Destined to click

At 22 pretty much everyday presents life changing events and experiences. Be it my “big” move to the US of A, handling my bank account without losing my cards every time I went dancing with friends, learning to cook or even doing my own laundry; taught me many things I took for granted back in Bombay. As a young mass media Ad - grad I sought my place in the dynamic world of communication media, inspired by the guiding principles of a man who I felt, “got me”, a man whose values began to guide my professional expectations and beliefs. In his book, Ogilvy on Advertising, David Ogilvy said, “Don’t bunt. Aim out of the ballpark. Aim for the company of immortals…

My pursuit of the perfect job landed me at the mercy of my first creative director, at Rediffussion Wunderman, Bombay where I discovered what ‘the company of immortals’ really meant. I had been to many-a-interview but somehow I craved a sense of belonging. I wanted to write but I also sought freedom of expression beyond writing. I believed in the multiplicity of arts to shape an art form that is a culmination of several. 

The moment I interviewed with Prachi my CD and my senior copywriter Petal, I knew that I belonged there. I did not have much of a ‘portfolio’ just an earnest mind and few college assignments that today would be pretty embarrassing but showed my range as an ideator, a writer and a person who had fun whilst doing the same. 

My experience at Wunderman will always be one after my heart. It was where I published my first print ad for Kingfisher Holidays. A random first day interview copy test assignment that went on to become my first print campaign. In retrospection, although it may seem like just another print campaign, I see it as the trust and confidence of a creative director in my work. I feel immensely fortunate to have had the company of beautiful people that have enhanced my creative capabilities and reaffirm my career choice. 

Prachi Jain is an art director turned Creative Director with loads of experience. Advertising is just one of her creative outlets. A fearless leader and a forward thinker. A rebel with a unique dressing sense. She is someone who recognizes substance below the surface. She is supernaturally intuitive. A God at designing and a defender of creative. She is the most resourceful person I’ve known after my mother. Her reward for brilliant creative and working on weekends came in the form of coffee (just for me), alcohol and decadent dessert. Her committedness and attention to tiny details is something that inspired me the most. Her attitude of getting to know more than required about the people she worked with surprised me. She loved to read and made amazing reading suggestions. She was well informed about everything, I mean everything. Knowing I was a budding creative she always encouraged me to make presentations to the entire office on the evolution of creativity: A what’s new in Advertising (and I always made her laugh with my findings).

More importantly she “liked” me, she always took my thoughts, ideas, opinions into consideration. She kept me involved in whatever was happening. She seen potential in me when I doubted my ability. She always encouraged me to go above and beyond. On days I had my diploma exams she made many considerations and discounts for me. She gave me a big shout out whenever I impressed her with my work as it encouraged me to do even more. 

When I first informed her about my post-grad Masters application, she seemed rather disappointed for a moment but then as I explained my plans & goals and how much it meant to me she immediately was on board. Recommendation letters, paperwork, office formalities she made all of it a cake walk for me. (She did mention that she hated me every day hence and wished she could go to Miami too.)My application to the Masters program at FIU was a boat on stormy waters. One day, a week before I left India, I was informed I would have to start a quarter later due to some official negligence. My world shattered. But in words of consolation she said to me “ I really hope things work out but At the most what will happen? You’ll have to deal with us for 6 months more, we’ll have fun, relax.” My heart will forever cherish those words of reassurance and support. When everything worked out she was more delighted than me. 

I consider my first job as a life changing experience because it introduced me to The Universe, it made me believe: If you truly desire something with all your heart and soul the entire universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. I realize that it is people who you meet, interact and befriend that make for these priceless life-changing moments. In the future when I measure success I’ll use the yardstick of friends gained and life’s touched hoping to be the richest woman in the world.

 

Meryl Fernandes.

 

A few parting presents from Rediffusion-Wunderman Mumbai.  

 

Goodbye card
A look inside