May 25, 2018

Team Member Spotlight: Nick Watkins, Digital Marketing Specialist

There are a few things we know for certain at Blackstone: grass is green, the sky is blue, and our team is infinitely more awesome because of Nick Watkins. Our team first met Nick as an intern and we were worse than a kid with a puppy — we quickly got attached and made mom and dad let us keep him! As our resident Digital Marketing Specialist, he has worked in nearly all facets of the marketing department at some point; but, what makes Nick the awesome dude he is? Check it out!

Tell us how you first got involved in with marketing? 
I studied Journalism for roughly a year at IUS, but then I realized it probably wasn’t my thing. Advertising/Marketing seemed like a good alternative. I guess it was.

What was your first impression of Blackstone?
I showed up dressed in a super-fancy suit because BSM was my first legitimate agency gig. I didn’t know what to expect, so I just Don Draper-ed it.

Alas, as soon as I walked downstairs, I saw a guy wearing a death metal hoodie that I really liked. So I guess my first impression was, “Whoa, this place is cool.”

Were you an intern? If so, what would you tell your intern self at BSM?
“Keep asking questions, even if you’re afraid of being annoying. They’ll hire you for it later.”

If you could switch your job with anyone else within Blackstone, whose job would you want?
Jordan Daly. He’s my role model.

What has been your favorite project at Blackstone?
Preferred Vacations was the first project I was involved with super intensively during the “let’s get this site done!” phase, so that was extremely eye-opening and educational. It was also fun writing about all those neat, exotic places.

Any favorite line from a movie?
“Tina, you fat lard, eat your dinner.”

What book did you read last?
A comic.

Do you have a bucket list? Give us two things on it.
One: visit Asia.
Two: see how Infinity War ends.

What is the one thing you cannot resist?

What is your greatest fear?
Failure. But not just failure in one or two things, but life in general. That’s a pretty terrifying concept to me, but also an excellent motivator to go above and beyond.

Would you rather be a tiny elephant or a giant hamster?
That’s a very personal question.

What is your favorite thing to do?

Where is the best place you’ve traveled to and why?
I got to spend December 2012 in a town called Normanton in the north of England with two of my friends (shouts out Morgan and Marc).

We went to London on New Year’s to stay the night with my friend Nemanja, and we also went to Amsterdam for about a week…which is actually kind of a horrifying place, to be honest. But overall, it was probably the most memorable month of my life.

What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?
I worked at a place called Family Video, which is basically like Blockbuster, except it still exists in states that aren’t Alaska.

I once had a guy demand a refund because he rented the movie The Martian and was angry because “there wasn’t a single martian in it.” I ended up giving him a refund because, technically, he wasn’t wrong.

Which one would you want most – flying cars, robot housekeepers, or moon cities?
Robot housekeepers, no question.

What has been the most important innovation you have witnessed in your lifetime?
Jeff Bezos’ robot dog.

What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?
Ideally, something with film. Being a screenwriter or cinematographer would be interesting and creatively rewarding, but without the constant anxiety that surely comes with being a director. If I was more extroverted, my answer would probably be “actor.”

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?
Playing loud music is a hobby, not a viable career path.

What are your most overused words/phrases?
I really like saying ‘colloquialism’ because it sounds cool. ‘Ubiquitous’ is fun too because I can’t ever pronounce it right, but I keep trying anyway. There’s a powerful lesson to be learned there.

How do you define success?
Having a comfortable job that’s both challenging and rewarding, while also affording you enough time to pursue your own interests and passions outside of work. Blackstone has been pretty awesome about letting me do that.

What is the best book you have ever read?
I feel like this is a generic answer, but probably A Clockwork Orange. I’ve always been a huge fan of the movie, but to read the book and see how Burgess narrates the whole thing in first person using the made-up Nadsat dialect is really fascinating.

A close second is The Hobbit just because that whole world blew my mind back in the sixth grade, and I’ve been pretty consumed by it ever since. Plus, Tolkien wasn’t too shabby at making up languages himself.