University of Chicago - B.A. International Studies
Have you ever wondered what it's like to work in an advertising agency, as well as what types of jobs you can hold at one? All week long, we'll be featuring stellar females from WONGDOODY, an advertising agency with offices in Seattle and Los Angeles. Check out yesterday's interview with Megan Blacksher, senior director of human resources.
Sydney Chernish went from college intern to full-time employee in the position of her dreams: a planner for ad agency WONGDOODY. Sydney spends her days unlocking the connection between consumers and brands and working to bring them closer through creative solutions. She combines her fascination with anthropology and sociology in order to figure out what's going on in our culture and explain why it changes.
You've heard it from us before, but we think it's worth repeating: intern, intern, intern. Once again, Sydney's living proof that being a rockstar intern and getting your foot in the door can lead directly to landing your dream job.
Always challenge yourself to do better by going outside of your comfort zone.
How did you discover your current job?
I originally came to WONGDOODY through a college internship. Once I graduated, there was a position open in client partnerships. After working in that department for a year and a half, I made the transition over to account planning, a research and strategic-based cousin of account services.
What is your typical day like, and what types of things do you do in your job?
Every day brings a new assignment, a new challenge and another opportunity to explore something new. The main task of the planner is twofold:
1/ Unlock the insight that connects the consumer with a brand.
2/ Bridge the business challenge of the client with the creative solution.
To achieve these goals, there are many day-to-day tasks that feed knowledge and insights -- from research to consumer research to keeping up-to-date on what’s happening in culture.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
A huge component of my role is knowing what’s going on in culture and digging down to understand the changes. I’ve always been fascinated by anthropology, sociology and culture, so it’s a pretty much a dream come true.
What challenges keep you awake at night?
Since planning is a bit of a science and a bit of an art, sometimes the pieces don’t fit together perfectly. Sometimes it takes a lot of research, mulling and chicken scratch to get to the “ah ha” moment where everything clicks together.
What is the biggest personal sacrifice you have to make because of your job?
Advertising is a deadline-based industry, so there are a lot of late nights and tricky social scheduling.
What is one lesson you've learned in your job that sticks with you?
Always challenge yourself to do better by going outside of your comfort zone. Oh, and proofread. Proofread 10 different ways. Read it out loud to yourself. Print it out. Have someone else proofread it.
What do you feel is the biggest challenge for women today, particularly females in your industry?
I think it’s a challenge for women across all industries to strike a balance between work and family -- and likely always will be.
Who are your role models?
An amazing woman and entrepreneur, my mother is my number one role model. Also, I’ve always loved the women who led before anyone thought it was possible: Susan B. Anthony, Eleanor Roosevelt and, of course, Jackie O.
What are some of the rules you live by?
You catch more bees with honey than with vinegar.
“In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.” -Coco Chanel
Always say thank you.
What advice do you have for girls who want to be in your industry?
Be a sponge and learn as much as possible. Take classes, get internships and part-time jobs, tap into your network and keep building it up. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people in the industry and ask them out for coffee to get more information.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
If I only knew!
What are three things you love aside from your job?
1/ Fashion and art
2/ Exploring neighborhoods and restaurants
3/ Friends, family and Pickles (my snowshoe tortie)
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Always put one foot in front of the other and always write thank you notes.
-Interview by Brianne Burrowes