EPISODE #105 || Karen Goodman, Group Creative Director at Havas

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Karen Goodman, Group Creative Director at Havas, is here to help you take more risks in your career. Hear about how young creatives can stand out when starting out, integrating into a new city where you don’t know anyone, what she learned from working for two years client-side at Under Armour, letting go of the pressure we put on ourselves when starting something new, and why we should “always be ready”.

Topics Discussed

  • Finding advertising through “Picture Perfect,” and learning about the industry through an informational interview, and the benefit of having a partner outside of the creative department.

  • How young creatives can stand out when starting out, including looking for real problems (and not just creating Nike ads) for your portfolio.

  • Integrating into a new city where you don’t know anyone, creating your own community, and the value of working in multiple ad markets.

  • What she learned from working for two years at Under Armour, and why we should remember to make things fun for our clients.

  • Starting and running the DC chapter of SheSays, and letting go of the pressure we put on ourselves when starting something new.

  • Why always being ready will help you to take more risks.

Mic Drops

“I think a lot of the books that are super interesting are creatives who are taking, not necessarily a traditional brief, but they’re observing things in the world that they think are either a problem, or an issue, or just something that could use some fixing, and they’re answering it in a way that I had never really thought about before.”


“No one is looking for you to fail…and they’re kind of fine if you do.”

“You learn pretty quickly in this industry that more than the names on the door, and more than the city that you’re in, following good people is the most important thing.”

“The more you’re ready to go, the more you’re ready to take risks. I meet so many creatives that say, ‘Oh my god, I haven’t touched my book in six years.’ The more and more you forget to stay refreshed, the more you are feeling really tied to where you are, which means you’re not going to shake the trees, you’re not going to try to do things thing that might be a little uncomfortable or provocative.”

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About Karen

Karen got into advertising by holding the world’s most expensive bake sale, selling $500 cookies in order to pick up a Future Lion trophy in Cannes. Since then, she’s become an award winning creative, working with companies such as Under Armour, Google, and Nike. During her career, she’s pitched brands, led brands, and even created one from scratch.

As a Group Creative Director at Havas Chicago, Karen has led creative teams across a variety of businesses including Hefty, Carl’s Jr. and Reynolds Kitchens. Prior to Havas, she spent time client side at Under Amour, working on creative and strategic opportunities, from brand and product marketing, to future planning. Karen has also worked DMI, Johannes Leonardo and R/GA. In these roles, she creatively led accounts, helped win new business and worked on product launches and branding efforts, which have been recognized in Fast Company, Creativity, and Adage.

Karen is passionate about championing female creative talent and leadership in the industry. In 2016 she became the Founder and Director of the DC chapter of SheSays, a global networking platform for women. She led the community to over 1,000 members and is now starting a Boston chapter.

Other passions include being an unapologetic fan of Duke basketball, drinking red wine and all things Shonda Rhimes.