Appco in Focus: our General Manager discusses her daredevil-side and how it's helped progress her career
Appco Australia’s General Manager Michelle Thomas oversees the Pro-Sales and Sports divisions – her role is integral to the delivery of our clients’ direct marketing campaigns. And, although she’s been with the company for almost 8 years, somehow, she’s managed to surprise us – yes, she’s a self-confessed daredevil and says skydiving and bungee jumping have helped her career progression.
In a nutshell, describe your role at Appco Australia.
It’s my job to ensure the marketing campaigns I oversee for Appco Australia are on track and our clients are happy with the results. My job is fast-paced, and each day is different which makes it so interesting and enjoyable. Creating strategies, monitoring and adapting our clients’ campaigns, mentoring my team members, and building strong relationships with the sub-contracted marketing companies that supply face-to-face marketing are just some of the typical day-to-day tasks I do.
Your career with Appco Australia started almost 8 years ago. How have you continued to learn and develop in your role?
I’ve had a few different roles in this time, which have been integral to my growth. Learning and development is something that I continue to work on and I find it happens naturally. Throughout my career, the skills and knowledge I’ve gained have come from many paths – formal education, professional experience and wisdom from my peers are just some of them.
What’s the best part about your role?
I would have to say relationship building because I’m a ‘people person’. It comes naturally to me and it continues to be a key part of my role. I need to be able to communicate effectively with the crew at Appco Australia, our clients and sub-contracted suppliers to ensure the direct marketing campaigns are successful.
You lead a team of awesome people at Appco Australia. How do you motivate them?
It might sound a little backwards, but I let them lead me. Most of my staff members are self-driven. I value their experience and knowledge and know when I need to guide and support them. Being a good listener and having open communication is important as it helps them to continue achieving great things for our clients’ campaigns and our business.
Your role is pretty fast-paced, what’s your strategy to focus?
I’m a multitasker! I have so many things on the go, it’s chaotic but I know what I am doing. I am very pen and paper focused, so writing notes really helps me.
What's something about you that people would be surprised to learn?
I have no fear and I like to think of myself as a daredevil. I will try anything and have –snowboarding, bungee jumping, skydiving, and a few hairy cliff jumps are just some of the fun things I’ve done.
It occurred to me when I did my first skydive that I might actually have a problem – everyone else around me including my husband were either terrified or nervous to jump. When it was my turn to leap out of the plane, I waited for the ‘fear factor’ to kick in, but it never happened. For me, being fearless has been great for my career – it’s really given me the confidence to reach my professional aspirations.
What was an early job that taught you something important or useful?
My first job. I worked for a British airline in the security department for two years. The early starts and long hours really taught me a thing or two about work ethics. Dealing with the public also gave me an understanding of customer service which helped me to land my role at Appco.
How do you switch off after work?
I love hanging out with my family. Puzzles have been a big part of our downtime this week – we’ve spent hours putting a thousand-piece puzzle together! It’s great for zoning out.
If you had to be locked in a building overnight, which would it be?
The British Museum – everything comes alive after midnight.
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Appco Australia staff have donated $500 through workplace giving program, The Appco Gives Back Foundation in support of colleague Danielle Pedersen who cycled an epic 80 kilometres to raise vital funds for Ronald McDonald House Charities.
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