Talent War - Sydney expat Bec Matliosk on moving to McCann in New York

Ashley Regan
By Ashley Regan | 7 February 2023
Bec Matliosk in New York

Australian advertising talent is increasingly being lured offshore by global firms.

Bec Matlioski, former senior copywriter at M&C Saatchi AUNZ and a mentor at The Aunties, is one of many headhunted by companies overseas.

The move came from casual networking at The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, where she met a recruiter for advertising agency network McCann. Following a couple post-festival conversations she accepted a more senior position.

Three months into her associate creative director role at McCann New York, Matlioski told AdNews what the process is like moving from Sydney to the US.

McCann New York Office

McCann New York Office. Via McCanny.

“I was definitely nervous before the move. Like extremely," Matlioski said.

"But I just went with it and embraced the uncertainty.

“I thought the work was going to be really tough, with a fast-paced New Yorker energy to everything, but I was pleasantly surprised by how incredibly supportive and hospitable everyone is.”

McCann handled everything required for an E-3 visa, making the paperwork "surprisingly easy”.

The E-3 classification is given only to Australians entering the US to fill a position that qualifies as a specialty occupation. Visa holders must also possess a bachelor's or higher degree.

The E-3 visa is eligible for two years and can be extended for as long as desired.

“There's a bunch of documents you have to provide which required lots of digging through my past to get everything together, it definitely takes months but it wasn't fairly stressful in my experience,” Matiloski said.

Although Matiloski has always wanted to live overseas and while it might not be an experience for everyone, anyone can gain from working in a different country.

“I'm so grateful to have started my career in Australia because I think in that market you have to be nimble and make the most of your opportunities.

“But because in America the budgets, the way media works and the audiences are very different - the work pushes you out of your comfort zone and challenges your thinking.

“For example, I’ll maybe suggest an insight and the response might be - ‘oh, that's not a thing here’ - which I'm still getting used to."

Bec Matlioski

For those aspiring to live and work overseas too, Matlioski’s advice is:

“I would reach out to people who are doing it already before you leave Australia - the advice I received from people over here was so invaluable.

“Because I had absolutely no idea about the American market. But I asked my connections about everything from salary, to what the market is like to the kind of work that’s making an impact.

“Nine times out of 10 people are more than happy to help you because they've done it so they know what it's like. 

“The Aussie community in the New York advertising industry is very cool, Aussies really go a long way to make you feel comfortable.

“All in all, I'm still very much navigating a new country and market but I will say—so far, so fun.”

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