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Animal advocate profile: Amy Odene | Managing Director at User-Friendly

Updated: Jan 3

This profile is part of the "Animal Advocate Stories" Series. Amy Odene is the Managing Director at User-Friendly, a creative agency for charities.

Amy Odene Headshot with leaves on the background
Amy Odene Headshot - User Friendly

Can you share a bit about yourself, what you're passionate about, and what drives you in your work for animal advocacy?

I am currently travelling around South East Asia for 1 year with my partner and our 7-year-old daughter, but we ordinarily live in London, UK. I love the sun (hence the travel) and am passionate about equality which drives a lot of my fight for animals.


Could you describe your journey in animal advocacy and how you're able to make a meaningful impact in your life and career?

I began looking for jobs in the animal advocacy space when I went vegan in 2015. My first job was as campaign manager for ProVeg International, where I spent 1 year leading the School Plates programme, getting more vegan options into UK schools.


I then learned more about effective altruism and decided that I would like to focus my work on welfare reforms and worked at The Humane League as their Global Corporate Relations, coordinating corporate commitments globally to free hens from cages.


In 2020 I co-founded Animal Ask through Charity Entrepreneurship with the aim of supporting the movement with research to support their decision making.


I am now Managing Director of User-Friendly, a creative agency I co-founded with my partner to support effective altruism-aligned organisations with their marketing and campaigns. I head a department committed to supporting animal welfare organisations with their corporate campaigns.


What does your day-to-day life look like in your role?

I mostly spend my time on consultation calls with organisations, running workshops or reaching out to new contacts to offer support. I spend time looking on the various Slack channels for new opportunities as well as dedicating some time to creative thinking.


What initially inspired you to dedicate your time to animal advocacy? What keeps you motivated to continue?

Adopting a plant-based diet for my health inspired me to look for opportunities to support others to do the same. Effective altruism inspired me to look for those top opportunities to do the most good with the time I am dedicating to my career. I am motivated to continue this work based on the global inequalities related to the issue and its ties to women's equality.


Are there any specific skills or areas of expertise that you find particularly valuable in your role?

I think being open to learning is vital. I am constantly learning from each and every call I take on, even though it is often me conducting the consultancy. Being a good listener has supported me in this role immensely. I also think openness is key. Understanding that just because a tactic works in one context, doesn't make it a 'one size fits all' and you might need to adapt or adjust your approach accordingly.


Can you share some of the key challenges you've encountered in your animal advocacy work, and how have you overcome them?

The biggest challenge I have faced is having imposter syndrome and not thinking that I had the experience or expertise to contribute to the movement. I am slowly overcoming this by developing my confidence, learning about the experiences of others and practising self-care.


Based on your own journey, what suggestions or advice would you give to individuals considering a career in animal advocacy or those seeking similar roles?

Even if you feel like your experience, education, or skill-sets aren't relevant, the fact that you are motivated to work in this field is such a good start to drive your work. You can develop skills, train and learn which kind of role you might like to have, but having the motivation to start can fuel all of these additions. I would also recommend speaking with some individuals with different roles so that you can understand what your comparative advantage might be.


Would you like to get in touch with Amy to learn more about their role and journey? Connect on LinkedIn.

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