Team Member Spotlight: Kevin Thompson, Creative Manager, talking about his journey with AI Global Media
This summer Kevin will have been with the business seven years, we asked him about his time with AI.
How did you begin your career with AI Global Media?
I started with AI back in June 2012, before this I had been working as a graphic designer for a publishing company in Birmingham for about 5 years after finishing a degree at Wolverhampton Uni. I was contacted by a recruitment agency about the position of a designer at AI and liked what I read about the company and liked the idea of getting out of the city and working somewhere a bit quieter out in the countryside (AI were based in a small converted farm building at this time). When I saw the offices and met the directors and team I really couldn’t say no to the job as it was exactly the type of place I wanted to work. I settled into it very quickly and the rest is history I guess. The company has come a long way since those days, when I started we had less than 10 people at the company and things are a lot busier now.
Can you tell us more about the different roles you have had within the business?
Well, as I said, I started as a designer back in 2012 and up to 2 years ago my role didn’t really change that much. I was always the head designer at the company, from being the only designer I went on to work with and mentor other designers to make sure every deadline was met and that everything was in keeping with the AI brand. About 2 years ago I moved into the role of Creative Manager. It was quite daunting at first, I have always been good at managing myself but now I had a team of other individuals to manage. I’m still learning the job but I think I have done ok at it so far. It probably sounds a bit cliched, but I really don’t see myself as my team’s boss, I’m just the senior member of the team and I’m there to help them and to organise things (I think my strongest attribute is my organisational skills). I still do a bit of designing as well as it is something I still love to do and I like to muck in, so to speak. Having a great team helps make my job all the more easier as well.
Which project(s) or task(s) have you enjoyed the most whilst working with the business?
I really couldn’t single out a specific project, again, it might sound cliched and like I’m just saying it for this interview, but I’ve enjoyed every aspect of all the work I have done at AI. Every day flies by because I am enjoying everything I am doing here. I know I’m a manager now but as a designer at heart I’ll always have a soft spot for anything designeree (is that a word?), so laying out a magazine will always be a personal favourite, and I’ve laid a lot out in my time here.
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement, either professionally or personally?
Definitely still being a manager at AI after 2 years of doing the job is an achievement for me, managing isn’t something I saw myself going into and it isn’t the easiest of jobs so I’m proud of that and I’m still hanging in there.
How do you unwind after a stressful day?
I don’t really get stressed, I’m too laid back and to be honest, too busy, I don’t have time to be stressed. I actually prefer it when we are up against a deadline or have a lot of work on, I see it all as a challenge and I enjoy a challenge. I do go to the gym quite a lot though, that’s something I enjoy to do before or after work.
Can you name three things that many of your team members won’t know about you?
This is the question I always hate. I’m quite boring really and there isn’t that much out of the ordinary about me. I do keep my private life and work separate though so people probably don’t know anything about me outside of work.
Well, I’ve been married for 5 years this year, (my last day at work before I got married, I think everyone at AI came in wearing all white). I support Birmingham City Football club although my favourite sport is Rugby. Before AI I worked for a martial arts publishing house and did kickboxing for a few years when I was there, (I got free classes). Music is a big part of my life and at the moment I am mostly listening to liquid and jungle, both are sub genres of drum and bass.
I wish I could say I had trials at Manchester United or that I do lots of work for charity but that’s about it really, sorry.