I realized he might have been wrong… Mike, you are that person to your PM’s, right?

I think I said this in my last post, but having this internship has been such an amazing experience for me.  Not only have I realized that Portland is where I want to be (sorry Mom, the bay area will have to wait for now) but this is what I want to do, and who I want to be.  And you know it might change 6 months from now, but that’s ok.  For now, I’m going down this path, I may not have it all figured out but I am moving forward in a direction that looks good for now.  And I’m excited to be here!


2 Responses to “3rd and Final Agency: Ascentium”

  1. mason said

    We’re glad to have you, Heather! You’ve done an amazing job serving the PM role for your team.

  2. Megan said

    oh no Heather, I don’t want you to have to work all alone. I will try to have your back.

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