Note: Mary Gebbia is the administrative associate at Ceisler Media’s Philadelphia office, which means she makes sure everything runs smoothly for everyone working at or visiting 1525 Locust Street. She’s also the warm face you see when you get off the elevator on the 6th floor.
We asked Mary to write up a typical day at her desk, which sits in the middle of the action. Here is her report:
We all have a routine that we feel makes life a little easier. Maybe it is reading the paper while sipping your morning coffee. It could be a step-by-step process we use to complete a daunting task. My central location in the Ceisler Media office requires me to perform multiple tasks at once. Without my trusted routine, my thoughts and attention would be scattered throughout the office in disarray. While I have my routine, I know that each day can be different, and rarely do they go as I expect in the morning. Here is a peek inside one day.
8:44 a.m. – I arrive at the office. Three of my colleagues are already at their desks focused on mapping out their day. I check to see that the dishwasher has been emptied. I then set up as many as five newspapers on my desk and send out the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh business journals to the firm. This helps associates keep track of any news stories that might be breaking about our current clients – in case they need to react.
9:23 a.m. – “Would you like to have the lunch meeting on Thursday at Estia?” I ask our Principal, Larry Ceisler. Larry is a busy man. Part of my job is to ensure that his schedule runs as smoothly as possible. After deciding on a lunch location, we discuss the few emails that he sent the day before. Touching base with him throughout the day is essential to ensure his rapidly changing schedule is up to date.
I’ve been at Ceisler Media for about a year and a half, and Larry has been a pleasure to work for. It did not take long to learn that he likes things the way he is used to them. I make sure to familiarize myself with his preferences so I am able to anticipate different needs, answer certain questions on his behalf and handle any unexpected changes in his calendar.
I have come to recognize that he is respected for his knowledge and is well acquainted with people from across the state. As someone who has come to know him in a direct light, I see Larry as a caring and kind-hearted family man. He always tries to do the best thing for all parties involved. His humor is something I can appreciate, because our light-hearted interactions help me get through the day. He is understanding when an error may occur and provides constructive feedback to help me grow professionally.
10:57 a.m. – I am working on entering an expense report and anticipating a callback regarding an online subscription. And then I hear, “Hey Mary. . .“ These two words have become a signal that my services are in need and I should bookmark my place. I take a deep breath to switch gears. Senior Associate Elise Corbett asks if the conference room is free for her to make a quiet phone call. I respond, “Yes, but heads up, there is a meeting happening at 11:30.” Oftentimes I fill the role of air traffic controller for the office. I triage calls and keep tabs on upcoming meetings and my colleagues’ agendas.
12:30 p.m. – I notice a few people congregating for lunch in the kitchen and hear my stomach grumble. After running around the corner to get my tried and true sofrita bowl from Chipotle, I grab a seat at the counter. I am grateful for this break in the day and opportunity to get to know my peers. It is a time when leaders of the firm, interns and everyone in-between come together to bond. We all speak candidly about TV shows, favorite foods, weekend plans and even ask for advice on relationships. We spend a good deal of our time together and I appreciate everyone’s willingness to open up and share things about themselves.
2:45 p.m. – The front desk at the building calls to notify me that a prospective job candidate has arrived for her 3 p.m. interview. I take her coat, offer her a drink and inform her that Director Meredith Montalto will be with her shortly. Sitting back down to respond to an email, our Associate Abby Snopek informs me that the printer is acting funny. So I throw on my IT hat and try to resolve the problem. I quickly realize the issue is beyond my skill set. I need to call a Canon technician for backup.
4:00 p.m. – I hear Associate Director Anthony Campisi starting his conference call and also smell Larry Ceisler’s recently popped popcorn as I scroll through hotel accommodations for a conference they will attend later this month. Booking travel arrangements is a familiar task for me. In my personal life, I am constantly looking for deals to visit new places. I have been looking into Zion National Park in Utah for some time and hope to get out there soon.
5:20 p.m. – I check the SEPTA app and the 12-Bus is scheduled to be here in 20 minutes. The interns and I set up the kitchen and office area for whatever tomorrow will bring. I then formulate my to-do list for the next day and deposit any checks that came in the mail. Before running to catch the bus, I give Larry his iPad and let him know all his meetings are confirmed for tomorrow.
I get on the bus headed to my indoor rock climbing gym. This is new-found passion of mine. I get to hang out with my friends, make new acquaintances, and work on a different type of personal challenge. This is a great way to unwind from my day and to not think about work . . . at least until the routine starts again tomorrow morning.
Mary Gebbia is an Administrative Associate at Ceisler Media's Philadelphia Office.