31st August 2017 | London
Glug Profiles: Malin Persson

– Hi Malin! Y’alright?
Totes! Everything is all good here...

Gah, as I wrote these questions this feels a bit weird.. Oh well... 

– So, a part from running Glug London, who are you and what do you do?
Well, I’m actually fortunate to be running the Glug London chapter as part of my fulltime position here at the Glug HQ. So, apart from running the London chapter alongside Nick & Ian, I also have the privilege to run the Development and Operations of Glug’s Global Franchise alongside all of our fab hosts and partners. Ehm.. Other than that I'm 26, I live in Barbican, got a Graphic Design background and am a big believer in hugs over handshakes. 

– How did you end up doing what you’re doing now, then? What’s the story of ‘you’?
Originally from Sweden, I grew up outside Gothenburg and it was just as you’d imagine. Secure, friendly, tidy, and cute, but as I was growing up I also realised I was growing very bored. I decided early on that I wanted to pack my bags and go somewhere else, and late 2009 I did just that. I packed my life in a bag and left for an 8 month stint in Sydney. There I studied “Communication Design” at Billy Blue College of Design and it was ace. I've always been interested in communication, arts, design, and copywriting so this was a perfect match. The original plan was continue onto the Bachelor Program at Billy Blue, but at some point in month 7 I realised how far away I really was.

I packed my life in a bag again, and went back home. After 8 months or so I found myself packing again and left for London as I was lucky to be admitted onto BA (Hons) Graphic Design at Ravensbourne. I loved studying design but realised in 3rd year that I wasn’t 100% feeling it, and it got me worried.

Here I was with a nearly-finished design degree under the belt but with a realisation that I didn’t want to practice what I’d been taught... Oops...

I’m stubborn though, and decided to visit countless networking events, portfolio reviews and mentoring sessions to find out what ELSE was out there. I remember meeting the MD of Grey NYC and he said something I’ll never forget “Please, don’t apply for a design job. I can tell that you’re a client side person, you’ve got EQ and ambition and you can always go ‘back to design’ if you realise business isn’t for you, but the other way around is way, way harder. Trust me!”. Good advice indeed. 

And then.. randomly an evening in July 2015 my epic friend Fahud gave me a ticket to join him and the boys when they were heading off to something that was called “Glug”. Weird name I thought to myself, but OK. Obviously I was amazed – there was over 1200 creatives in a venue hosting an underground skateboard park, and I think they had like 10 talks on.

A couple of weeks later I stumbled upon a job spec for a “Community Manager” at Glug. The role would be to help out with events, bit of social media, and support the 6 other cities. In my ears that sounded like a dream gig so I applied. Luckily they wanted to see me, so I flew back to London. I didn't place all my eggs in one basket though – came back to London and had 8 interviews in the same week.

Anywho... Got in, had the interview, knew I HAD to work there after roughly 10 seconds – then left the interview feeling that “if I get a second interview I have to smash it”. 

Got a second interview and did something I’d recommend everyone feeling ‘I really want this job’ to seriously do — I did an audit of Glug and put together a presentation. 

I screened, reviewed and analysed anything and everything I could get my hands on. I then mapped out certain areas where I’d be able to add value and how. 3 days later I had prepped a presentation of about 15 minutes, and as soon as I walked through the doors to the board room I asked to connect my laptop to the projector. My pulse was racing as I was essentially going to pick their 'baby’ apart – but I also knew I had some valuable insight, feedback and solutions(!) so I just got on with it. I remember Ian saying “Well, you won’t have forever, we’ve got questions too”. I wont bore you with the rest, but… I kinda smashed it. So yeah, there we have it. That’s how I ended up at Glug – and fast forward 2 years I’m now heading up a 30+ cities Franchise Network and absolutely love it. Each morning I wake up ‘wanting to go to work’ and that’s a feeling I’m grateful for, every single day.

– What do you get up to when you’re not working? Got any exciting side hustles or passions to tell us about? Other than running the local Glug Chapter, that is…
As you can imagine Glug craves a lot of attention when I’m awake as we literally operate across all time zones. But, one thing that I always make sure to make time for is to spend a lot of time with my magic bunch of friends. It doesn’t really matter what we do, as long as I get to hang with them. Other than that I'm a bit of a nerd... I like to read a lot,  I listen to a lot of podcasts, during weekends I love to wind down by wandering around and discover new parts of London, I also try to go to the gym as often as possible, and love cooking. Oh, and I recently learnt Sudoku (told you, total nerd!) which turned out to be bloody addictive. And of course you can find me here and there at Creative Events, always something going on so hard not to get involved, eh :-) 

– Speaking of Glug — how come you got involved in the first place? And why Glug out of all the creative communities?
Well, I think I answered this question already, but I decided Glug was ‘the shit’ as soon as I met the team. They were such lovely people – really down earth and so much fun and that really trickles down to everything that we do here at Glug. We don’t take our selves seriously, we always say what we believe, and basically just want everyone and anyone to come and have fun with us. I also love and wholeheartedly support the vision behind Glug which makes each day more of a mission than a 'work day'. 

– Running a Glug Chapter takes time and effort, but what is the one thing that makes it all worth it in the end would you say?
The golden moment for me is always when I get an opportunity to actually meet the people I’m emailing with back and forth, see the speakers we've invited to talk share their stories and to meet so many epic Gluggers. Oh, and then, when seeing others make new friends – that’s magic too! 

– What’s the hardest thing about running a Glug Chapter would you say?
After having run 19 events in 2016 I don’t really see running the Glug London chapter and its events as a pressure point anymore. We’ve worked out a system that works for all of our different events programmes and that's made that running of the Glug London chapter pretty painless. We've also got the best venue partners and supporters + volunteers that makes it all such a smooth ride too. Hardest thing about running Glug as a global franchise network, though, is that there are SO MANY THINGS I wish we had time to do, try or work on. But there’s in general no time at all, so we've got to be very selective. 

– Could you tell us about your favourite memory from a Glug event and why?
I can’t! There are way too many! After every single event I feel “OMG, that was genuinely the best event we’ve ever done!” and that’s purely down to the fact that I continuously get to meet and work with some absolute legends during our events. 

– If we go a bit dreamy, who are you hoping to bring to your local Glug stage in the future? 
Well, if we’re going super dreamy I’d like Elon Musk to come and tell the Gluggers how important it is to really break the norm and go after shit you believe in. It’d be ace to hear in his words how he reflects on the impact his innovative and inspirational quests with Tesla and SpaceX have had on the world and what others can learn. I'd also love to invite Jessica Walsh. She's rad.

– Ok, enough about Glug, let’s go back to ‘you’ again. If you were to swap job with someone else in the creative industry, who would this be and why?
Tough one. On the one hand it’d be Pip Jamieson of The Dots because she’s such a rockstar, amazing entrepreneur, have got an epic platform and have the most amazing team around her. They’re on a mission and they’re on that mission together as a team, and you can tell that everyone’s overly passionate about it too. Just the kinda people I love. On the other hand I’d like to take on the reigns of Hyper Island and do what Sofia Vingren does as that’s also a mission I could totally buy into and certainly the kinda crowd I’d love to work with. There’s such a dispositioning between University and the Creative Industries so I totes believe Hyper Island isn’t only shaping the future of education, but also inspiring (and kinda forcing!) others to reinvent the established too. However, to be frank and annoyingly positive, I genuinely love Glug and everything we do here. We’re on a mission and we’ve got some epic plans being molded in the background so… I kinda don’t wanna swap! 

– And… If you were given the opportunity to move anywhere without having to apply for any visa what-so-ever and we’d sort the packing for you — where would you go?
Up until recently I’d scream ‘SINGAPORE!!!’ in an instant without hesitation, but for some reason both LA and NYC have grown on me lately. With the current state of affairs across the pond I’m not going to make the move, though, but post-Trump who knows. Then again, I’ve always been fascinated by South East Asia and the vibrant, energetic and super-duper-different culture over there so I wouldn’t even surprise myself if I ended up in Singapore, Bangkok, Shanghai, Seoul or Kuala Lumpur at some point in my life.

– Ok, and last but not least! Please give a link shout-out to 5 pieces of inspirational, or just plainly awesome, work that you’ve stumbled upon recently…

(I’m gonna go against my own rules and give some shout-outs to some rad peeps instead!)

1. All things Dura Studio are just next level. It’s certainly my cup of tea when design and creativity gets backed by and developed upon the framework of Behavioural Sciences.

2. Of course I’ve got to give a huge shout-out to my magic pal Hannah O’Sullivan – she’s currently expanding her team and what they’re offering under Consume Comms and she’s just so… badass! 

3. Recently I met with Gillian Davies and wow, everyone should have a Gillian in their near surroundings cus I was beaming with energy and inspiration afterwards. What she’s doing with Overtime Leader is a great resource for all leaders (or soon-to-be) who are looking to develop their leadership skills.

4. What Will Hudson and his team are doing over at Lecture In Progress is something I can really connect with and wholeheartedly back. I hope we get to support LIP in many fun ways via Glug in the future as I know there’s SO MUCH MORE coming but if you fancy yourself some ‘insider insights’ on what’s out there in the industry, then have a glance at the LIP site. 

5. I just wanna wrap this way-too-long blog up by giving a general shout-out to E V E R Y O N E I’ve got the pleasure to be working alongside, meet with and be inspired by. Special shout out to the rocks Dan, Ian & Nick for believing in me and helping me every step of the way too. Y’all rock. 


Malin Persson

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