Rhea Kor­ban: My Life in Advertising

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RHEA KOR­BAN

Ac­count Man­ager at Y&R af­firms that there is never a typ­i­cal day in the life of an ac­count han­dler. Ev­ery­day in­tro­duces new chal­lenges, es­pe­cially on Mondays. In re­sponse, she tries not to lose her mind by putting a con­fi­dent and strong front, while try­ing to over­come real strug­gles by bal­anc­ing some crazi­ness with mad­ness, which is what keeps her go­ing! No won­der her pre­ferred motto is, “Be fear­less in the pur­suit of what sets your soul on fire”. An­other, is a line from the movie Alice and the Mad Hat­ter, which reads: “Have I gone mad? I’m afraid so, you’re en­tirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a se­cret, all the best peo­ple are.”

6:30AM: back to re­al­ity, wake up. I know it’s weird, but Mondays are my favourite. Be­fore you call me all sorts of names, let me ex­plain why. They are full of po­ten­tial: they rep­re­sent a week that has yet to be lived and end­less pos­si­bil­i­ties on ac­com­plish­ing great things. Mondays are the first day of a week of life—a week we’ll never get back. And for all the girls out there read­ing this ar­ti­cle let me re­mind you that Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch was born on a Mon­day! Af­ter my morn­ing rou­tine that mainly con­sists of show­er­ing, play­ing dress-up and drink­ing my sa­cred cof­fee, I get to the of­fice at 8:40AM to get a head-start on the week. 8:40AM: I have a brand new work week to make change and set a new course. I nat­u­rally start by tak­ing a quick look at the week’s sta­tus re­port that was pre­pared on Fri­day night, skim through the pri­or­i­ties, read my emails; es­pe­cially lov­ing the ones that I re­ceived on Sun­day at 1AM – lovely – then I jump into our reg­u­lar 9:30AM in­ter­nal meet­ing, brief­ing the cre­ative team on their jobs for the week, set­ting the traf­fic and di­vid­ing tasks. Of course, things come up that you didn’t an­tic­i­pate. It de­pends on your clients’ mood, if they had too much “arak” at their Sun­day lunch, if they lost against their friend while play­ing “tawle”… all sorts of stuff. 10AM: Client check-in: my clients start to get tickly, it’s their time now. “I’m here”, this is how my reg­u­lar Mon­day morn­ing phone calls take their jump. I’m now go­ing through the week with my clients, as­sur­ing them that ev­ery­thing is on the right track, set­ting our weekly meet­ing, man­ag­ing pri­or­i­ties and tak­ing on new projects. More im­por­tantly, telling them how amaz­ing it felt to re­ceive “ur­gent” emails on your day off that made me wake up with a stom­ach ache. 11AM: Grind By that time of the day, it’s the ac­tual op­por­tu­nity to have some real work done. My day is packed so I need to get the most out of these cou­ple hours. I throw on my head­phones and zone out into the land of Pow­er­points, Word and Ex­cel. Set­ting strate­gies, brand build­ing doc­u­ments, business boost­ers’ rec­om­men­da­tions, com­mu­ni­ca­tion plans: that’s the real beauty of advertising. That’s the part you look for­ward to the most; that feel­ing of tak­ing a brand from one point to an­other by mak­ing it top of mind and set­ting it apart from the rest. That part doesn’t last as long as you would like it too be­cause there’s al­ways an an­noy­ing re­quest that comes in out of nowhere or a bored col­league who “ur­gently” needs your ad­vice on their fight with their boyfriend/ girl­friend. And ev­ery­one keeps won­der­ing how I’ve gone mad over time… Sur­pris­ing huh? 2PM: Team check-in This is the time of the day where I sit again with my team to check on the work flow, del­e­gate new tasks and make sure that they’re as mo­ti­vated as ever. When­ever the work load gives you time to breathe, I love giv­ing them min­d­ex­pand­ing ex­er­cises that grow their knowl­edge and feed their soul – which they ob­vi­ously hate to do but sadly they did not un­der­stand that de­spis­ing me makes me want to do it even more. You got to love my sadis­tic side! 4PM: Af­ter­noon latte This is where my day starts over as if it were 8:40AM all over again. So, I have a quick run to the near­est Star­bucks, grab my sec­ond cof­fee and get all fu­eled up – this is what we call a cof­fee over­dose. I like to sit in the near­est con­fer­ence room to wrap my head serenely around ev­ery­thing; have a sec­ond look at my projects, pre­sen­ta­tions, up­com­ing meet­ings and business de­vel­op­ment prospects. 6:30PM: Start to wrap-up – or not. This is one of my favourite parts of the day. Ev­ery­one has gone home, my mu­sic is on, fi­nally some peace and quiet. This is where I usu­ally pre­pare for an early morn­ing meet­ing or just want to get ahead and fit in the last bit of work. Bal­ance is key, es­pe­cially if you’re in love with your work. Be­ing an ac­count han­dler can be hard – to say the least - but when you treat your­self to a glass of wine af­ter work and feel the sat­is­fac­tion of what you’ve ac­com­plished in ret­ro­spec­tive, then this is the life I would rec­om­mend to any­one. Hmm, no, def­i­nitely not any­one, only the Mad Hat­ters out there! Then feel­ing proud of what I’ve achieved and re­al­is­ing how blessed I am to work in advertising, to do some­thing I love.

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