A Day in the Life

By Lyn CanilaoMarch 3, 2015

I start my day at home: Before even leaving bed, I grab my phone and I catch up on news, both social and breaking news. This usually involves holding the phone over my head while I scan Circa News, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I can usually do this without dropping the phone on my head. Usually.

The alarm goes off at: That depends on when I decide to get my sweat on. I’ve been an early bird since my college days of morning community service events and last-minute exam cramming. So, these days I enjoy a 6 a.m. workout at the Bhava gym or at a nearby yoga studio a few times a week. When I’m not in down dog before the sun comes up, I still usually wake up around 6:30 a.m, because making time for breakfast is a must.

I commute to Bhava HQ via: My car Black Mamba, which was named after a Kill Bill character, not the basketball superstar. I live by Lake Merritt in Oakland, so my 15-minute commute is long enough to belt out four good songs.

First thing I do at work to start my morning at Bhava: A visit to my favorite place in the office, the fully stocked kitchen, for coffee and oatmeal…or cereal…or a breakfast burrito.

A typical morning as an AC looks like: More news! ACs zero in on breaking industry, competitor and client news to keep their teams in the know for any potential PR opportunities. We can also be found working together with our teams to pitch reporters, meet with clients, and discuss PR strategies.

For lunch, I…: Walk or drive to nearby food amazing-ness. Emeryville is a foodie city sandwiched between two other food hot spots, Berkeley and Oakland, so we have many scrumptious options closeby. Shoutouts to my regular spots: Homeroom, Jasmine Blossom, The Bureau, Off the Grid and Berkeley Bowl.

Back to PR for the afternoon. What does an ideal afternoon look like?: No day is ever the same at Bhava. One afternoon, I could be providing recommendations to a client on a weekly team sync call, and on another day, I could be writing an award nomination. There are so many opportunities for ACs to jump in—from analyzing media landscapes, to brainstorming product name recommendations, to creating new pitch angles. I love the variety. It fuels continual growth and keeps things interesting.

My favorite mid-afternoon pick-me-up is: Is this a food question? If so, my answer is chocolate. If not, my answer is Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars.

I wrap up my work day by… Running through my handwritten checklist. Call me old school, but penning through my to-do list is satisfying and helps me prioritize for the next day.

After work, I might head out into nearby Oakland, Berkeley or San Francisco to: Switch gears. Finding a nearby place to unwind is easy. I like heading out to the Berkeley Marina to run by crashing waves, see live music shows at the Fox Theater and catch a quick BART ride to have happy hour in the San Francisco if we aren’t having one in Emeryville.

Best part of being an AC at Bhava Communications: Freedom and encouragement to make an impact. ACs voices are heard just as loudly as any team member at Bhava. No matter what your level, at Bhava you have the opportunity to influence many aspects of how we do things at the agency, from the way client reports are done, to how your role evolves on account teams, to the way we celebrate National Cheese day. We also have a say in how we want to structure our professional growth, which is a huge motivation boost.

What have you accomplished that has surprised you? I’ve gained a stronger sense of confidence. Bhavans come first at Bhava and that especially shines through in everyone’s enthusiasm for teaching. Every day, I learn something new from Bhavans at all levels, and that has given me the confidence to write and speak the way I do now. For example, when I started as an intern at Bhava, I didn’t know my DevOps from my Hadoop. Now, I can give a high level explanation of different B2B industries to anyone—even my mom, who still doesn’t quite understand what I do.

What advice would you give to someone at this stage in their career? Always keep your bhavas in sight. At the personal level, a “bhava” can be thought of as the “essence” of your goals and of the achievements you earn in your journey towards success. So rather than saying, “I want to be a Nobel Peace Prize winner,” in “bhava” terms it could be “I want to be a change maker.” My personal bhavas are to grow into a respected leader and an inspiring mentor.

What do you like to do to contribute to Bhava’s culture? Plan social events. Bhava welcomes ways to enjoy each other’s company outside of our typical work environment. I’ve had a blast organizing Bhava’s holiday cookie social and our Lego Movie viewing night.

Lyn is an Account Executive and (unofficial) Vice President of Snacks at Bhava Communications. When not geeking out over emerging technologies, you can find her trying to dance at live music shows and snapping photos of her food from various bird's-eye angles.