Young Guns: JWT senior account manager, Rose Dwyer

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 27 January 2017
Rose Dwyer

Our Young Guns profile takes a weekly look at some of the buzzing young talent across the advertising, ad tech, marketing and media sector in Australia. It aims to shed light on the varying roles, people and companies across the buzzing industry.

Last week we spoke to Exponential Interactive head of mobile, Nicole Liebmann. This week, we head to Melbourne to meet J. Walter Thompson senior account manager, Rose Dwyer.

How long have you been in the industry?

Three years.

Duration in current role/time at the company:

One year and four months.

What were you doing before this job and how did you get this gig?

I was working for The Brand Agency in a retail driven account management role. Being in the network I was hearing a lot of exciting things happening over at JWT. I had been feeling very settled in my role and as a junior I wanted to broaden my knowledge. I decided to take a leap from the retail side of advertising into a brand role. I sent my CV though to the wrong person, and miraculously it was picked up by our general manager Nick Muncaster. I interviewed on a Friday for a non-existent role and on the following Tuesday I was offered a job.

Define your job in one word:

Problem-solver. Was I allowed to hyphenate it? I couldn’t find a solution without doing so.

What were your real and cliché expectations of working in the industry?

Long lunches and power suits.

How does the reality match up? 

Reality equates to “El Desko” lunches and black attire.

How would you describe what the company does and what does your role involve?

We work in partnership with clients to resolve business problems, identify opportunities and turn those into communication solutions. My role is the translator – I bridge the gap between creative and client so they can make sense of each other’s worlds and work to a common goal.

Best thing about the industry you work in:

The work is always interesting and diverse. As the world changes we change with it.

Any major hard learnings in the job so far?

Ride the wave. We must learn how to take things in our stride as they change and be comfortable with being pushed to the limit. If you let all of the small things get to you, you will end up overwhelmed and unproductive.

If you had to switch over to another department, which would it be and why?

I’d be the office manager. Since I could walk and talk I’ve been highly organised, a bit of a control freak. I get great satisfaction in turning chaos into order.

What's exciting you about the industry right now? 

Never before have people consumed so much. We are exposed to more communications now than ever before. As a creative agency we are on a constant journey to stand out and create breakthroughs which means year on year we will be seeing innovation like never before. Who knows how we will define our roles in the years to come.

What concerns you about the industry and its future?

Tunnel vision – Too many people in the industry are fearful of the unknown and living in the past. We need to evolve and be excited about the shift in our industry. Advertising is not dead however advertising in its current form may soon be. Fear is paralysing and regressive, we need to move with the world.

Who's your right hand person/who guides your day to day?

It has to be my partner Roeland. Without his evening calls to check in on the progress of my day I’d probably forget to go home, starve and miss every engagement that doesn’t sit within my work outlook calendar.

And your almighty mentor that you hope to dethrone?

My group account director Paulina Embart. Talk about tough love. She provides lots of knowledge and advice but never allows me to sit within my comfort zone. She has taught me to feel uncomfortable when I am comfortable.

Career-wise, where do you see yourself in 2020 and how do you plan on getting there?

I’d like to think (aside from dethroning Paulina) I’ll be doing a great deal more of what I’m doing now by being ever more comfortable with the uncomfortable, riding the wave.

What is the elephant in the room? The thing that no one is talking about – but they should be.

Digital connectedness. As budgets tighten and our clients are expecting more and more for less, we need to find a way to be agile, effective and innovative in this space. There are very few brands that are holistically owning this space, even on a global scale.

Where do you turn for inspiration?

The hills. (Not the TV show of the 90’s) Getting away from the small spaces in the city can open your eyes, clear your mind and give you a great deal of perspective.

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

They often see me putting out fires however I’m not sure if they know I am a qualified firefighter, legitimately.

Favourite advert is:

My guilty pleasure is a little bit of reality TV so I couldn’t go past Xbox’s “Survival of the Grittiest” for the release of “Rise of the Tomb Raider”. McCann in London found an interesting way to modernise a very traditional OOH format and still speak to their gaming audience. By tapping into an already inherent behaviour that gamers pose - being in control - demonstrated they really understood the way this audience consumes media.

What’s your personal motto?

You snooze, you lose.

I got into advertising/ad tech/marketing etc because:

I’ve always been creative however love structure and people too much to be a creative. Advertising gives me the ability to have the best of both worlds.

If I wasn't doing this for a living, I'd be:

Working with animals in some exotic location.

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