Under the Radar with Sabina Griksaite

Louisa Cavell

From running a one-woman marketing agency to managing a team of creatives, Sabina has seen it all in the world of digital. Here, she talks keeping up with the pace of new technology, a need for silence and her love of "honey"...

 Sabina

What made you want to work in the magazine industry? 

Working with big, well-known brands and publishers sounded exciting. The digital side of the magazine industry is also always evolving and there’s lots of opportunity for growth. 

Can you chart your journey from when you started out to your current position? 

I graduated back in 2015 with a degree in Business Management – Law. After I had finished University I went onto become a digital marketer for a health company whilst also trying to set up my own digital marketing agency. Being a one-woman band was a little hard but it definitely gave me the necessary skills to get to where I am today. In January 2017, I joined Rhapsody as a freelance Digital Marketing Executive and a few months later I was given the opportunity to become a Digital Project Manager. Only recently I was promoted to become the Head of Creative Projects, which I am extremely happy about. 

Do you have a go-to work outfit? 

No. I usually decide on the day when I get out of bed in the morning. A lot of it depends on the weather. Luckily Rhapsody is pretty relaxed with what we wear - it’s a creative environment so it’s chilled to work in. 

What do you turn to when you’re on deadline – tea/coffee/snacks? 

Neither I’d say. I need my silence and try to put on my “do not disturb” face.

What’s the most unusual situation you’ve found yourself in because of your job? 

Sharing an office space with our beloved “honey”. Here’s a photo if you are wondering who that is… 

Honey small image

What would people be surprised to know about your job?

We have a music playlist! At the start of every month, my colleagues and I choose 5 songs each that we then listen to throughout the month. We have 1 rule: the song has to be released within the same year but can be of any genre and it gets played even if it’s not to everyone’s choice!  

Walk me through your typical day. 

I get into work around 9am and straight away check my emails. In our creative department we are big tea and coffee lovers, so if it’s not me making a drink for everyone else, I am for sure waiting to receive one. 

I then catch up with our developers to check what tasks are outstanding from the day before and fix any issues. I’d say that 70% of the time there are, as creating code is never as straightforward as everyone would like it to be. Technology moves so fast and there are so many different devices and sizes out there! I spend a good few hours making sure we are on schedule and will work through the QA process before delivering projects back to the client.  

Before you know it, it’s lunchtime already. Occasionally I go to the park to enjoy the weather, however a lot of the time I eat in front of my computer either testing a new app or website we are building. 

After lunch I may have a meeting either with internal or external stakeholders discussing project briefs, budgets and timelines. 

An afternoon cuppa is also always needed, so another round is made by a willing volunteer in our creative department. Then before end of play, I always make sure everyone knows what the tasks are for the following day. 

If you didn’t have to sleep, how would you use the remaining hours in the day?  

Surprisingly I’ve thought about this myself before. Although I love sleep, a part of me thinks we spend too much time sleeping. Did you know an average person sleeps 25 years of their life? 

I’d like to say study and try to invent something new. 

What is the last photo you took on your phone (at time of interview)? Why? 

Walstead thumbnail

Screenshot of the Walstead Group site as I was testing how it looks on my phone and wanted to share it with our developers. 

What’s your guilty pleasure? 

Chocolate. Who doesn’t love a bit of chocolate?

Whose phone number do you wish you had? 

Elon Musk. Would most definitely learn a lot from him. 

What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

“Stick to what you know”. I say this because only when you are taking a risk and being curious can you develop and grow as an individual. 

What/where is your happy place?

30+ degree heat in a tropical country lying on the beach.  

What would people be surprised to know about you?

That I drink tea without milk and I play basketball as a hobby.

What would be in your Room 101? 

Spiders and lots of insects 

Introvert or extrovert?

Extrovert

Optimist or pessimist? 

Optimist, although I do question a lot of things…  

Film or television? What are you binge-watching at the moment?

Film. TV series called Power. 

Sweet or savoury? 

Savoury. 

Morning person or night owl? 

Morning person. 

Tea or coffee? 

Coffee. 

Emojis – cool or cringey? Which emoji do you use the most?

 Emoji crying laughing

Cool. The laughing face. Always seems to be on top of the list. 

What’s your guilty pleasure?

 

When I go to watch a football game, it's eating what I know to be awful, awful food and

having some, frankly, watered-down lager, which tastes a little bit of urine.

 

 

Whose phone number do you wish you had?

 

Barack Obama’s. He keeps a cool, calm demeanour, and because you call people in

times of crisis, you want to call somebody who has words of sage wisdom and who's

pretty composed. He strikes me as all of those things. He's a fantastic orator with a

great, soothing voice. I think even just listening to him would calm me down.

 

 

What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

On the way to the Rio Carnival in 2009, I sat next to this Brazilian guy who said he

would show me the places not to go in the city. He got a map out of his pocket and then

proceeded to cross off 90% of the city in red pen!

 

I stuck to this advice for 24 hours and couldn’t really work out why the Carnival wasn’t

living up to expectations, so I decided to ignore what he had said and just go with the

flow. I went on to find the best parties and meet the coolest people. It taught me a key

lesson – be bold and trust your own instincts rather than other people’s caution!

 

What/where is your happy place?

 

Watching the cricket at Lord's.

 

What would people be surprised to know about you?

 

I swam a mile when I was only the age of six. When I was in swimming class, you got

given badges – for 400m, 800m. Obviously nobody under the age of eight or nine had

swum 1,000m and I went over 1,000m. I went over 1,500 m and I just kept going. For a

small period of time, I was a swimming prodigy. I attempt to swim now and I'm

surprisingly tired. When I was six, I was at my dolphin stage. I peaked at the age of six

in terms of sporting prowess, which is worrying.

 

 

What would be in your Room 101?

It's a fear of heights with open spaces, where I can literally look over the edge. I can’t

bear it. Closed heights are fine.

 

 

Introvert or extrovert?

Extrovert.

 

Optimist or pessimist?

 

Optimist.

 

Film or television? What are you binge-watching at the moment?

 

I would have said film back in the day, but now in the age of Netflix, I would say

television. I'm watching Suits, also The Defiant Ones. It's about Dr Dre and Jimmy

Iovine working together and the whole hip-hop era.

 

Sweet or savoury?

 

Savoury.

 

Morning person or night owl?

 

Night.

 

Tea or coffee?

 

Coffee.

 

Emojis – cool or cringey? Which emoji do you use the most?

 

It depends who's doing them. If my dad's doing an emoji, it’s 50/50. I like to think

normally cool. It’s probably because I'm not as funny as I think I am, but I tend to put the

crying with laughter emoji. Hopefully the people will feel like following it and actually

laugh.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

 

When I go to watch a football game, it's eating what I know to be awful, awful food and

having some, frankly, watered-down lager, which tastes a little bit of urine.

 

 

Whose phone number do you wish you had?

 

Barack Obama’s. He keeps a cool, calm demeanour, and because you call people in

times of crisis, you want to call somebody who has words of sage wisdom and who's

pretty composed. He strikes me as all of those things. He's a fantastic orator with a

great, soothing voice. I think even just listening to him would calm me down.

 

 

What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

On the way to the Rio Carnival in 2009, I sat next to this Brazilian guy who said he

would show me the places not to go in the city. He got a map out of his pocket and then

proceeded to cross off 90% of the city in red pen!

 

I stuck to this advice for 24 hours and couldn’t really work out why the Carnival wasn’t

living up to expectations, so I decided to ignore what he had said and just go with the

flow. I went on to find the best parties and meet the coolest people. It taught me a key

lesson – be bold and trust your own instincts rather than other people’s caution!

 

What/where is your happy place?

 

Watching the cricket at Lord's.

 

What would people be surprised to know about you?

 

I swam a mile when I was only the age of six. When I was in swimming class, you got

given badges – for 400m, 800m. Obviously nobody under the age of eight or nine had

swum 1,000m and I went over 1,000m. I went over 1,500 m and I just kept going. For a

small period of time, I was a swimming prodigy. I attempt to swim now and I'm

surprisingly tired. When I was six, I was at my dolphin stage. I peaked at the age of six

in terms of sporting prowess, which is worrying.

 

 

What would be in your Room 101?

It's a fear of heights with open spaces, where I can literally look over the edge. I can’t

bear it. Closed heights are fine.

 

 

Introvert or extrovert?

Extrovert.

 

Optimist or pessimist?

 

Optimist.

 

Film or television? What are you binge-watching at the moment?

 

I would have said film back in the day, but now in the age of Netflix, I would say

television. I'm watching Suits, also The Defiant Ones. It's about Dr Dre and Jimmy

Iovine working together and the whole hip-hop era.

 

Sweet or savoury?

 

Savoury.

 

Morning person or night owl?

 

Night.

 

Tea or coffee?

 

Coffee.

 

Emojis – cool or cringey? Which emoji do you use the most?

 

It depends who's doing them. If my dad's doing an emoji, it’s 50/50. I like to think

normally cool. It’s probably because I'm not as funny as I think I am, but I tend to put the

crying with laughter emoji. Hopefully the people will feel like following it and actually

laugh.

 

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