Young Guns: Mindshare business executive, Christine Theophanous

By AdNews | 23 March 2017
Christine Theophanous

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.

For our last Young Gun, we spoke to Special Group account executive Isaac Cerecke.

This time we chat to Mindshare Sydney business executive Christine Theophanous.

How long have you been in the industry?

Just over two years now.

Duration in current role/time at the company:

I’ve been lucky enough to spend the entire two years at Mindshare, starting out as a media assistant and taking on the role of business executive in January 2016.

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

I was actually working at a couple of places, both were vastly different experiences. I worked as a storage consultant and an entertainer at children’s disco/karaoke birthday parties (no I did not have to dress up as a fairy). I got the job through a friend.

Define your job in one word:

Evolving.

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

Cliché: lots of perks, alcohol and media events.

Real: lots of perks, alcohol and media events but more importantly, the amount of kind, intelligent, passionate, vibrant and creative people that work in the industry.

How does the reality match up? 

It’s much more rewarding. What’s the point of the perks if you aren’t sharing/celebrating with the amazing colleagues that you work so hard with on campaigns every day?

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

Mindshare strives to be different. We focus on being our client’s lead business partner by harnessing innovation, data and insight to drive results. My role is to provide media expertise to the client (both offline and digital) which shows the connection between these three products in a paid, owned and earned world.

Best thing about the industry you work in:

Having the opportunity to connect and interact with like-minded individuals who are determined, passionate, creative and innovative on a daily basis. The perks aren’t too bad either.

Any major hard learnings in the job so far?

Time is not on your side. Learn to manage your time wisely and you will always come out on top.

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

Probably ESP, social or co-creation. Why? Simply to continue learning and these departments fascinate me.
What's exciting you about the industry right now? 

The pace at which things are evolving. Innovative technologies are emerging on a monthly and even weekly basis and being so close to the ‘Adworld’ means we get a front row seat to watch the future unfold.

What concerns you about the industry and its future?

To be perfectly honest, the fact that there is so much dollar wastage in the industry, wastage that could be better used on important humanitarian issues.

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

There are a few people that help me out in different situations, so I can’t simply list one person! The following people are pretty fantastic; Georgia Moraitis, Bella Hollis, Emily Barnick, Ray Ly, Matt Papasavva, Lily Lange and Luke Hills.

And your almighty mentor that you hope to dethrone?

Luke Hills, director of FAST or Sam Turley, national head of co-creation.

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

That’s a long way off, but probably a children’s TV presenter. 

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

Mental illness. While it’s talked about through various charity organisations, there needs to be more education about the different illnesses, how to recognise signs and where you can turn to for help.

Where do you turn for inspiration?

Music, it has the biggest effect on the mind and triggers incredible thoughts and ideas. After music, documentaries of anything and everything – having a vast knowledge is so important.

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

That I used to be an above average dancer in jazz, ballet, contemporary and hip hop. It came to a point where I had to make a choice between dance and communications at university.

Favourite advert is:

Carlton Draught – Big Ad, absolute classic.

More recently the Thrive Telstra TVC, beautifully done. Also, Jet Blue’s #NYCTakeoff outdoor campaign (see below), clever.

What’s your personal motto?

It is super cliché but ‘everything happens for a reason’ so it’s important to embrace all that is thrown at you.

I got into media because:

…of Kate Lawrence, who now no longer works in the industry. Also because as a journalism graduate, paid positions were/are extremely rare as a new starter.

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

A videographer, travel writer, children’s TV presenter or dancer.

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