Get to know Leisha Bereson, VP, Group Director at Canvas Worldwide and a member of ThinkLA's Young Professionals Council.
How did you get started in advertising? What's been your career road-map?
Honestly, I had no idea what I was in for; my degree was “Integrated Media Communications” in college – what does that even mean?! My dad knew a guy at an agency and he basically begged him to give me an ‘informational interview’. From there, I spammed every agency I could on LinkedIn so I could be one of those young fun kids in an industrial warehouse with an Apple laptop working in Excel. I spammed a million agencies until I got in and climbed my way up from there: paid search to display to integrated media to platforms and technology to programmatic. All ladder climbing.
What excites you most about this industry?
EVERYTHING IS MEASURABLE, learnable; everything is going to change, and it can change as long as you understand the numbers, mechanics, inventory, targeting, and data. People who don’t get digital, people who think this is someone else's job, people who don’t care to ask how it works, people who don’t care to ask "Why?" in general – they’ll all fall to the wayside. We’re working in an industry that is rapidly changing because of people who ask why, people getting their hands dirty – these are the people who are going to change up this industry because it's all becoming so completely transparent. How good is transparency without understanding and the willingness to look?
Why are you involved with ThinkLA? ThinkLA is an opportunity for community: a place to share, ideate, change. How good is an idea if it sits alone? The best ideas are shaped through the lenses of many conversations; ThinkLA is an opportunity for us to do something new and interesting. I am involved because I can’t shut up about media, and I’m seeking those who want to banter on forever over beers about it, too.
What’s the best advice you’d give to someone interested in a career in advertising? Are there any written materials you suggest to read?Absorb everything – from podcasts (How I Built This, AdExchanger), webinars (IAB, MRC, Forrester, Digiday, ANA), articles on blogs/websites (Ad Age, Recode, Marketingland, Harvard Business Review), honestly I get most of my info from who I follow on Twitter (Chief Martec, The Drum, Augustine Frou) all the info is out there – you just need to seek it out!