Meet Emily Conway, Global Senior Account Director at JWT London
Emily Conway is a Global Senior Account Director at J. Walter Thompson London.
This year, Emily was named one of WACL's 30 Future Leaders. Each winner of this prestigious award gets a bursary to pursue further training and education, receiving a sum up to 75% of their training costs.
We caught up with the WACL Future Leader to find out what winning the award meant to her and what advice she would give to those interested in entering the advertising industry.
(Photo Above: This year's WACL Future Leaders)
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I studied English at Nottingham University, as I’ve always loved literature. After I graduated, I met with the Managing Director at a top advertising agency in London and, after that meeting, knew advertising was the industry for me. I started my career at digital agencies, working on O2 and Unilever, before moving to JWT because I wanted the chance to shape brand strategies and creative ideas from the outset.
You were recently named one of WACL’s 30 Future Leaders. What was your reaction when you found out that you were named one of the Future Leaders? How does it feel to have achieved such a high honor?
When I found out that I was named one of WACL’s Future Leaders, I was delighted. I applied last year, but didn’t make it to the interview round. When I applied this year, I made my application more personal, and a soul-searching exercise. I think that showing more authenticity greatly contributed to moving my application forward. In the interview stage, I presented for five minutes on the topic “wonder.” I discussed why I believe wonder is such an important emotion and why I think we need more of it in the advertising industry. I am even more grateful for winning because the award allowed me to spend a week training on a course of my choice, and I chose a week-long residential program at the amazing Eden Project, Cornwall. It was an incredible experience, giving delegates a chance to spend time in and draw inspiration from nature, take time to reflect on what matters most to us, and explore our deepest hopes and ambitions.
As a Global Senior Account Director, what are some of the challenges you face during your day-to-day? How do you overcome these obstacles?
One of the most important and challenging elements of my role is aligning creative ideas and recommendations with client objectives and expectations. Empathy is crucial – without that I wouldn't be able to reassure my clients or team that I understand them, or equally, put forward a compelling argument. It's always disheartening when creative ambition isn’t fully realized or appreciated, whether that’s due to budget, timing or other reasons. I think it's important to make it clear to clients what we believe in, and accept the circumstances and move on when needed; it'll be more productive to direct our energy and enthusiasm at the next creative opportunity.
What are some hobbies or activities that you enjoy outside of the office?
At the moment, I spend a lot of my free time planning my wedding. We’ve gone for quite a “DIY” approach, so I’m enjoying being creative! I enjoy the outdoors, and try to get outside in the evenings as I know fresh air creates a happier environment for me. I also try to meditate regularly (which is a great stress reliever) and took a course last year on meditation.
What advice would you give to someone who is interested in working in the advertising industry?
If you’re passionate about solving business problems through creativity and innovation – do it. You’ll need to work hard, but don’t let the small stuff get you down. Try to remember the bigger picture and aim high. In this industry we have the power to make the news, shape culture and maybe even change the world.