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Employee Spotlight – Hannah Humpherson: “It’s rewarding to help our clients better understand consumers in Africa’s tech-embracing countries.”

In the Employee Spotlight series, we meet with Convosphere’s team members to find out who they are and what their job roles involve. In this interview, we talk to Hannah Humpherson, our Account Director based in London.

Where are you from and where are you based?

“I was born in Cambridge, England, and moved around a lot growing up, mainly in the UK, Kenya and Syria. I’m less migratory these days and have been based in South-East London for the past 10 years.”

When did you join Convosphere?

“I joined Convosphere in September 2020, six or seven months into the pandemic that we thought would last two weeks! At first it seemed like a strange idea to start a job remotely but the team was very welcoming, and as many of the colleagues I work with on a day-to-day basis are based around the world anyway, it was a really easy transition in the end.”

What are you responsible for in your role as an Account Director?

“I work with our clients to make sure that our projects are truly focused on their business needs, and that our project teams have a good understanding of and centre the client’s goals throughout the life of the project. I help to build and refine deliverables, supporting our analysts to learn on the job. I work on proposals and am trying to build out my business development skills by drawing in new clients. Another important part of my job is line managing junior team members, helping them to understand their roles and progress in the company.”

What do you enjoy most about your role?

“There are two things that absolutely stand out. Working in research, there’s so much opportunity to learn about different topics, countries and cultures. It’s fascinating the things you discover just as part of the job, and something I’ve never taken for granted. After all this time, I still get ridiculously excited to learn a new fact about the different ways that people communicate online, or funny trends like ‘beer yoga’. I also really enjoy line management. There’s nothing so rewarding as getting to know somebody, understanding their personal and professional goals, and helping them to grow their career and feel happy in their work.”

What’s the most challenging thing about being an Account Director?

“It can be quite hard to step back from the ‘nitty gritty’ of the research – I’m naturally inclined to want to dive into the data myself, so it can involve a fair bit of restraint to stick to project guidance and oversight.”

Hannah on the Castle Hill in Nice.
Tell us a bit about one of your most recent projects.

“I’ve just wrapped up an African language audit, working with native linguists from 16 countries to understand which of the continent’s thousands of languages are actually used on social media. Fascinating.”

What don’t brands understand about Africa?

When our clients come to us for projects with a global focus, they seldom include or prioritise Africa and its countries. This is a big miss, and something that I hope to see change in the next few years. The continent has population growth unparalleled in much of the West, is rapidly urbanising and is filled with people who are keen to embrace new technology. Take mobile payment as an example; this has been common across much of east Africa for 15 years, while the US still lags behind in this area. Now is the time for businesses to increase their focus on African markets, while their competitors are looking elsewhere. It’s rewarding to help our clients make this happen.”

“I still get ridiculously excited to learn a new fact about the different ways that people communicate online.”

What does a typical day look like for you and what are you currently working on?

Typically, I start the day by catching up with emails, checking in with team members on any projects I’m working on, and responding to any support needs from my line reports. I tend to have breakfast mid-morning, as I like to have a fair bit done before I can relax! Then I’ll start working through project admin, reviewing work and sharing feedback with my project team members, as well as planning next steps for my projects. Obviously, there will be a few internal and client meetings sprinkled in throughout the day.”

What do you enjoy doing outside of your job?

Like anyone, I love spending time with friends, whether it’s at the pub, taking a walk or travelling. My real passions are books and the theatre, though… My flat is slowly being taken over by books and programmes, and I’m ok with that! There’s nothing better than a matinee on a quiet and sunny Saturday, in my opinion.”

What’s the most recent app you’ve downloaded but are yet to use?

Planta. I love my houseplants, but can be a bit lax with the watering schedule!”