Thiara Macalinao, Advertising

I'm Thiara, and I'm a junior creative producer

Describe your job

A creative producer takes a concept and makes it a reality!

We’re responsible for the day to day management of the project. We plan and manage schedules; what work needs to be done, when and who’s going to do it, looking at risks involved in a particular project and managing those risks, motivating the team of people involved in the project and making sure the project is done to the right standard, running on time and to budget.

The most awesome thing is being able to work with amazing photographers, artworkers, designers & many more creative people!

What are the most important skills you need to do your job?

You should be interested in seeing a project through from start to finish, enjoy taking responsibility & be motivated by achieving set goals.

You also need to be effective at planning, monitoring & reviewing, as the producer is responsible for bringing a project to life. Being decisive & be good at problem solving is important too because you have to adapt to any curveballs and make it work!

I left school and...

Went straight to work! I got my first job as a childcare practitioner even though I wanted to work in the creative sector, but I was told that I won’t be able to make money off of it (not true!)

A year later I took a risk, left my job and dedicated my time in networking & working on my own creative projects.

In 2018 I joined a creative media campaign programme, a 4-week course into the world of advertising. I had mentors who supported me during and after the programme. They helped build my CV, interview skills & connected me with other employers. Eventually I secured a job in an advertising agency as Junior Creative Producer when I turned 19.

I’m most proud of...

I took part in a creative advertising traineeship, we had 4 weeks to work on a brief set by Time to Change to get young people more engaged with mental health so we came up with creative solutions to tackle this stigma.

This project culminated in delivering a professional pitch back to leading agency representatives from a selection of world-renowned advertising and media agencies.

You can read more about it here

Credit to Obinna Udekwereze, Joanne Oguntimehin, Jimi Ogun, Mercy Phillips

Before I started my career, I wish I knew…

That it’s OK to ask for help. I was afraid to ask for help because of my fear of sounding lame as the least experienced in the room & approaching someone in the office can be pretty daunting.

But there’s no use torturing yourself by trying to blindly navigate a challenging project that you don’t understand. If you do that, chances are it won’t turn our as expected, and you’ll have wasted your own (and everyone else’s!) time. Help is there if you need it.

A mistake I made which you can avoid repeating is...

Don’t let others define your career path.

I chose my first job mainly to please my parents who were concerned about my job prospective and security, but I'm glad I trusted my guts and pursued a career that I wanted!

We’re taught early on to accept almost any input we receive from those we perceive to be senior to us (parents, managers etc.) but listening to yourself and not letting others define you is crucial to living YOUR life. You may try something and fail.

But it’s better to fail doing something the way you think it should be done versus failing on someone else’s plan.

So, what’s next?

I love where I’m at now, every day is different which makes the job exciting and never boring to wake up to. I’m still early on in my career so my aim is to continue learning about my role and become highly proficient in what I do.

Here's my:

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