EPISODE #67 || Rachel Mercer, Executive Strategy Director at R/GA

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Rachel Mercer, Executive Strategy Director at R/GA, helps us see the bigger picture in our jobs and careers in this week's episode. Hear about how she handled rejection while getting her start, the importance of understanding what's going on in business (and the email newsletters she uses to do so), how to reach out to someone in the industry most effectively, the result of having the most diverse team at Deutsch, creating a structure for training strategists, and how to be your own best advocate.

Topics Discussed

  • How getting rejected by a bunch of agencies in Boston and reading about advertising led her to graduate early and go straight to VCU Brandcenter.

  • Struggling with never being technically trained in traditional strategy, and studying brand planning vs. experience design. 

  • The importance of understanding what’s going on in business, and the email newsletters she uses to understand her clients’ businesses.

  • What to consider and be prepared for when working abroad, and how different cultures infuse into business culture.

  • How to reach out to someone in the industry most effectively, and how you can make the most of your time as an intern within an agency. 

  • The result of having the most diverse team at Deutsch, and creating a structure for training strategists at R/GA.

  • How to be your own best advocate in your career. 

Mic Drops

“Have something that you want to talk about to start with. Have those specific questions in the email, because I’m 95% more likely to respond to it if I know exactly what you want to know out of me. […] It helps me be more useful to you.”

“When I was at Deutsch I had the most diverse team in the office, and it basically proved out the case. We had the highest profit per head in terms of contributing business to the company. So I was able to prove not only that Strategy can contribute to the business, but that a really diverse team can.”

“You are your own best advocate. […] No one is going to sit around and give you the opportunities that you want.”

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About Rachel

Rachel is an award winning strategist that has built a career helping clients find stability in a constantly shifting marketplace. Currently, Rachel is an Executive Strategy Director at R/GA New York, leading a diverse team across clients like Verizon, Ally Financial, Disney, and SiriusXM. Her contributions to the business have been  recognized by publications like Forbes, Business Insider, The Drum and more.