EPISODE #91 || Max Slonim, Senior Strategist at Initiative

EPISODE #91 || Max Slonim, Senior Strategist at Initiative

Max Slonim, Senior Strategist at Initiative, is here to help us understand the state of strategy today. Hear about why having a mentor in a different discipline is beneficial, the experience of working in strategy at a media agency (and why you shouldn't write it off!), strategy portfolios, why LinkedIn is the professional equivalent of Instagram, and what being an advocate for diversity has to do with empathy.

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EPISODE #90 || VCU Brandcenter Alumni, made possible by 22squared

EPISODE #90 || VCU Brandcenter Alumni, made possible by 22squared

In this special episode recorded at the VCU Brandcenter Recruiter Session, we sat down with three Brandcenter alumni—Lizzy Hopkinson (2017), Copywriter, Nitin Dua (2016), Senior Strategist at Fallon, and Brandon Viney (2012), Creative Lead at Google Brand Studio—to talk about the start of their careers, early lessons they learned, and their best advice for graduating seniors.

Huge thank you to our friends at 22squared, who helped make this trip and episode possible!

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EPISODE #86 || Alex Nguyen, Strategy Director at McCann NY

EPISODE #86 || Alex Nguyen, Strategy Director at McCann NY

Alex Nguyen, Strategy Director at McCann NY, brings learnings from half a career spent working in Vietnam, a shift from creative to strategy, and figuring out how to advocate for himself as talent of color. Hear about why we should continue to build relationships with agencies that pass on us, returning to NYC without any professional contacts, what he includes in his portfolio, and using diversity and inclusion as a lens when assessing potential agencies.

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EPISODE #82 || Alice Franklin, Strategy Intern at BBH London

EPISODE #82 || Alice Franklin, Strategy Intern at BBH London

Alice Franklin, Strategy Intern at BBH London, shares her story of starting her career as neurodiverse talent. Hear about how her Tourette's and Asperger’s caused years of struggle in her job search before she interviewed (after applying a second time!) at BBH, the challenges that arise in the office, how being autistic makes her a killer strategist, and how the agency world can make interviews and office spaces more inclusive to those who process information differently. 

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EPISODE #81 || Nneka Carrie Ude, Director of Strategic Planning at Geometry Global

EPISODE #81 || Nneka Carrie Ude, Director of Strategic Planning at Geometry Global

Nneka Carrie Ude, Director of Strategic Planning at Geometry Global, joins us to talk about non-linear career paths, being a trend investigator, and founding a media startup. Hear about keeping herself adaptive at the beginning of her career, how she identifies trends that matter and the sources she uses to broaden her worldview, what shopper marketing entails, and her media startup and digital community, Welcome to THE PATH, which focuses on the intersection of people, business and culture, particularly within the African diaspora. 

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EPISODE #76 || Kate McElroy, Associate Director of Strategic Planning at Swift

EPISODE #76 || Kate McElroy, Associate Director of Strategic Planning at Swift

Kate McElroy, Associate Director of Strategic Planning at Swift, shows us the beauty in knowing there's not one right answer or one way to do things. Hear about the pressure for strategists to have all the answers, why there's no manual for putting together a creative brief, the evolution of social media, and how to get the most out of a mentor relationship (pulled from her involvement in Swift's For The Women program).

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EPISODE #73 || Julie Lubbers, Brand Strategist at Droga5

EPISODE #73 || Julie Lubbers, Brand Strategist at Droga5

Julie Lubbers, Brand Strategist at Droga5, brings her unique perspective as young, female, and foreign talent to the podcast. Hear about tips for reaching out for informational interviews (the way Julie did to land at Droga5!), how her identity as a woman and a foreigner has influenced the way she presents herself, learning to sit at the table, her honest take on the visa process, and her approach to being a leader at any level.

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EPISODE #71 || Keith Stoeckeler, VP/Group Director, Digital at MKTG

EPISODE #71 || Keith Stoeckeler, VP/Group Director, Digital at MKTG

Keith Stoeckeler, VP/Group Director, Digital at MKTG, is here to answer all your questions on being a digital strategist. Hear about switching from account management to strategy, the evolution of the role of a digital strategist, what he's learned from working in experiential at MKTG, why self-reflection is crucial to your job search, and how he learned to speak up and navigate meeting culture. 

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EPISODE #69 || Live From The 3% Conference, Part II

EPISODE #69 || Live From The 3% Conference, Part II

Speakers Jen Ostrich, President and Founder of Ostrich Coaching & Consulting, and Gary J. Nix, Founder and Chief Strategist at the BRANDarchist, Adjunct Professor, and Diversity & Inclusion Advocate, join us at the 3% Conference to drop gems from their talks. Hear about understanding your strengths, how to ask your manager for the right kind of feedback, understanding an agency’s reputation and the options available to you in the industry, and how to maintain hope and drive in your career.

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

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

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.

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EPISODE #64 || Vanessa Toro, Vice President of Creative Strategy at Digitas

EPISODE #64 || Vanessa Toro, Vice President of Creative Strategy at Digitas

Vanessa Toro, Vice President of Creative Strategy at Digitas, speaks to all the outliers in the industry who don’t come from an advertising background. Hear about why it’s important to be out participating in the world, navigating the cultural and social norms of working at an agency, how her identity as a woman of color influences her leadership style, and why she’s not here for strategy jargon.

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EPISODE #61 || Nathalie Con, VP, Strategy Director at Giant Spoon

EPISODE #61 || Nathalie Con, VP, Strategy Director at Giant Spoon

Nathalie Con, VP, Strategy Director at Giant Spoon, joins us to talk about owning and branding your weirdness. Hear about the importance of asking why and the kind of work Giant Spoon is known for, being a culture add vs. a culture fit, and translating your non-advertising and non-work related interests and passions into relevant skills on your resume/in an interview (with lots of specific examples!).

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EPISODE #54 || Brandon Solis, Integrated Strategy Director at R/GA

EPISODE #54 || Brandon Solis, Integrated Strategy Director at R/GA

Brandon Solis, Integrated Strategy Director at R/GA, joins us to share learnings from his untraditional entry into advertising and rapid advancement in his career. Hear about hacking the education system and how his past experience in car insurance is valuable, applying self-reflection in order to learn quickly, the state of strategy roles, and dealing with imposter syndrome. 

*Since we recorded, Ellen has moved on to an exciting new venture of her own. Listen for the update at the end of the episode!

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EPISODE #49 || Thas Naseemuddeen, Partner, Chief Strategy Officer and Managing Director at Omelet

EPISODE #49 || Thas Naseemuddeen, Partner, Chief Strategy Officer and Managing Director at Omelet

Thas Naseemuddeen, Partner, Chief Strategy Officer and Managing Director at Omelet, brightens the podcast with her genuine love of what she does and useful takeaways from her career. Hear about the innate traits of strategists, one of the biggest conversations about talent development that no one is talking about, why brand positioning today is anything but "traditional," and the art and science of getting to an insight (without getting formulaic about it).

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EPISODE #43 || Matt Johnson and Jay Kamath, Founders of HAYMAKER

EPISODE #43 || Matt Johnson and Jay Kamath, Founders of HAYMAKER

Ever wonder what it's like to start your own agency? Co-founders of HAYMAKER—Matt Johnson, Chief Strategy Officer and Jay Kamath, Chief Creative Officer—give us a peek into what's on their minds as they prepare for their first interns. Hear about the collaboration that inspired the agency (and how you can be a better partner to your creative or strategy teams), how to start forming your POV as junior talent, and why you shouldn't be afraid to make mistakes. Plus, lots and lots of sports metaphors!

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EPISODE #40 || Rebecca Russell, Senior Social Strategist at Wieden + Kennedy

EPISODE #40 || Rebecca Russell, Senior Social Strategist at Wieden + Kennedy

Rebecca gives us a peek into the world of social strategy from her experience working on clients like Coca-Cola, Converse, and Bud Light. Hear about how the past stigma of being a social strategist has evolved, how she stays up on new platform developments, and the value of bringing your fresh perspective and understanding of youth culture to the agency.

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EPISODE #38 || Nika Rastakhiz, Strategy Director at Anomaly

EPISODE #38 || Nika Rastakhiz, Strategy Director at Anomaly

Nika Rastakhiz, Strategy Director at Anomaly, shares especially insightful advice and her love of planning in a conversation about all thing strategy. Hear about her hypothesis on why strategy is especially hard to break into, why you don't necessarily need a strategy portfolio, qualities of stand-out interns she's worked with (who got hired!), the stigma surrounding LA and why she’s never worked harder in her career.

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EPISODE #31 || Sharon Panelo & Kim Mackenzie, Partners & Principal Strategists at Ripley Strategy

EPISODE #31 || Sharon Panelo & Kim Mackenzie, Partners & Principal Strategists at Ripley Strategy

Sharon Panelo and Kim Mackenzie, Partners & Principal Strategists at Ripley Strategy, bring their boss selves and years of experience to the podcast. Hear about creating your own opportunities, building good habits to avoid burnout (while still working your ass of as junior talent), new ways of working, and the importance of communities in your career. Bonus: why their agency is named after Ellen Ripley from Alien (how awesome is that??).

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