Day in the Life: Zehnder Creative Technologist, Rob Hudak
Zehnder’s resident mad scientist and Creative Technologist, Rob Hudak, pops out of bed each morning ready for a day that looks nothing like the one before it. With a workday bookended by dad duties and rocking out on guitar with his band, Rob ensures that every day inspires him to take a fresh look at his work, whether it’s creating animated gifs for a global client or keeping up with the latest tech trends.
There’s no “typical” routine for Rob, but here’s a peek into just one representative day in the life.
6:45 a.m.: I wake up to my alarm and check my email to see if our global clients, who are just finishing their work day, have any immediate needs for the morning. This will also dictate the amount of effort I put into breakfast. If there are no pending email requests I’ll make bacon and eggs or pancakes, if I need to respond to a request then cereal or a toasted bagel will do. Either way, I always put on a pot of coffee and open the back door to get a quick check of the crazy New Orleans weather and to let my dog, a Schipperke named Townes, head outside to do his business.
7:00 a.m.: My son gets up for middle school and my wife and I have his breakfast ready. Then I tag-team with my wife to take over the morning duties while I get dressed and ready for my day.
7:45 a.m.: Today is a dress uniform day so I help with his tie before we both grab our overstuffed backpacks and head out the door. I take my son to school and head in to the office.
8:00 a.m.: My drive to work is always nice because I love to listen to music in the car. Today I’m jamming my latest discovery, a band from 1970 named Fanny who were one of the first all-female rock bands to get a major label record contract. Their music really puts a smile on my face and gets me in a great mood for the day.
8:30 a.m.: As I arrive at the office this particular day, there is a big press release announcement that has come in for our global client. I need to hit the ground running on content ideas to help promote the breaking news on their social channels. I start my day reading the press release and pulling out the key points that need to be promoted. This client is very tech savvy and most of their communication involves an understanding of cutting-edge technology. For each key point of the release I’ll create animated gifs and videos that illustrate the complex messaging for social media. I start by creating a quick storyboard for a long-form animation that will be promoted through a paid social media campaign.
10:00 a.m.: I send off a couple of animated pieces of content promoting the press release for approval. In the meantime there are two big client events that need about two dozen promotional graphics, ASAP. Due to the high volume and quick turnaround, I call on one of our designers to help with layout and animation.
12:00 p.m.: By noon I’ve created an animation template for our designer who is helping out. I’ve instructed them on the information needed to produce the graphics and have already created some examples. Some days the requests come in so fast that it feels like I work for a daily newspaper, a television station and a magazine all at the same time!
12:30 p.m.: Time for lunch. Being in the French Quarter, it’s tempting to go nuts for lunch, but I try to keep it light when I can. Today it’s a taco salad with no shell and a Topo Chico. I really enjoy our new office where I can eat lunch in the kitchen and enjoy the camaraderie of my co-workers. Usually, we have most of the world’s problems solved within the lunch hour.
1:30 p.m.: The early afternoon is spent organizing, researching new technology, reading articles and answering emails. As the creative technologist for Zehnder it’s my job to explore new technologies and find ways we can use them in marketing for our clients. Lately I’ve been exploring haptic technology and keeping in touch with the creators of a haptic suit, who I met at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this year.
2:30 p.m.: Our designer sends me the animations she created from the event templates I handed over to her earlier. I look them over and send on to my colleagues for sign-off before our social media managers place them into the content calendar.
3:30 p.m.: Edging closer to the end of the day, I’m wrapping up social media posts and animations for those event promos – exporting video files and creating animated gifs in different sizes for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. While I’m finishing up, a last-minute request has come through from the client to promote a partnership announcement tomorrow morning. Being that their work day begins at 3am our time and I need to leave work early to pick up my son from school, I plan to take this work home to complete later this evening.
4:30 p.m.: I head out to beat the traffic and get home to pick up my son and help out with dinner. I get home and check my emails. Our regular office hours end at 5:30 so I always make sure I’m available for any end of day needs.
6:00 to 7:30 p.m.: The early evening is family time where we all get to catch up on our day, finish homework and relax for a moment – usually with a Simpsons or Bob's Burgers episode.
7:30 p.m.: It’s Wednesday so that means a rehearsal with my band The Cosmic Americans. We all have busy lives so it’s nice to have a regular rehearsal day. Playing music is a great way to end a hectic day. Even though we are sometimes sluggish going in to practice we always leave feeling a little more energized.
10:00 p.m.: I’m home from a loud rock and roll practice and my family is sleeping. I settle in to the quiet house and open the computer to knock out one last piece of content that’s due for review in the morning. It’s a good feeling of closure to send an email off before bed and knowing it will be read while you are in dreamland and any feedback or approval will be waiting for you when you wake up in the morning. People might say that having clients in opposite time-zones presents an impossible scenario for having a routine day, but I like to keep things exciting and creative, so it suits me just fine.
And Rob’s constant efforts toward the newest and best creative solutions for Zehnder clients suits us just fine, too.
For more information on our creative services and capabilities, contact Laura Gould at firstname.lastname@example.org.