Tell us a bit about your role! Is there a “typical” day?
I would say my main role is a cross between Mother Hen and judge — I support, listen, advise and in the end make a decision if one is needed from me.
A typical day depends on what's going on, really. I usually check in with the producers and creative teams on their projects — make sure everyone is feeling good with where they are. Chat about upcoming project milestones, resourcing needs, what everyone is gonna have for lunch, etc., haha.
Hop on a creative call or two and then work on bids and calendars to be packaged in conjunction with our creative treatments. Approve some bills, look at our lovely Excel docs… You know, fun stuff!
What was the biggest challenge in getting to your current position?
I actually feel my current position is a natural progression of my career. After years of producing, it's the next phase to help others on their journey. Experience, a positive outlook, and knowledge are key.
What is your personal background and what role did it play in your career?
I was born and raised in the Middle East — I think that has helped me be instantly at ease with lots of different kinds of people, because that's how I grew up. I think that being an adventurous, outgoing person that believes in the power of “yes” has allowed me to really enjoy this career.
I mean, some days I’m on set chatting with clients or holding a prop in place, or I'm brainstorming with my team on a creative task or figuring out how to make a crazy timeline work — all these different things are part of my work life. And I love them all.
What is your biggest career-related win? What is your biggest loss?
For me, a win is A) when a client really loves the work we’ve done for them — like is really blown away and happy. And B) when a client and I have moved past a work relationship and are friends.
I love how many people I've worked with that now are people I text and hang out with outside of work. How many other industries is that common in? Thankfully one of those two things happens a fair amount of the time ;)
Which individuals and/or agencies do you gain inspiration from? Do you have any heroes in the industry?
Everyone has their moment. At one point, they had a trusting client or an amazing team and were able to just really shine and bang out amazing work. Thankfully our industry is good at highlighting those stories often. I admire those who keep pushing the ideas that seem “too much” and don't get jaded in the process.
If you could go back to your teenage years, would you have done things differently? Do you have any regrets?
My teens really showed me who I could be if I was my true self and did what I felt was good for me — regardless of what others thought. And I had a lot of fun! Def no regrets here!
If you weren’t in your current industry, what would you be doing?
I’d be acting for sure. On stage, on camera, doing VO work, etc. Or I'd be a scuba instructor somewhere in the Caribbean.
What’s your one big dream for the future of the industry?
That labels become inconsequential, and that those with the checkbooks realize that talent and creativity cost money and take time.
What are your top tips for aspiring creative professionals?
Do it because you love it, because some days are grim. Always put a bit of yourself in your work — people will recognize it. And surround yourself with a great team — it will make every day better.
What are your top tips for other creative leaders?
Build a team that cares about each other and not just their own personal success. Treat your teams with respect and kindness. Do what you can to make things easier when possible, because your team will pitch in that extra bit when they need to.
When you think about your team, what is the thing that matters to you the most?
That they feel taken care of, so they can do their best work.