Young Guns: Sophie Walter at Orchard

By AdNews | 22 June 2023

Young Gun profiles takes a look at the young talent across the Australian advertising, adtech, marketing and media sector. Aiming to shed light on the varying roles, people and companies across the buzzing industry.

Sophie Walter, social strategist, Orchard

Time in current role/time at the company:

Eight months at Orchard.

How long have you been in the industry?

Four years in ad land.

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

After getting pretty ordinary school marks in all subjects but English, a communications degree made sense. I joined a healthcare agency, loved the blend of science and storytelling, and the rest is history. Shout out to the people who nudged me along as a very naive intern – you were right!

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

My long-lost sister Fiona Walters. Her big data brain grounds some of my floaty ideas and challenges me to be more… specific. We’re actually on track to be voted Orchard’s Cutest Couple 2023. I’m grateful to have another like-minded lady by my side to help tackle imposter syndrome.

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

The best thing is that it’s never that serious. Don’t get me wrong – we all slog it out and everyone on the team is absolutely dedicated to delivering an incredibly high standard of work. I take my responsibility to create good content very seriously! But we get to come together, be creative, have a bit of fun, and produce something that sparks real ~feeling~ in people. Rocket scientists can’t say the same.

And the biggest challenge?

Constantly shifting social media algorithms and platform changes are painful but perhaps not the biggest challenge – though there is something to be said about the longevity of social media advertising. Who can predict what it will look like in even five years’ time? Will those pesky algorithm updates make social better or wickeder? Will regulation finally become a reality? How can we ensure the sustainability of social media and what is our responsibility as an industry to mitigate the ethical risks around it?

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

The senior strategists at Orchard are super smart, and nice enough to share their clever-thinking with young, green team members like me. What they don’t know is that I’m soaking up all their knowledge and powers to hopefully one day become one of them.

Where do you turn for inspiration?

The clock app. I don’t shut up about it. The TikTok search bar alone is a delightful insight into people’s no longer private thoughts and queries.

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

How good* I am at karaoke. *bad

In five years' time I'll be…

I’d like to have at least started on my novel but it will probably take another 50 years to finish.

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