Day in the Life of an RGD: Rae Lam Fox

RGD highlights the experiences of Rae Lam Fox RGD, Partner at Entro in Toronto.




















The Basics:
Name: Rae Lam Fox RGD
Company Name: Entro
Job Title: Partner 

What’s the first thing you do when you get to work?

That’s a funny question because I think this assumes that I start working when I get to work. I think if you want to know what the start of a work day looks like for me I would respond with this: I start my day checking emails and my schedule when I first get up and continue monitoring my emails as I get through my morning routine. I conduct phone calls during my commute to work and when I arrive at work I continue responding to emails until my first meeting.
List the 5 things you spend the most time on during a typical work day, and allot them a percentage amount (adding up to 100%).
Gosh, no day is typical and no project is typical either. If I group things, these are the categories that naturally occur on a daily basis.
Office meetings – 30%, these meetings focus on advancing and improving our company as a whole from a cultural and corporate standpoint.
Project meetings – 20%, these meetings are to ensure that projects are on course and to address pressing concerns from both an internal and client standpoint.
Proposals – 25%, need I say more.
Project direction – 20%, this includes developing visionary and discovery workshops as well as presentations and reviewing schedules, budgets, deliverables.
Office admin – 5%, often referred to as the boring stuff.
Of all of the tasks you complete during the day, what is your favourite? 
Oddly enough I think attending client meetings might be my favourite. Understanding what a client needs and helping them realize a vision is very rewarding. I enjoy educating people about the process and achieving results that surpass their expectations. Being able to offer up ideas that elevate the experience or enhance the aesthetics is deeply satisfying. When both our team and the client are happy it’s a great day.
What is your least favourite?
Expense reports!
Do you have any strategies to keep up your productivity / inspiration over the course of the day? 
Taking at least one break to read an article that is focused on design. It doesn’t take long and is a constant reminder that there are other people out there doing fabulous things.
Are there any tasks that you like to do at the end of the day? That you feel you must do before you leave?
I have to tidy up my desk space and feel organized and prepared for the next day. I look at my calendar to see what the next day holds and double check my emails to ensure that I have addressed everything that needed immediate attention.
How has your job changed over the last year, if at all?
Over the past year I have been more focused on strengthening our team, streamlining our processes and developing proposals. It’s an aspect of our industry that can be neglected but when done right can deliver great results – better team synergy, better projects, better design.
What is one thing you wish you knew when you started your career?
I wish I had known that the main premise of a career was not just about deliverables and achievements. That much of the success relies on the relationships, understanding people and how you communicate with others. Networking and socializing can be powerful.
In your job, what do you wish you had more time for?
Research, creative copywriting and developing narratives. I could go on and on, there is just not enough time in a day for everything…
Can you also provide an image of a project (or something else) you are currently working on?
We are currently working with the University of Waterloo on their wayfinding program. It’s exciting to see the prototype!