Earlier this month, the IPA revealed their Women of Tomorrow 2016 shortlist, which features our very own Laura Garratt, Associate Investment Director at OMD UK. We catch up with her to hear how it feels to be nominated and what advice she can give to those hoping to follow in her footsteps one day.
Hi Laura. Firstly, huge congratulations for making the IPA Women of Tomorrow shortlist! What an achievement! How does it feel to be chosen as one of the 36 women to be shortlisted from 200 nominations?
Thanks so much! It’s fantastic. I still can’t quite believe it. Having seen the calibre of previous winners, I’m just really chuffed to have been shortlisted (obviously winning would be the icing on the cake).
Can you tell us a bit about what you do at OMD UK and how you’ve progressed in such a short space of time?
I’m OMD UK born and bred, so I started here in 2010 on the graduate scheme and was plucked from the pool to work in investment. Luckily for them (and me) I’m a bit of a TV fanatic, and am better at spreadsheets than I’d like to admit, so I remained within the AV investment team, progressing to manager on Coty and Peugeot, before moving onto Heinz and being promoted to investment associate director last year.
I look after the AV planning and buying on a few different clients and work closely with my lovely client partner teams and friends in XMP.
Once I’d settled into the day-to-day buying, I very quickly got involved with other things outside of my day job to ensure that I was pushing myself, and was helping to make it a better OMD UK.
So my advice for anyone starting out here would be to stick your hand up for anything and everything – be it a brainstorm on a client you don’t normally work on, to getting involved with any training you can. Not only will you get to meet new people from across the whole business, but you can also have real impact on changes within the agency.
What’s been your proudest achievement to date?
I’d have to say graduating from Omnicom’s Springboard training programme in 2013. It was a fantastic experience and I worked with an amazing team of OMDers as well as meeting a whole host of other managers across Omnicom.
I was also lucky enough to go on the Media Business Course 2012 in Brighton. After a gruelling three days of seminars, amazing speakers, a live brief from BMW, and a MASSIVE party, our team was shortlisted, meaning we had to present our pitch to 120 peers, industry experts and the MD of BMW. It was both my scariest, and proudest media moment to date – thankfully, my team won!
That was two – I cheated.
Have you got any advice for women starting out in the industry who one day hope to follow in your footsteps and be nominated as a Woman of Tomorrow?
As I said earlier, my advice would be to say yes to any opportunities that come your way; it will make you more adaptable and confident to learn new things. Better yet, seek out opportunities for yourself. If you don’t ask, you don’t get!