I have the pleasure of working very closely with our next “Meet The Demacians” featured employee! As part of the Business Development team, her and I like to think of our group as #squadgoals, because our squad is all about setting goals and achieving them as a team.
It’s only been 9 months since she joined Demac Media, but her determination and outlook quickly contributed immensely to the success of our Business Development team, and the success of retailers looking to partner with us. If you’re a retailer or brand looking to hit that next level of growth, she’s the person to start your journey with!
This #girlboss loves to explore noteworthy online UX experiences and smart new products that bridge functionality and fashion – oh, and a bit of an advocate for online beauty industry disrupter Glossier! (Emily Weiss if you’re reading this, send us products!)
Name: Margot Paterson
Role: Business Development Representative
Department: Business Development
Time served at Demac: 9 months
1. How did you find Demac or how did Demac find you?
During the last two years, I’ve volunteered on the TEDxToronto Conference committee, on the Sponsorship and Partnership team. A mentor of mine co-chairs the Conference, along with our President, Afshin Mousavian, and she knew Afshin was looking to hire a BDR on his sales team. She encouraged me to learn more as it would be a great opportunity, and as usual, she was right. I had met Afshin a few times through working with the TEDxToronto team, so I reached out to him to learn more, and here we are!
2. What’s your work-day beverage of choice? What’s your Friday afternoon beverage of choice
Lots of water, usually coffee in the morning (or a few of them), and tea in the afternoon.
3. How would you explain your job/role to a 5 year old?
Let’s say you’re at school and it’s recess time. Your favourite recess activity is to build the most epic sandcastle in the sandbox! But, you find that you could really use an extra pair of hands to help with this, and maybe some new shovels. My job would be to help you find those hands, and those shovels to build your dream sandcastle.
4. How do you explain what you do to your parents?
I validate new business opportunities to determine which companies we can help grow given the customer’s business, their needs, and their growth goals.
5. Demac is a flexible workplace….what hours of the day (or night!) do you prefer to work or get your best work done?
I’d say the typical workday hours of 9-6. I try my best to exercise before or after work and leave some time in the evenings for other things like catching up with friends, cooking or reading. Spending time to focus on things outside the office helps me to stay creative, and overall more open-minded at work.
6. What did you study in school? Is it relevant to what you do now?
I did a Bachelor of Honours in Human Geography, which is a fairly new discipline. So for those who don’t know the distinction of “Human” Geography, it is the study of people and their communities across space and place. In other words, there were a lot of subjective 20-page essays…
Choosing a Bachelor of Arts degree really helped to become a stronger and more persuasive communicator. My assessments were mostly comprised of essays, and I’d often meet with my Teaching Assistant to discuss course material and in some instances, present reasons as to why I believed I deserved a higher mark on assignments- which surprisingly worked. This level of determination (or maybe the right word is persistency), has definitely helped me solve problems in my day to day role.
7. What song are you loving at the moment to listen to while you work?
I have this tradition where before I get to work every day I play “Could You Be Loved” by Bob Marley, which for some reason always puts me in a great mood. Besides that, Sam Smith’s new album is pretty darn beautiful from start to finish, also Khalid’s album “American Teenager never gets old for me.
9. What’s your favourite site to buy from? and/or Which eCommerce site do you think is amazing?
This is a tough one, I love fashion and design, so I probably spend too much time browsing different retailer’s sites. I’d have to say well done to Glossier for their impressive UX designs and their packaging.
I will also note that I’m a sucker for niche online retailers that offer products that are stylish and functional, and have a beautiful web presence. Some cool brands I’ve come across recently are Lo&Sons and Margaux.
10.How do you balance work and life?
Well the whole balance thing is a work in progress. Some things that help me stay creative and focused is being active, time with friends, and travelling. I try to book one trip a year, last year I visited Morocco. For anyone that has been, they’ll know that it’s not exactly the most relaxing destination, as the culture and language are so different, but just being somewhere unfamiliar is really therapeutic for me.
11. What do you like to do after you leave the office? Or Before?
In the mornings I try my best to exercise 4 times a week, I really enjoy starting the day after an exercise class. As far as after work, the last 2 years I’ve volunteered on the TEDxToronto Conference so from February to October my evenings consisted of working on securing awesome Sponsors to make the event possible. Otherwise, evenings could consist of trying a new recipe, or grabbing a drink with friends.
12. What are you interested in that most people haven’t heard of?
Hm… a lot of people don’t know that I have my black belt in Karate. I grew up with two big older brothers, so I had to learn how to defend myself! Just kidding. I joined because I was inspired when my brothers accomplished this huge goal at a young age, so I wanted to do the same. That, and I wanted to prove that I could too as the only girl out of the 3 of us kids.
Looking back, I think it was the best activity I could have done as a young girl, it definitely helped to instill confidence and overall a hard-working mentality.
13. What do you love about working at Demac?
One of the things that I love about Demac is how the team comes to work every day with such an open mind. I feel proud to work at a place where my ideas have value to our Sales and Marketing strategy and day to day operations. I remember when I decided to take this job, I knew the learning curve was steep (probably why I wanted the job so badly 🙂 ). I’ve continued to be challenged, but I work in a team of extremely bright and creative people that go out of their way to support others, and I think that is a huge reason as to why our team has been successful.
14. Do you live Demac’s values in your everyday life?
I do believe I live these values, and in full transparency, probably some more than others which is a good goal to work towards. I’ve always felt really strongly about bringing authenticity and accountability in both my personal and professional lives, I will definitely be the first to say I messed up. I think the trick is to work with people that also value the importance of failure (Ownership)
I also see myself as being a bit of a closet empathetic person. Expressing vulnerability is not my strong suit, but I do try to demonstrate empathy to others more. I think it has tremendous value when it comes to strengthening the relationships you have with your peers (Empathy).
As far as creativity, this is challenged every day. As Demac continues to scale, this means working in a way where you can pivot quickly while continuing to make strategic decisions to support this growth. My role never existed at Demac before, so with that comes a lot of problem solving and challenging legacy processes, to which all of these opportunities I’m really grateful for.
15. What is your biggest pet peeve when it comes to shopping online/in stores/etc.
When you have to pay for duties. It’s a big old abandoned cart from me.
16. What have you done at Demac that you’re most proud of?
I’m proud of how much I’ve learned since I’ve been at Demac. I know this is a bit of a lame answer, but when I joined Demac, I was new to the industry, new to the role, and a woman in a male dominated industry. I think the most valuable lessons I’ve learned is being vulnerable, and the importance of perception. It’s definitely something I’ve worked hard to be more aware of, and has helped me to build stronger relationships with my peers. Its safe to say juggling all that has been overwhelming at times, but extremely rewarding and I wouldn’t take anything back.