Every team has an unsung hero.
They put in the legwork but rarely get the glory. They help others produce work that gets the headlines. They’re the glue that fits everything together.
They’re rightly valued but not in quite the glorious way they should be. And that’s usually because they just go about their business in an unassuming way.
The fact Nancy Barnard blushes and shakes her head dismissively when asked if she’s Studio20a’s unsung hero says it all - and so does her answer.
“When I’m away everything is fine, the world doesn’t stop because I’m not there to organise things,” smiled the project manager.
“My job satisfaction is when the client is thrilled with the work that we’ve produced and that comes back to being part of a team.
“I feel who I work with makes my job easy. They get me, they get what I’m saying and they work hard to produce what I’ve asked them to produce. I feel like having so much talent around me makes my job so much easier.”
The 23-year-old joined the company as a marketing assistant in 2014 after deciding the time was right to take on a new challenge having spent four years as a hairdresser.
A daily role in 20a soon followed as Maze Media expanded and Nancy took on the role of managing some of the firm’s biggest contracts. It seemed a perfect case of right time, right place and right person.
“I was going to use the word fate because it’s how I feel,” said the lover of fashion and interiors of her timely career change.
“There’s two sides to it as there was a little bit of a chance that I ended up here and I was lucky that Charlie (Roughton, partner) took away that horrible job search. It was perfect, this was ready for me, it was almost like it was mapped out. I wasn’t very settled and I had no clear direction.
“Being here, straight away something clicked. That’s the professional side of things but personally I also met my boyfriend Chris, who I’d like to be with for the rest of my life. So there’s two massive things there that have totally changed my life - I’ve got Nick and Charlie to thank really.”
There’s plenty of people who have to thank Nancy on a daily basis when it comes to her day job.
Whether it’s her colleagues inside the Studio, or clients outside of it, the former Litcham High School pupil keeps every project running smoothly. It’s something that’s become old hat now which is handy given the project manager is currently passing on her expertise to others to help ease the Studio’s growing workload.
Nancy added: “It’s lovely teaching someone something that you were taught when you first started and it’s now something that comes completely natural to you. I hope it also happens to the new people who I teach.
“I try and think about what it was like when I first started out here and everyone invested a lot of trust in me to keep projects moving along, even if it was only a minor role.
“So I feel like whoever is new here deserves that as well. ‘Here’s what you need to do, go away and do it. I’m here if you need me, but I won’t step on your toes’. But it is difficult to let go of the control, I guess, as it’s not in my nature as I like to see something through to the end and be involved all of the time.”
Name: Nancy Barnard
Qualifications: Google Squared - Digital Marketing & Leadership Course, CIM Project Management Course
‘Career’ history: Maze Media (2014 - current)
Joined company in: February 2014 as a marketing assistant
Current position: Studio20a project manager
Biggest achievement: Give me another 23 years and I’ll let you know
Career aspirations: To help land branding or design work for an already established brand and well-known international company
Also coming soon
Meet the team - Alex Thaxton