“If You’re Looking For A Job In Advertising, Strive To Combine Your Right Brain Creativity With Left Brain Data”

By Jessica Hawthorne-Castro 

Original Publication: Howigotjob.com

Date of Publication: September 24, 2018

Why Did You Seek Out A Career In The Advertising Industry?
Patience has never been my strong suit, so finding a career that allows me to see immediate results was a natural fit for me. Advertising provides the best of both worlds – a perfect combination of working directly with clients and leveraging creativity. The best part? You never get bored or stop learning. Diving into each client’s business, you become an expert in their vertical and product category. Additionally, as someone who dislikes waste (wasteful time, resources, money, etc.), accountable advertising is a path that fulfills the desire to reduce waste as we are able to maximize the cost of media and generate an ROI on the media spent. The greatest reward is seeing clients’ businesses grow and watching the executives we partner with flourish in their industries as a result of the campaign success.

What Was Your First Job That Helped You To Get To Where You Are Today?
I started out as a talent agent trainee before becoming a Television Literary Agent for the large firm, WME/William Morris Endeavor. My client management experience and expertise representing individual writers, directors and producers for TV directly translated to the advertising world. As a talent agent, my focus was on growing my individual clients’ careers. In advertising, I had the opportunity to represent a bigger entity –an entire brand.

What Are Your Tips For Preparing For Job Interviews?
I’ve always been someone who is over prepared for job interviews. If I had to narrow down my tips to just the 6 most important, they would be:

  1. Dress to impress – first impressions are everything, and your choices for how you will make a physical impact matter.
  2. Bring a black portfolio holder – pack extra resumes and sample work you’d like to showcase.
  3. Do extensive research – it’s surprising how some candidates rely on their experiences without doing the research to connect the dots. Extra effort and knowledge of case studies and people who work at the company will go a long way.
  4. Don’t stop at preparing for questions they might ask you – prepare questions for them. The biggest red flag in an interview is a candidate who has no questions for the interviewers.
  5. Show that you’re self-motivated – it’s not enough to say it. Share examples of your experiences that speak for themselves.
  6. Be excited – smile, show confidence and enthusiasm. No one is going to give you a job just because you have an impressive resume. People want to enjoy working with you and know that you’ll be a positive, enjoyable extension of the team.

Are There Any Books That Have Helped You Along The Way?
The top book that comes to mind that has helped me grow in my career is Traction: Get A Grip On Your Business by Gino Wickman. Traction is a phenomenal book and philosophy that takes the best elements out of all the business operations and team building philosophies out there and combines them into one holistic platform. It’s a game changing platform for businesses to operate on.

Things Are Changing Very Fast In The Industry, How Do You Keep Yourself Updated?
Please list techniques or newsletter, podcasts, events etc.
I have a news channel on in my office all day to see the headlines. I still scan every email that comes in for industry headlines and events. I attend both industry conferences and those that have a more global perspective (TED, Singularity, etc.) to fuel my brain and future thinking of how our company wants to give back to society as a whole. I read through hard copies of key industry trades, as well as top tier national outlets like Forbes, Fortune and Harvard Business School.

What Is Your Advice For Someone Looking For Job In The Advertising Industry?
Advertising is becoming so much more data-driven than ever before. Creativity and client service skills must be accompanied by background in statistics, programming, data science or math for success in today’s advertising world. If you’re looking for a job in advertising, strive to combine your Right Brain creativity with Left Brain data, and you’ll truly succeed in delivering ROI for your clients.

Why Do You Think You Were Selected Among Other Candidates When You Began Your Career?
Before I started my first job out of college, I had already interned at smaller talent agencies, film production companies, music video production companies and had done computer graphics and editing. I think I stood out from other candidates because I was an artist, but I also knew the business side and how to represent artists and their interests.

What Lessons Have You Learned From Jobs You Were Turned Down From?
Everything is meant to be, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Every job interview is a learning experience and makes you a better interviewee.

Jessica Hawthorne-Castro is the CEO of Hawthorne, an award-winning technology-based advertising agency specializing in analytics and accountable brand campaigns for over 30-years. Hawthorne has a legacy of ad industry leadership by being a visionary in combining the art of right-brain creativity with the science of left-brain data analytics and neuroscience

4 Career Lessons Learned from the Entertainment Industry

Entertainment Industry

Author: Jessica Hawthorne-Castro

Original Publication: The Ladders

Date Published: August 2, 2018

Climbing your way up the corporate ladder in any industry takes a certain type of grit, but it’s especially so in the entertainment world. Chalk full of ambitious, smart people who are following their creative dreams, only the strongest survive. But the experience provides good life lessons to take away in any facet of life or job.Entertainment Industry

I moved to Los Angeles with a resume, portfolio and the determination to keep going, and I broke my way through on my own without any previous connections. It’s a story that often gets told about aspiring actors (see: La La Land), but my goal was to be a Hollywood agent, and nothing was going to stop me.

As the driven, professional outsider in the agency world, I stood out and almost got laughed out of the room during my initial interview, with my black resume portfolio and suit. But it was that same drive and professionalism that also helped me rise through the ranks. I was laser focused and became one of the youngest female agents in a mostly male agency, representing TV writers, directors, and producers.

Along the way, I learned a ton about leadership — how to become a leader, how to be effective as one — that extend beyond the entertainment industry.

Here are the top four takeaways that were critical to my success:

1. Work your way up from the bottom
Everyone starts in the proverbial mailroom (or the actual mailroom). The entertainment industry attracts people from all different backgrounds and at different points in their lives. Connections matter, as they do in any industry, but you still have to earn your stripes and understand how the industry works. In any job, it’s essential to learn every aspect of the business and gain a sense for every role. Deep knowledge about how things work will help you work your way up the ladder and be more effective the higher you get.

People above and below you will appreciate your grasp of the nuances. Those details can be as small as how to schedule an appointment correctly and communicate with clients appropriately to the speed at which you should be working or responding to people. Knowing all department functions, from the base of the organization to executive C-suite management and what their strategic goals are for the organization as a whole, will help you perform to the best of your abilities.

2. Find a mentor
A mentor is someone who can be your champion, which is invaluable. However, a mentor won’t just drop in your lap. You need to find a mentor you believe in, who believes in you and will champion you for promotions and leadership in your organization. No matter the generation gap, people in more senior positions are in that position for a reason, and you can learn from them. Soak up their knowledge, and use it to supercharge your current role. I found my mentor in my direct boss.

I not only performed my required responsibilities, but went above and beyond working long hours, doing extra writing and summarizing of client calls/contact reports, attending networking events with them to meet executives and clients who eventually were passed down as some of my own client base. With direct visibility into the additional work I took on, my boss was able to champion me and help me grow.

3. Work harder than everyone else
Few industries are known for being as cutthroat as entertainment. It’s full of type-A, hungry professionals that will do anything to make it to the top. Working hard is imperative, but so is working smart. In your job, it’s not only about the number of hours you put in, but also your ability to find smart solutions that get the job done. If you are hungrier than the person next to you, you will make it up the ladder the fastest (and your boss will notice your smart solutions).

4. Enjoy the journey
And with all that, enjoy the journey. That’s something I probably didn’t do as well over the years because I was so busy looking ahead, but in retrospect, some of the best times were during that meandering path. So laugh with your colleagues and friends, and enjoy the moments in-between. Work hard but always have fun while you’re doing it. As they say, if you enjoy what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.