“The Best Agency Puts People At The Core Of The Business”: 10 Of The Best With Finecast’s Sheryl Chen

“The Best Agency Puts People At The Core Of The Business”: 10 Of The Best With Finecast’s Sheryl Chen

We’re back with another edition of 10 of the Best, which is coming out weekly in anticipation of B&T’s Best of the Best Awards presented by Finecast.

These awards are some of the most unique in the industry because they are dedicated to highlighting individual talent in the industry, rather than focusing on an agency or company.

This year’s awards have introduced a new category – ‘Diversity Champion’ – which is here to show the amazing work done by people in the industry who are creating a more inclusive work environment.

You can find a breakdown of all the different categories HERE, along with a downloadable file outlining the full submission criteria.

Come on, you know you want to enter! Head on over HERE to complete your submission.

To inspire you even more to enter Best of the Best, we’ll be publishing some fab interviews with a number of senior folk from Finecast and the broader WPP AUNZ network over the coming weeks.

This week we have Sheryl Chen from Finecast…

Best piece of career advice you’ve gotten?

Never stop learning and the moment that you get too comfortable at a place, it’s time to find something new. I’ve really lived by that for the last 10 years and it’s what motivates me to pick up new skills.

Best agency in Australia at the moment (that’s not yours of course)?

This is such a tough question, because I’ve got friends working at other agencies and I feel like I could offend someone. Can I just say that in my mind, the best agency is any agency that puts people at the core of the business and coming from someone who’s got a multicultural background, I feel like any agency that values and celebrates diversity and difference is what I consider a good agency.

Best leader in diversity/inclusion and why?

I feel like the first person that really comes to my mind is Ita Buttrose. I really admire the type of work that she’s been doing for the industry; advocating for greater diversity inclusion. Especially considering she’s someone who started having these conversations from the 1970s and advocating for women having maternity leave. She’s such an inspirational person.

Best mistake you’ve ever made?

That’s a very good one, because I’ve made so many mistakes in my career. The best one looking back is not taking ownership of work that was passed to me. As an example, when I was a coordinator I inherited a massive report from a client, with lots of mistake on it and I didn’t think too much of it and didn’t correct any of the mistakes until one day I got drilled in a meeting. That’s when I learned that I need to treat everything as if it’s my own words and make sure that what I produce is always accurate and I know everything that’s going on.

Best brand you’ve never worked on and why?

That’s tough too because there are so many brands that are amazing, I can’t pick any of them. So I thought about it, I thought about what brand really connected with me personally and I have to pick Canon because for a brand that’s over 80 years old and has gone through film, photos and is now going through a digital transformation, they’re still thriving in our current industry. I feel like their level of constant drive for innovation and transformation is something that anyone sees as a good brand aspects. Maybe I’m biased because I’m a photographer.

Best song for inspiration?

It’s ‘I want to break free’ by Queen. It’s such a motivational song and a song that got me through the lockdown.

Best mentor in your life?

I’ve got various mentors in different stages of my life, but the person that makes the most impact is Nicola Lewis. I really love her style of leadership and she’s so approachable and she makes time for other people, even though she’s busy with her responsibilities, especially now as the CEO. Why I think she really made an impact on my career is because when I was running solo she really put her time aside and every time she comes to Melbourne she always sits down with me and help me through navigating a lot of challenges I’m facing at the time, which helped me greatly.

Best place to travel on your bucket list?

I was just planning a trip to British Columbia for glacier kayaking which you can only do during like one month of the year. The glacier just starts to melt and that’s when you can do the kayaking.

Best ad of the past decade?

As a photographer, I’m always drawn to a beautiful landscape and captivating imagery and the one that I can think of right now is 2009 version of Qantas’ ‘I still call Australia home.’ It’s such a powerful visual representation of Australia and even watching now when I was preparing for your question, I watched it on YouTube and it made me very emotional.

Best guilty pleasure?

I’m a bit embarrassed about it and but I just finished watching Selling Sunset. It’s a trashy reality show on Netflix and I only watch it when I’m alone at home.

Get your tickets for this years Best of the Best Awards presented by Finecast HERE.




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