Meet the Aries Team: Hazel Winter, 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 March 2018. I have worked in publishing in editorial office and commissioning roles since 2000 (with a couple of short stints in other industries). In that time, I’ve seen the huge changes within the industry first-hand. Prior to joining Aries, I worked for a small software company where I managed accounts, trained users and demonstrated their product to sales prospects.

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

Most of my experience in previous roles has been based around relationship management – a lot of expectation management. I think the latter is key to being a successful Account Coordinator (AC). We serve as a trusted partner to our customers and in most cases we do not work directly with their end users. Clarity, transparency, and communication with our customers is enormously important; if we are clear and honest with our customers, it allows them to give their end users the most accurate information.

How do you collaborate with other departments within Aries?

I escalate a lot of support cases over to the Aries DBA department – they are the people I talk to the most over the course of my day. These can be simple issues that require an undo, or something a bit more complex that may require a discussion or some research and investigation. On occasion, I need to discuss something specific with Product Management to clarify exactly how a feature should work.

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

I am very lucky to be a part of the amazing Aries Client Services team. I also work within a smaller team of Account Coordinators that specifically manages the support that comes in from Elsevier. My colleagues on the UK and German teams are a source of great advice and humor. Our working day starts before my CS colleagues in the US, so we catch up over Slack in the morning to discuss things that we may need a sense check on, or to simply share a GIF to make us smile!

Describe your typical workday.

My workday is currently being juggled with my other job – home-schooling my nine year-old daughter! A typical day begins with an argument about Mathematics, followed by looking at the support cases that have been escalated over to us by the Elsevier APS team. I get on with a few cases prior to the US coming online, then we have a team meeting at my lunchtime each day. We discuss what has arrived, look at support trends (this can help with identifying potential problems), and divide the tasks between us. Having a small team of people to work with is great – we bounce ideas off each other and can often find a solution to a problem between us.

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

The people who work at Aries are absolutely the company’s best asset! A lot of other companies say it, but it is totally true here. From my perspective, I really like the autonomy. I’ve always worked from home for Aries, so there was no transition for me to make when we were first locked down due to the pandemic. Being able to do a burst of work early, or to come back to something once we have eaten dinner as a family is really helpful to maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

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

I love US TV shows and have most recently enjoyed Pose and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. I am an obsessive reader of non-fiction books about musical genres and biographies of musicians. Lately, I am re-reading Head On by Julian Cope, the autobiography of my favorite outsider pop star. Most evenings, the book gets set aside while I sell sea creatures to a family of raccoons in the video game Animal Crossing.

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

Pre-pandemic, our family’s social life was run by my daughter’s extra-curricular activities…now everything is on hold, so life is much quieter. Going to see live music with my husband is out of the question. Choirs have been heavily restricted by lockdown regulations, so my weekly rehearsals have gone too. I am now relegated to singing in the car! We are lucky to live near the Thames and Richmond Park, which is fantastic for cycling, so we get out on our bikes whenever we can. Last but never least, we have two pet guinea pigs who rule the house with noisy demands for snacks!