Young Guns: Jenna Smith at Engine

By AdNews | 23 April 2024

In this series, AdNews spotlights young talent in the Australian media, marketing and advertising sector. This time it's Engine account executive Jenna Smith.

Time in current role/time at the company:

I have been working as an account executive for Brisbane’s Engine Group for two months.

How long have you been in the industry?  

Technically two months, but I have been working in content and marketing roles for over a decade now.

How did you get here? Was this always the plan?  

Yes and no. Yes it was always the plan. No it didn’t happen how I thought it would. I thought I would go to uni, graduate and start my advertising career then — but I had the most beautiful detour—becoming a mum. Putting my career on hold, I dabbled in marketing, content creation, and finally web design roles — even trying my own thing at one point — before finally coming back to what my 18-year-old self wanted: to work in an ad agency.

Who is your right-hand person/who guides you day to day?  

My co-worker and one of Engine’s account managers, Saxon Squire. We’re like two peas in a weird and wonderful pod. There’s already been so many instances where I’ve “saved the day!”.

What’s the best thing about the industry you work in?  

The variation. For such a long time I worked on campaigns for one brand, now I get to work on campaigns for many different brands. I think that is something that makes our industry truly unique and exciting. You never know who is around the corner waiting to tap into your mind!

And the biggest challenge?  

Deadlines. Some are months away, some are mere days away. While sometimes it can be tight, I love how the tenacity of our team really shines through in those moments. It really makes me proud.

Whose job have you set your sights on in the future?  

Ooh this is a hard question. I’m still trying to find out what area of an ad agency best suits me. But for account management it would be Engine’s Anna Hellinger, for strategy Khemistry’s Kelly Brightwell, and for creative VML’s Jessamy Ross — though they are some tough shoes to follow!

Where do you turn for inspiration?  

Others in the industry, like those mentioned. I’m also a big fan of podcasts and books. I have this personal mantra to “never stop learning” and I think it brings out the best in me.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?  

That I was a single mum for six years. I found creativity in the form of painting Bluey characters, building Roblox worlds, and figuring out how to best tuck in the blanket for a full night's sleep. Spoiler alert: I still don’t know the perfect combo!

In five years' time, I'll be:

Doing a TED Talk, leading a small team, mentoring…I’ll never say no to the next adventure, whatever that looks like. 

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