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Ejiroghene Ogboru-Ogholaja, Account Executive, ZenithOptimedia

3 min, 35 sec read
9:47 AM | 9 April 2013
by Adam Oldfield
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Ejiro studied management and marketing at Royal Holloway graduating in 2010. After being seduced by a very well paid sales job straight after university, she realised she wasn't cut out for that world and focused on getting into advertising. So far she has worked at Mindshare (a WPP media agency) on UK clients and has recently move to ZenithOptimedia (a Publicis media agency) to work on international planning and buying. You may also find her bouncing about the university scene with Squared, as she is currently one of the acting university reps.  

What was your first ever job?

I worked as a shop assistant in Monsoon/Accessorise. Used to love spending my day de-tangling necklaces, nothing gives me greater satisfaction till this day. Well…nothing I’ll be sharing anyway.

Why did you go into advertising?

Always wanted to work in advertising, I loved looking at ads and wondered how they were put together. I also have a creative background so was seduced by the idea of creating images for brands. The dream was to one day see my drawings/art on a billboard.

How did you clinch your first job in ad land?

Lots and lots of research to understand which part I wanted to work in as well as who I wanted to work for. Once I got a contact for GroupM, lots of chasing, making sure they got my application, making sure I got feedback and then eventually a graduate assessment day which landed me a bunch of interviews. Needless to say the research I did about the industry helped me stand out, as many Grads had no clue why or what they would be getting into.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Be yourself and go with your gut feeling. You don’t want to work in a team where you can’t be yourself.

And what’s the worst piece of advice?

Don’t ask so many questions... It’s a lie. If anyone tells you that its because they are bad managers. Ask as many questions as you can, analyse every task you do so that you understand why and how you are contributing. But then of course REMEMBER the answers because it’s a busy industry and chances are you may not have the opportunity to ask the question again.

How would your typical day play out?

Typical day as an international planner/buyer starts at 9.30, followed by a few status calls with clients. A lot of emails, phone calls and meetings with publishers based all over Europe and some in the US, as well as a healthy 2-3 hours working on PowerPoint presentations and my good old friend Excel. If you are lucky and it’s a Thursday or Friday, you might get a nice lunch out as well as a couple drinks in the evening (All free of charge of course)…because that is how we roll in media!

What do you see as the next big thing?

The next big thing in advertising is definitely around data management. Not big data but smart data. When consumers start willingly giving us more accurate and meaningful data, (maybe at a cost), which in turn helps brands create meaningful and valuable products for them. At the moment it is all a big smoke cloud of numbers and stats, it is only a matter of time before it becomes something beautiful.

What inspires you?

Progress - knowing that everything now is leading to something better and bigger and I have a part to play.

If you could share a desk with anyone, who would it be?

Justin Timberlake because I’m loving his stuff at the moment… random!

What’s your one piece of advice for young people looking to break into the industry?

Work out what you are really good at and what you would like to learn, you should know your strengths well so that you can sell yourself naturally. Do your research, find the right agencies, look on linked in for contacts, and follow trade websites (Mashable, Campaign, etc). Don’t just rely on getting into big groups like Publicis or WPP, there are plenty of small agencies hungry to have you as long as you bring enthusiasm and are willing to work hard.

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