Amanda Hartzmark is director of business development and analysis at AbelsonTaylor.

What’s one thing people don’t realize about your job? 

Business development interacts with every aspect of the agency, which gives you a look under the hood of how a firm operates.

My job allows me to see how people from different parts of the business, with radically different styles, personalities, and skills, collaborate to produce an exceptional product.

What’s your biggest career lesson learned? 

People are power. Everything comes down to how you motivate, train, and work with others.

If you weren’t working in this field, you’d be

At a think tank or non-governmental organization using data to examine how we can improve people’s lives.

Having trained in martial arts, have you ever met another jiu-jitsu expert at work?

No, but you’d be surprised who you meet on the mats. I’ve trained with Chicago police officers and firefighters, lawyers, and professional pianists.

How has your experience in Rio de Janeiro shaped your career?

Interacting with a dysfunctional bureaucracy and insufficient infrastructure makes you far more flexible and better at finding workarounds for high-priority tasks.

That’s critical in business development, where you need to address problems quickly. Also, a good caipirinha is guaranteed to improve any situation.

Best tip for keeping your work life and life at home manageable

Track your productivity, and you’ll see gains after you take a break and focus on life at home, which always helps to reinforce the division between the two.

Book I’m reading      

I’m about to finish Death’s End, the final book in Liu Cixin’s Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy.

Commute difficulty on a scale of 1 to 10

0.5. My house is only three stops away from my office on multiple L train lines. This is my karmic payback for years of commuting in Southern California.

Average wake up time on a weekday

I’m usually awake by 6 a.m. I always get my daily dose of Espresso — The Economist’s app — in the morning and read The New York Times’ briefing email.

I also skim hard copies of the Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal.