Welcome to A Day In The Life — a series dedicated to showcasing the ethos of an Indexer. This month, we sat down (virtually) with Lukas Pelzer — Coordinator, Buyer Services — to chat about the balance between work and studies and hear more about his proudest achievement at Index Exchange to date.
To start, can you tell us a bit more about yourself and your job at Index?
I’ve been a part of the Demand Team at Index since August of 2019, specifically on Buyer Services. In my function, I look after our agency and DSP partners in Central and Eastern Europe, collaborating closely with my colleagues in the U.K. and France, as well with the Buyer, Platform, and Partner Development Teams globally.
What does a day in the life of Lukas Pelzer look like?
Excluding my commute to the office, the start of my day is essentially the same as before COVID. Alarm clock rings, I take a quick shower to wake up, grab a quick coffee, and then jump straight into my first meeting. A big part of my working day is dedicated to meetings, while the rest of my time spent is talking to clients, pulling opportunity analysis reports, working on PMPs / Deals and, when necessary, troubleshooting any challenges.
Sounds like you’re keeping busy! You study alongside your job as well, right? How do you motivate yourself to jump from meetings to coursework?
I do! I study Marketing & Digital Media in the dual system at the FOM in Düsseldorf. While working and studying from home, I’ve personally found it more difficult to motivate myself to watch lectures online after work. After spending my day in front of screens, it can be hard to maintain that concentration for another few hours of virtual classes. I therefore try to take short breaks between ending the work day and starting my lectures. I also keep a kind of uni to-do list to motivate myself, checking off completed lectures and learning sessions as I go.
Speaking of, how is working from home going?
I have definitely gotten used to working from home now. On the one hand, it’s nice to work within your own four walls and save yourself the commute. On the other hand, I miss the personal, social component of being in an office, which you just can’t fully make up for through video calls.
I’m really looking forward to seeing all of my colleagues again. To meeting partners, having dinner together, being able to have that direct, in-person dialogue with everyone.
And how do you find a balance between work, life, and studying (especially when they’re all taking place in the same space)? What are your favourite ways to unwind?
There’s not a ton of time for hobbies, but I try to spend as much time as possible with family and friends. At the moment, I’m exercising regularly and reading some books about motivation and having a positive mindset, which is helping me find a balance and relax after work. I also recently got my sports boat license, so you’ll probably see me more often on the water soon.
Congratulations on the boating license! Any advice for fellow students who may be struggling to find that balance, or industry peers who may be considering going back to school?
I think fun, specialization, and differentiation are the key elements here. When I started working in the digital industry, I quickly developed an interest in programmatic, and it helped to do something I truly like doing. My advice would be to focus on the topics and work that you enjoy.
It was also very important for me to find mentors I could really stick with throughout my career. Fortunately, I’ve succeeded in finding them, and my own development has been largely shaped by my mentors’ expertise and knowledge. If you find people like this, I definitely recommend staying connected to them and striving to learn as much as possible.
Great advice. Last but not least, you’ve been at Index for a full year now. Looking back, what’s been your proudest moment or favourite experience to date?
In general, I am very proud to work for a company like Index Exchange. It truly cares for its employees, especially in times of crisis, which has been invaluable. But if I had to pick one moment I’m particularly proud of, it would be speaking at our All Hands event in Toronto last year. I had a short speaker slot during which I could talk about my time at Index thus far, and I spoke in front of 500+ people. It was a great opportunity, and definitely one of the most formative moments I’ve experienced in my professional career.