Mackenzie Walen, Management Supervisor at Opinionated, is here to help you make those big, important decisions in your career. Hear about how her background in design benefits her current role in account management, making the most of an informational interview, why you should consider working abroad and how to go about it, how to decide between small vs. big agencies, and dealing with the tension between needing to lead with authority and being very junior.
Starting out studying design, how her design background has helped her in account management, and the benefit of dabbling in different roles as a student.
How informational interviews affected the start of her career, taking advantage of being a junior, and making the most out of informational interviews.
Working in Amsterdam, how working abroad has influenced her career, and the best way to approach getting a job internationally.
Her role at Opinionated, the experience of being at a start-up agency, and how to decide whether to start at a small or big agency.
Advice on how to speak with authority and be a leader, even when you’re junior (and dealing with intimidating ECDs!).
“You’re only junior once—YOJO. Take advantage of the fact that everyone’s been in your position, everyone wants to help you. […] Everyone sees themselves in that person, because we’ve all been there, and so it’s a unique place to be. So my general advice is to take advantage of that.”
“When I was in Amsterdam, my clients were in Geneva, and Venice, and London, and they all had different cultural backgrounds, and they all had different ways of communicating feedback, or ways of talking about work. So being introduced to all those different languages—even though they’re all speaking English, it’s quite different languages [used to] talk about advertising—has really helped shaped the way I gather feedback.”
“If your presence, if your being there—if everyone understands that you’re advantageous, and everyone would rather that you be looped in than not, you’re doing your job right.”
“Don’t run from something, run to something. […] Your job is to find a better thing for yourself, if you do choose to move on from where you’re at. It’s not a good thing to just run from what you’re currently dealing with. Instead, being able to sit in the bed that you’ve made for yourself and do a good job of making the best of that, until it does turn, or finding something to run to. That is a good way to help guide your moves.”
Keep in Touch
Mackenzie is currently a freelance Management Supervisor at Opinionated Group in Portland, Oregon. She's an Oregon native and proud UO duck, a dog-mom to Bruce the Bernese Mt Dog, and a bonafide travel addict. She's spent her post-graduate career in advertising, working at 180 Los Angeles and 180 Amsterdam before moving back to Portland and settling in at Wieden & Kennedy. After some time, she left W+K to help start Modern Adventure, an experiential travel company, and then hopped over to Opinionated Group most recently to lead incoming creative projects.
Her client experience has stretched to the following brands: adidas, Expedia, United Colors of Benetton, Hewlett Packard, Sprint/Boost Mobile, Asics, Powerade/Coca-Cola, Modern Adventure & Pabst Brewing.
If you can't find her frequenting the latest Portland restaurants, you'll most likely find her in the woods or at the beach. If all else fails, she's likely at the airport headed on production. ;)