We recently hired our latest recruit for Top Banana’s team Manchester, Nicola Wilson! Joining us in the midst of lockdown, Nicola went straight into a home working – with online inductions, client meet and greets on Zoom and being thrown into the world of virtual – it was anything but your typical new job start. Here we’ve interviewed Nicola so you can get to know our latest Banana and see how it’s been to start a new job during lockdown…
So, Nicola, what’s your job history and experience before starting at Top Banana?
Having completed a placement year in events management I started my career as a Senior Account Executive at Fresh. Having worked across, live events, film, content, and design I was lucky enough to gain a wealth of experience working with high profile clients across retail, automotive, banking and technology.
Wow that’s such a range of sectors – any standout moments that you can pick from?
There have been so many! But a few that I’ll never forget are working onboard the Lady Daphne on the River Thames during the Queens Jubilee Parade, styling a Yacht for an automotive client to take a trip out to Venice Beach from Marina Del Ray in LA and shutting down the street in Madrid to host a diversity social experiment as part of a Global Communications Strategy.
So, what made you apply for a job at Top Banana?
When Top B launched the Manchester office I was really excited as I had been following them for a while, and as a committed northerner, this was my chance to work for a company with an amazing combination of great culture and clients.
Insight/Strategy led events and communications backed up by great creative is what I strive to create for client’s – weather it is customer-facing, live events or experiential. The client base at Top B is really varied with household names as well as some businesses that are completely new to me which I really look forward to getting under the skin of!
The opportunity to join a growing team in Manchester which has the vision and capability to be a Northern Events and Communications powerhouse also really appealed to me but what cemented my decision were that the values the business lives by really echo my own, authenticity is key and passion for creativity is what makes every day different.
Obviously starting in lockdown has been a completely different experience – how have you found everything so far?
Starting a new job virtually has been a very different experience and I am sure one that many people are experiencing for the first time. Being in the events sector it has in ways been even harder, as we’ve all had to move towards a new virtual model – so it was eye-opening to be not only in a new company but having to learn and diversify our offerings all at the same time! Luckily before I came here I worked on a project launching 4 Samsung products simultaneously to network contact centres across a fully virtual environment – so I had a taste of the new digital world before I got my teeth stuck in here.
In terms of the business – I have been welcomed with open arms and already feel part of the furniture. I feel making time to get to know my colleagues and clients on a personal level and not just focusing on the task at hand has been key to building meaningful virtual relationships. Also, the industry is tight-knit and TopB has a great support network from freelancers and partners, so it has been great to have some familiar faces to help me settle in and I’ve already worked on some great projects!
A question to end on, what have been your highlights since starting here are TopB?
I applied here originally having seen the content placed on social by TopB and I was really interested to see if they practised what they preached! Since being here that’s all come to life and I have been really encouraged by the internal initiatives and support offered – in my first 4 weeks alone we had a virtual BLT session and a mental health keynote speaker session, all alongside really honest and open inductions to all functions of the business. I have also been part of my first TopB Staff Conference which despite being virtual was an awesome day of team building! There has really been consistent communication throughout the business from all levels – from company catch-ups and one to ones I feel very connected – despite having not met the majority in person. And one real positive is that all these Zoom calls help with remembering names when they are written on the screen!
Show Nicola some LinkedIn love and connect with her using the link below, and if you’re looking for a new role check out our careers page for all the availabilities!