What I've Learnt: Nickii Gray, Managing Partner at Intermarketing

Charlie Spargo's picture
by Charlie Spargo
Nickii Gray

Nickii Gray has been at Intermarketing since 2006, progressing all the way to Managing Partner of the agency which has bases in London, Leeds, Amsterdam and Sydney.

Intermarketing says it believes in "putting people first". As Managing Partner of a fun, forward-thinking integrated agency with a presence around the world, Nickii is at the head of an organisation making an impact across all channels and continuing to grow.

We found out what makes her tick, and what her career experiences had taught her.

Which single daily habit or practice could you not do without?

My three black coffees every morning (backed up by a fairly strict no coffee after lunch rule)

What's been your luckiest break?

Being offered work experience at an agency back in 2002. I sent my CV to all the Leeds based ‘advertising agencies’ I could find in the yellow pages online (!) and my CV found its way to one that had only just set up that month. I was offered a three month placement and I was completely hooked on agency life as a result.

What's your best failure?

My terrible singing skills. While I had grand plans of making it as a popstar, my appalling vocals prevented me from fulfilling that ambition so I had to turn my hand to something else. The world is a far better place for me not making it!

What is the best investment you've ever made, either financial or time?

Going travelling as an 18-year-old between school and university. A relatively early adopter of the ‘gap year’ back in 2000 I not only had the best six months’ of experience after experience, really establishing a love of travel and eating, I also met my now husband who is my soulmate.

How would you describe your work/life balance?

Exactly as I choose it to be. I have always been a firm believer in you get out what you put in. I am fortunate in that I absolutely love what I do and the people I do it with. Work affords me my life and my life makes me all the better at work.

Which book would you recommend others to read and why?

Keith Richard’s autobiography. He is just the epitome of rock and roll, and an absolute genius in my eyes.

What one piece of advice would you give your 21-year-old self?

Listen and learn, always. Work hard. Be honest and authentic. Have empathy. And never be afraid to have a voice.

Who or what has had the single biggest influence on your working life?

That is a no brainer. The team around me at Intermarketing, now, and for the past 13 years. A genuine dedication to doing what is right for the agency and our clients is a very motivating and ambitious environment to be part of.  

Tell us something about you that would surprise people.

Despite all of my bravado I have tried and failed to play six different instruments, I am nothing more than embarrassing at any team sport, and I am a shocking singer and appalling actress. But I am a really fast walker and can put both my legs behind my neck at the same time.

What does success look like to you?

Being able to look back and know that I always said what I meant and did what I said.

More literally: Ray Winstone in the opening scene of Sexy Beast.