Olivia O’Prey on winning the lottery and “learning the lingo”

February 23, 2021

What would you do if you won the lottery? Our January Star of the Month, Olivia O’Prey found herself in that very scenario, then needed to decide what to do next!  Her journey took her through Africa before moving to Germany, and finally becoming our Partnerships Manager this past August.

Tell us a bit about yourself!

I grew up in London before moving out to Essex. Dad is from Northern Ireland, Mum is from the West Country (Somerset) in the UK, and I’ve got one younger brother, who is also back in the UK.

I’m currently living in a small village in Germany with my partner and his sister.  We’re waiting for travel to kick-start again so we can see more of Europe and enjoy remote-work for real! 

On safari in South Africa

What have you been doing to keep yourself occupied during the pandemic?

I read a lot of crime thrillers. I’m also obsessed with Formula One and animals in general. No pets, but I’d like a lot of dogs (not quite ready for that commitment yet though!).

My life is on a bit of a hiatus right now due to corona, but before I moved back to Europe I used to spend weekends camping, off-roading, seeing friends, enjoying good food and white wine. Right now, weekends are very quiet, so a lot more time to read, knit, do puzzles… Turning into a grandma. 

What were you doing before you joined OTGS in August?

I was a Marketing Manager for a responsible travel company in South Africa and also worked some freelance marketing jobs.

Then, I was on “sabbatical-of-sorts” after winning some money in the lottery – just enough to take some extended time off work. My boyfriend and I bought a camping trailer and did a 6-month road trip across Southern and East Africa!

In the mountains in Malawi

After that, I knew I was specifically looking for remote work, and I found the Partnerships Manager position on WeWorkRemotely.com.

What exactly does a Partnerships Manager do?

I’m responsible for growing, improving, and maintaining all of our efforts with partners. Partners include authors of compatible themes and plugins, as well as affiliates and other media contacts.

I spend the majority of my time working on two things: 

  1. Building great relationships with other WordPress authors in the industry, so that we can quickly and efficiently deal with any compatibility issues which may arise and affect our clients.
  2. Communicating new product features and improvements to our partners and working with them to translate this into material that generates interest around our plugins.

I span multiple departments, but primarily Marketing and Compatibility as our partnership efforts center on both: Compatible partners generates marketing opportunities for us.

On a boat cruise in Malawi

What are the most challenging aspects and some of the advantages of the role?

Keeping on top of a busy inbox, juggling different partners at different stages in our compatibility and marketing workflow, and learning the ‘lingo’ (I’m not from a technical background).

This also means I’m learning lots of new skills, which is great. I also get to work with a lot of people from different backgrounds and cultures, which is really interesting (both internally and with partners), and my work spans across multiple teams so it feels valuable. 

Under the stars in Namibia

What’s a typical day like for you?

First thing in the morning I’ll check my inbox and spend a good couple of hours tackling my emails, answering requests from other team members, and coordinating ongoing projects.

I’ll also check my calendar as I often have Zoom meetings throughout the day. Those can be a mixture of internal and external meetings – so everything from weekly calls with our marketing and compatibility teams, to one-to-one calls with some of our major partners to check in, speak about compatibility, and discuss cross-promotional efforts.

Generally I leave the afternoons to work on some of my bigger projects, which can span over weeks and even months. This could involve planning the launch of a new product version with partners and coordinating cross-promotional campaigns, working with my team to establish new partnerships and workflows that will help to grow our partners programs, or simply just catching up on website administrative tasks.

What are your hopes and plans for the future?

We are growing the partnerships team and have a new Partnerships Assistant starting soon! That’s a very exciting prospect for this year.

I’m also looking forward to an opportunity to meet my colleagues and partners that I work with in person if and when travel resumes next year (fingers crossed).

A close encounter in Zimbabwe

We’re hiring!

Looking for a career that will challenge you while still allowing you to spend time with family and pursue your hobbies? Check out our open positions!