Day In The Life: Leigh, Project Manager

Leigh smiles at the camera for 8THIRTYFOUR in Grand Rapids.

As a new project manager at 834 Design, it’s been a wild ride learning the ins and outs of agency life with this stone-cold group of ladies. One thing I figured out quickly is that every day is what I call “organized chaos.” The calendar is full and the to-do list is bursting, but there’s always room for surprises each day.
Here’s what an average day looks like for me.

It’s still dark out.

Rise and shine happens around 6:30. Well, not so much shine. But, I do rise and hop in the shower. If I’m lucky and I don’t have to wash and blow dry my hair, I get an extra eight minutes of snooze. I usually make toast with avocado (game-changer) or grab a few hardboiled eggs to take with me because if I sit down, I may not get up again. I’ve usually prepped my lunch the night before, but will sometimes grab a frozen Amy’s meal or plan on ordering in. All hail food delivery!

Work begins

I get to the office somewhere around 7:45. I like to get in early and catch up on emails, look at my to-do list and scope out the calendar. I hook up my IV of coffee, which helps me start the day/be able to formulate words in a coherent pattern.

Rest of the AM

The mornings are filled with team check-ins, client updates and generally being all up in people’s business. A big part of my job is being the middle-(wo)man between our clients and our internal staff, making sure communication is on point and things are getting done on both sides.

Too early for lunch

Like clockwork, my stomach starts rumbling at 11:15. I do all that I can to hold off eating until 11:59 or later.


Depending on the day, I either meet up with a friend or family member for lunch or I take a few minutes to catch up on social media and read articles that people post on Facebook (read: Buzzfeed quizzes) while I eat, and then get back to work.

Afternoon Delight

This part of the day consists of following up with clients on specific needs or requests as well as internal check-ins on how projects are going. Sometimes I’ll be with a client for a PR event or monthly check-in, writing about monthly check-ins or scheduling monthly check-ins.

It’s 5 o’clock here!

Sometimes this includes wine. Other times, it’s attending a client event, meeting up for drinks or dinner with friends or family, or representing 834 at a community event. Most days, though, it means rushing to my car and getting home as soon as possible to get into my PJs and watch TV. My go-to show when my DVR is empty is The Office. Team Jim.

After hours.

I’m an introvert. Most of my day consists of constantly having to talk to people or just be near people, so if I’m not meeting up with friends or family for drinks/dinner or attending a community event, I’m home in PJs watching TV. It’s my time to decompress, and is necessary in helping me recharge for the next day. I read when I get into bed because it helps me sleep better than when I watch something on my computer, but I usually only get through about seven pages before I can’t keep my eyes open. Lights out, ready to do it all again tomorrow!

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