Meet the Aries Team: Gareth Watkins, Account Coordinator

Tell us a little about yourself – how long have you been working for Aries? What did you do before joining Aries?

I’m a UK-based Account Coordinator and I’ve been with Aries since October 2018. Prior to joining Aries, I worked for Wiley, a large academic publisher, for nearly ten years, first as an Editorial Assistant on health sciences journals, then as a Managing Editor in Peer Review.

How have your previous roles helped you in your current position?

Having first-hand experience of editorial office tasks and workflows definitely helps me to understand and anticipate customers’ needs. My previous roles were essentially customer support too, but from a publisher’s perspective. While Account Coordinators don’t typically interact directly with the end users of Editorial Manager, having worked with editors, authors and reviewers previously gives me valuable insight into what our customers’ day-to-day work is like and it’s helpful to always keep that in mind.

How do you collaborate with other departments within Aries?

I communicate a lot with Aries’ Database Administrators, whether for help with a standard “undo” where some data needs changing, or to access information to help with an investigation. I often consult the Aries Product Management team for advice on a particular feature.

Tell me about your department and the people you work most closely with.

The Client Services team is great. Everyone’s always happy to share knowledge and advice, and even though I’ve always worked remotely, I feel absolutely connected to the rest of the team. The UK and German teams are quite self-contained for half the day, before the U.S. comes online, so it’s nice to be able to check in with them in the mornings. For my larger customers, I also work closely with their Account Manager, which is very helpful.

Describe your typical workday.

Mornings are usually dedicated to emails, as that is how the majority of queries are received, and due to the time difference messages from U.S. colleagues arrive overnight. What comes in will often dictate the rest of the day, especially more complex issues that require investigation and collaboration. In the afternoon I will follow up on ongoing cases, and there will often be a meeting or several, either with internal colleagues or customers.

What do you most enjoy about your job? What do you enjoy most about working for Aries?

I enjoy the problem-solving aspect of my role – hunkering down to experiment and solve an issue for a customer. Aries solutions are a crucial part of many customers’ operations, which is very motivating and makes supporting them very satisfying. I appreciate the autonomy I am afforded to do my job, whilst knowing there’s always someone there to help if necessary.

What are you currently reading, listening to, or watching?

I’m currently reading 1979 by Val McDermid, and Otherlands by Thomas Halliday – a surprise bestseller in the UK, about ancient landscapes. I’ve just embarked nervously on season five of Ozark on Netflix.

Tell me about some of your hobbies/interests outside of work.

My wife and I have just had our first baby, so hobbies have been sidelined rather… Although, where I would previously have said one of my hobbies was going to the cinema, I’m instead watching a lot of films at home while staying up with my daughter. Other than that, I have the classic introvert hobbies of reading, writing, and touring coffee shops.