#WFH Diaries: Vanessa Cervini Rios of Sancho BBDO

We're far from pandemic-free. And while that's still the case, we'll be checking in with creative industry folks to learn how they're adapting. Here's an update from Vanessa Cervini Rios at Sancho BBDO in Bogota, Colombia.

Give us a one-sentence bio of yourself.

Restless soul striving to leave the world a bit better than i found it, currently head of communications at Sancho BBDO.

Where are you living right now, and who's with you?

I'm in Colombia riding the pandemic out with my parents. Fun fact: My husband and I were supposed to move in together at some point this summer, but in a major plot twist we're now +3.500 miles away (talk about modern-day relationships).

What's your work situation like at the moment?

Some days I feel like I'm thriving, others, I'm in snooze mode. Still, after two months working from home, I've gotten used to the daily calls with my team, working on comms strategies, and whipping up daily content with the lovely background noise of very loud Italian talk shows coming from my father's room. 

Describe your socializing strategy.

Hearing my loved ones' voices has become a joy. Yes, I will gladly listen to your four-minute-long voice note and pick up the phone when you call. I'm also part of the local Women Who Code chapter and facilitate Google's #IAmRemarkable workshops, so I get to meet amazing people at our virtual Meetups.

How are you dealing with childcare, if applicable?

I'm not, but I've become more aware of the disproportionate burden women carry when it comes to childcare and domestic work, and honestly, men have to step up.

What are you reading?

I'm loving Deborah Feldman's Unorthodox … such a powerful story about finding your voice in a world where having one is frowned upon—especially for women. Reason for Hope by one of my life-long role models, Jane Goodall. All the #WFH Diaries—they're a little window to the creative world.

What are you watching?

Recently watched Michelle Obama's Becoming doc on Netflix, so I'm riding a wave of optimism and motivation (somewhat hard to come by these days). I'm also bingeing on the brilliant Glad You Asked episodes by Vox on YouTube. 

What are you listening to?

Podcasts galore. I love HBR's Women at Work, and The Smart Communications Podcast from the genius ladies over at Big Duck. My investigative journalism fix: Wondery's The Shrink Next Door.

How are you staying fit?

Yoga and pilates for the body. Daily New York Times crosswords for the brain. A healthy mix of salsa and Riot grrrl punk for the soul.

Have you taken up a hobby?

I absolutely loathed cooking, now I only moderately despise it. (I think it counts?)

Any tips for getting necessities?

SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESSES. In Colombia, most neighborhoods have at least one produce store, bakery and drugstore. We get fresh fruit and other stuff delivered every couple of weeks.

An awkward moment since all this started.

Every video call has one. Luckily there's always a cute dog or cat hanging around; they save the day.

Best work email you got since all this started.

Multiple emails with heartwarming messages from co-workers donating to our fundraiser for local families and children in need. Thanks to their contribution, over 1,900 people received groceries via our partner foundations.

An aha! moment since all this started.

People being openly vulnerable. Playing it cool doesn't cut it anymore—a more transparent and empathetic communication has become the new norm in the daily struggle to establish strong connections. I'm really hoping that sticks in the long run.

What's your theory on how this is going to play out?

The pessimist in me thinks everything will go back to the way it was, and sadly that brought this situation upon us in the first place. The optimist hopes people will become more aware of the social fabric they're part of and take action to create a better and more equal world.

See the full #WFH Diaries series here.

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Angela Natividad
Angela Natividad is a founding contributor to Muse. She is also the co-founder of esports agency Hurrah.gg, and co-author of Generation Creation.

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