HARRIET BECOMES MWC ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR
November 3rd, 2020
After a film-producing, fishermen-podcasting, food-platform-building four years of fun, we’re delighted to announce the fabulous Harriet Yates-Smith has been offered the role of Associate Director.
Now this is the part where we say something cheesy – perhaps about growth and experience – but when you consider the fact that Harriet started alongside our Director, Katrina Ryan, as a dream-team-duo back in 2016, and has since nurtured MWC to an eleven-strong, multi-teamed enviro comms company, the growth and experience part sort of writes itself.We asked Harriet to share a little insight into the history and highlights from her time at Mindfully Wired.
This is a pretty exciting week as it’s my first o-fish-ial week as Associate Director for MWC. (And I got the inevitable fish pun out in the first sentence.) I’m not one for writing pat-on-the-back style blogs, but sometimes it’s important to celebrate the work wins. It’s also a great excuse for my mum to forward some #ProudMum news to her friends.
Although less than four years may seem to some as a swift climb up the ranks, when I started in 2016, I was the only employee; working from home with just my house plants for company. I am by no means taking all the glory for this incredible growth spurt – that is without doubt down to the incredible strength and tireless work ethic of the MWC’s leader, Katrina Ryan.
However, I do feel like I have played a part in helping to nurture MWC to what it is today – a ballsy, punchy and creative consultancy oozing with so much passion that we can’t avoid the unmistakable eye-rolls from people in our shared office as we proclaim just how darn happy we are to be at work.
I always thought poaching was something that happened to rare tigers or a fillet of cod, so when Katrina head-hunted me from my then-job in Cardiff in 2016, I really didn’t know what to expect. Having worked alongside Katrina in a previous job however, experiencing her energy, expertise and passion for all things fish-related, I knew it was an opportunity I simply couldn’t turn down.
During my time at MWC I’ve been given the opportunity to work on an incredibly diverse set of projects; throughout which there hasn’t been a single thing I’ve not wanted to work on. Isn’t that rare these days? My first big piece of work was a project called ‘Gearing Up’ – which involved working with fishermen, technology specialists and scientists to build an innovative fishing gear portal. Since then I’ve written and produced a series of films for WWF UK Seas (which you can watch on Sky OnDemand), led a national fishermen’s safety campaign, helped to set up and produce a podcast for fishermen, and helped to build a seafood marketing platform for Cornwall. And honestly, that just scratches the surface of MWC’s project portfolio!
No two projects are ever the same, which means there’s no one-size-fits-all template you can just pick off a shelf and run with. Every project is built meticulously from the ground up; co-designed with the target audience by encouraging participation and sharing real-life experiences. It’s through this process that I’ve learnt so much about how to be an effective communicator – shock horror; it’s not just about being excellent at talking – it’s about knowing how to listen, being open-minded, building trust and friendships, giving useful feedback, and definitely about being confident! Because we work with such a diverse group of clients – from scientists to sardine fishermen – these skills are so central to what I do each day, and will be every bit as important as I move into my role as Associate Director.
I’ll always be grateful to Katrina for recognising my strengths and pushing me to have confidence in myself to take the lead on projects over the years. I know it’s because she had this confidence in me, that I am where I am now. It’s definitely an important skill to have as a Director, and something which I hope to mirror shaping and developing my own team.
Have you worked with Harriet on a project int the past? Feel free to share a congratulatory message in the comments to make her go all blushed and bashful.