Ten Years On From The First 30 Under 30: Kura Tyerman-Mikhail

Ten Years On From The First 30 Under 30: Kura Tyerman-Mikhail
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine

M&C Saatchi’s Kura Tyerman-Mikhail was one of our first ever 30 Under 30 back winners back in 2010.

What started as an editorial feature in print is now a full scale award programme with entries now open for our tenth ever 30 Under 30 Awards. And to celebrate this milestone we’ve been tracking down our original winners and finding out what they’ve been up to over the last decade.

If you missed the other 30 Under 30 profiles in this series, you can view them all here.

Today we sit down with Kura Tyerman-Mikhail whose career in advertising started at a young age and who has risen through the ranks working with some of the best brands in the business.

Kura Tyerman-Mikhail

Then: business director, Tongue 

Now: group head, M&C Saatchi Australia 

Kura Tyerman was hired by Ogilvy at age 18 as an account executive on KFC, before moving on to the Coke brands at age 21. Promotions soon followed, as she was boosted up to account manager while working on Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty.

Aged 23 she became senior account manager for Coca-Cola South Pacific and then quickly moved up to account director across the sparkling category.

Chris Savage who was chief operating officer at STW in 2010 commented, “Kura is quite simply an outstanding talent. She epitomises all we look for in our emerging leaders.

“First: she is a 150 percenter. Second: she is relentless about ‘getting it right’. Third: she has superb interpersonal skills. Her instinct and judgement are faultless.”


What did it mean to you at the ripe age of 24 that you were chosen as one of B&T’s 30 Under 30?

Recognition can be a powerful thing. Especially for an eager 24 year old woman climbing the corporate ladder and wanting to make her mark. It’s fair to say I was grateful and proud.

How do you think being nominated affected your career, if at all?

It certainly gave me confidence and a nudge to keep pushing. After all there’s another up and coming group right behind you.

What’s been the biggest change to your life since then?

I’ve aged! And with that I’ve hopefully matured… I’m now 33 and a few weeks away from becoming a mum.

What words of wisdom would you have shared with your 24 year old self back then knowing what you do now?

I would tell myself that even though it’s a battlefield out there you you can’t win the war alone. You need a good team around you and you have to genuinely care about them.

I realised that in addition to being ambitious, you need to be loyal, reliable and dedicated. You don’t realise it but you’re building your personal brand from your very first day. So think about who you really are and ‘how’ you want to get to the top.

What are you most proud of?

I’m proud of each and every success I’ve had. And you need to celebrate the wins, no matter how big or small. But I’m most proud of how those wins eventuated. I’ve been in control of my career and have chosen destinations carefully. I’ve chosen businesses based on people and values and that’s paid off.

What do you see as the biggest challenges that face young people in advertising, marketing and media these days?

We are a lot safer these days as an industry. Our world has become more conservative and we’ve somehow fallen into line.

That means we have to work harder and smarter to get the big, bold ideas across the line – those ideas we all got into this business to work on. So the challenge is a difficult one and the next generation will have to operate differently. 

Conversely, what’s the biggest opportunity for those under 30 now?

The biggest opportunity lies with that same challenge. To push boundaries, get the industry making the work we all desperately want to see in market.

The up-and-comers will need to find alliances within the business they work in that supports their vision.

What can the industry do better to attract and retain young talent?

We are entertainers. We need to go back to acting and behaving like an entertainment industry. We’ve lost a bit of that edge.

Have fun. It’s advertising.

Entries for B&T‘s 30 Under 30 Awards for 2019 are now open. For all the details, click here. Tickets are also available for B&T Bootcamp, a day of speed mentoring and masterclasses aimed at up and comers in the industry. 30 Under 30 Awards 2019 sponsor block



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