As part of an ongoing series highlighting young talent in the industry, Branding in Asia presents “One Under 30” – a special feature that focuses on up-and-coming talent in the ad world, one person at a time.
This week we talk to Jazlyn Yee, a 30-year-old Associate Media Activation Director at Essence in Singapore.
Over the course of our conversation, she talks about how she got her first break in the industry, what she loves about the work, what she doesn’t like about it, and more.
Name: Jazlyn Yee
Position: Associate Media Activation Director
Current Location: Singapore
Education: National University of Singapore, Bachelor of Business Administration, 2014.
How did you get your first break in the industry?
In the early exploratory phase of my work life, I wanted to experience what different industries had to offer. I started my career in the financial services sector, working in operations teams of various financial institutions. One day, I was chatting with a friend who worked at Essence and she casually mentioned that they were hiring. I applied for the role, met the nicest hiring managers and decided to take the plunge into the digital marketing world. I have not felt the need to experience other industries since!
What is your personal mantra?
Right now, it would be that a step forward is a step forward. Perhaps it is due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but everything feels less certain than before. It often feels like we take one step forward only to be pushed two steps back. It is comforting to remind myself that it is okay to move more slowly and take baby steps, but never stop.
From what person, place or thing have you drawn your greatest creative inspiration?
I like reading quotes, poetry, and song lyrics. There is something about mental images painted by words that put me into a reflective and serene state. That helps me think without all the pressure and focus on arriving at an end product or solution.
What do you love about the job?
It would definitely be my team! We have created a collaborative environment where I am encouraged to be my authentic, unfiltered self, bouncing ideas off of passionate individuals. The level of support I receive is rare and precious to me. I am given opportunities to shine, but also to fail and grow in a safe space.
Additionally, the media industry offers so much variety; this job is what I want to make out of it. There is always something to learn and something new to explore. Just when I think I have a grasp of a topic, the industry shifts with new regulations, technology, and innovations to start the cycle of learning again. Growth is always just an arm’s length away, not just in terms of hard skills, but also soft skills to meet ever-changing conditions.
What about your job are you not so crazy about?
Back-to-back video calls. Working on regional projects, my days are packed with video calls with local offices across multiple time zones, but it has been great meeting people from all over the world!
What is some work you’ve done that you’re most proud of?
With Google as a client, I have had the opportunity to lead numerous successful media campaigns across a suite of business-to-consumer and business-to-business products in most APAC markets.
I also have had the most fun brainstorming with my clients to come up with moonshot ideas, auditing growth opportunities, and interacting with sales teams to better understand how to bridge the gap between marketing and business objectives.
“There is always something to learn and something new to explore. Just when I think I have a grasp of a topic, the industry shifts with new regulations, technology, and innovations to start the cycle of learning again.”
However, the contribution I am most proud of has been in training and upskilling other members at Essence in programmatic industry knowledge and best practices. I have been part of a training team sent to Delhi where I was responsible for training seven new team members to become fully-fledged programmatic specialists. I am currently conducting similar training for our Tokyo and Seoul offices as well, along with team members based in our Singapore and Delhi hubs. As a manager and mentor, I am invested in their learning and development, and continue to support and champion their progression.
If you had to choose another career what would it be?
A maker of artisanal paper or soy sauce. Becoming a master of a niche craft has always been of interest to me.