In most jobs you might be able to move to a different role or department, but at Edelman Health the world is your oyster. Thanks to a network of 65 offices globally you can take your career around the world if you want to. Here, Edelman Health Senior Account Manager, Johann Luetjens and Director, Lisa Stone, share their international insights.
“Your career can end up somewhere totally different, but still in the same company”
Growing up I always wanted to be a radio host because I really like talking. At school my love of words was reflected in my favourite subjects – English and German language. I think that’s why I dreamed of working abroad. Between high school and university, I spent a year in New York working for a volunteer program, which made me determined to work in a big city after I graduated.
I did a Masters in Political Science at the University of Potsdam in Berlin and initially thought about becoming a journalist. During my studies I worked for different TV stations, but I soon realised I was more interested in strategic communications than reporting on stories. I started out working in a digital agency and while I was there I begun to get interested in the marketing and communications side of things. In 2018 I moved to Edelman as a project manager, but my interest in what the account teams were doing grew and grew. I knew I wanted to work with the smart and amazing people who came up with strategies for our clients.
After about 18 months in Berlin an opportunity came up to work with the Health team in London on a website they were developing. I got the chance to work in the office for a couple of days and there was a real sense of energy in the team. The volume in the office could be deafening when all the team were on client calls, but I loved every minute of it.
When I got back to Berlin I spoke to my line manager. I told him I loved working at Edelman, but that I was keen to evolve my career and work with the Health team in London. The Berlin team were sad to see me go, but everybody was incredibly supportive when I joined the London Health team five months after that first conversation. Thanks to COVID it took a while to physically move to London, but in autumn 2021 I finally made it.
I was glad my move meant I could avoid the Berlin winter – we always say that spring is our reward for surviving the winter. I also love the food in London, with all the different cuisines and restaurants to try. I go back to see my husband in Berlin every chance I get, and he comes to visit me here so we can explore London together.
The London team have been so welcoming and have made my start here really easy. Whether it’s explaining the specifics of a Health client or debating if an English Sunday roast would go well with German knödels – I’m pleased to find that they like talking just as much as I do.
I appreciate the opportunity to work in other offices and continue to learn around the world because at most agencies you feel as if your career has a natural end point. Maybe the office gets too small or there’s nothing new to experience, but I don’t think that could ever happen at Edelman. The network is so huge you can always move to a different team or a different office – your career can end up somewhere totally different, but still in the same company. I think that’s why people stay here so much longer.
“When I said I wanted to travel Edelman set it as an objective”
I was born and raised in Calgary, Canada, an oil and gas town near the Rocky Mountains in Canada. It’s a place where people have a real, entrepreneurial spirit. If you want something, you go ahead and create it. That was environment I grew up in – my dad has started a lot of different companies and he’s been running our family business for the last 25 years. That made me want to steer my own ship.
When I was young, my career ambitions ranged from reading the weather to architecture, but by the time I went to university I was clear that I wanted to work in PR and communications.
I started out in another global network agency as an assistant account executive. In Calgary, agencies are much smaller (in most cases, just a handful of consultants), which gave me a lot of scope and breadth to take on more responsibility. I’ve worked on everything from crisis communications for oil and gas companies, to product launches for big consumer brands and I even helped launch Uber in Calgary. Looking back, I’m grateful there was so much diversity in my work in the early years of my career.
The travel bug
In 2013, Edelman had just opened an office in Calgary and I was instantly brought into the culture and entrepreneurial spirit of the team, and the opportunity to help build the office from the ground up. Even more importantly, I had very supportive managers who sponsored my own ambitions for growth, and particularly my dream to gain international experience. When I said I wanted to work and travel abroad, Edelman set it as an objective. It was less than a year later when my now-husband and I packed up our lives and boarded a one-way flight to Frankfurt.
Once we moved to Germany, we made the most of having Europe on our doorstep. Almost every other weekend we were jumping on a train or a plane and visit somewhere new. At the same time, I was finding my feet in a new job and a new culture, while trying to learn a new language.
Although I started out in the Corporate team I eventually switched over into Health team and in the two and a half years I spent in Frankfurt, I learnt a great deal about health brands, integrated communications campaigns and rolling out and managing global projects. Eventually though, it was time to move on. I wasn’t quite ready to return home, so once again Edelman supported me with another international move. This time to London. That was five years ago now. Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to have some truly incredible opportunities to lead meaningful projects with very talented people.
My nearly ten-year career at Edelman has benefited from two international moves, once in-a-lifetime projects and has given me the opportunity to see and experience the world. We love London: we’ve bought a home here and started a family, but it excites me to know that another move, or the next international opportunity is always on the table.
If you’re interested in a career move that could take you across the globe then check out Edelman Health’s roles in our London office.