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Volunteer Spotlight: Franziska Pugh

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, February 19, 2019

How did you get started in advertising? What's been your career road map?

I studied strategic communication at Michigan State University intending to become the next Samantha Jones of publicity. During my undergraduate studies, I received the opportunity to visit Los Angeles and tour advertising agencies, entertainment firms and production studios. After meeting with an Account Executive and learning more about the role, I knew I would find my home in brand leadership and strategy. I worked to gain relevant internship and research experience and began my career as an Account Coordinator and then Assistant Account Executive at DonerLA. Recently, I joined the MullenLowe team as an Account Executive working on automotive. I’m incredibly lucky to have worked with a diverse group of clients and agencies who are dedicated to mentorship, professional, and personal development.  

What inspired you to become a ThinkLA volunteer?

After moving to Los Angeles, I aimed to get involved in the community and meet professionals who were interested in advertising, media and entertainment. I was impressed by the variety of events that ThinkLA offered. After hosting the first the first Intern Summit event at DonerLA, I became fully immersed in the mission of bringing opportunities and community to Los Angeles and beyond.

What’s been one of your favorite ThinkLA memories?

I recently joined the Emerging Leaders Council and assisted in hosting the first ThinkLA She Suite event. This event was truly remarkable in bringing women across multiple agencies and industries together and creating dialogue around their success, barriers and opportunities. Events like these are so important in building a support system, mentorship opportunities and friendships.

I also really enjoyed the Intern Summit Series. I value being a part of energetic professionals that continuously strive to grow professionally and personally. It was a blast to volunteer at these events, meet the panelists and learn more about the advertising industry and professional roadmaps.

What keeps you motivated? Do you have a personal motto?

My personal motto is, “Hold the vision. Trust the process.” We are lucky to work in an ever-changing industry that has so many opportunities to learn and grow. This motto is my reminder to be patient and flexible in my approach. 

What has been an important, perhaps the most important, lesson you’ve learned in your career so far?

There are two lessons that my mentors have instilled in me.

  1. “Take a seat at the table.”
    When you get the opportunity to sit at a table with other professionals, make sure you listen to what they have to say and speak up to be heard. You will never get what you don’t ask for. Make sure you’re prepared, bring insight into the room and showcase your expertise.
  2.  “If you’re the dumbest person in the room, you’re in the right room.”
    A few years ago, I voiced a concern about “sounding dumb” when conducting informational interviews. One of my mentors told me that if I make it into a room where I have no idea what is going on, I am exactly where I need to be. This lesson still holds true. If you’re the dumbest person in the room, you’ve strategically (or, luckily) maneuvered your way into a place with people you can learn the most from. Listen, take notes, do your research after and build connections while you have the chance.


    Franziska Pugh

    Tags:  #ThinkLA  #ThinkMembers  #volunteerspolight 

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    Volunteer Spotlight: Danielle Erves

    Posted By Administration, Thursday, January 31, 2019

    How did you get started in advertising? What's been your career road map?

    I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in public relations from San Jose State University and was lucky to get my first job at a PR agency in Oakland right out of college. From there, I moved to Los Angeles and started at Jukin Media, a digital media company that helps people make money from their videos on the internet. There, I was lucky enough to be able to work on the company’s marketing, PR, and social media

    My interest in marketing and public relations started at an early age in high school marketing things like school dances and alumni events. Once I began to study it in college, it opened up a new method of communication for me.

    What inspired you to become a ThinkLA volunteer?

    I attended my first ThinkLA event three years ago.
    I saw all the amazing people hustling, sharing, and building with each other. I knew I needed to get involved.

    What’s been one of your favorite ThinkLA memories?

    My favorite ThinkLA memory is from Toys for Tots last year. My coworkers and I had a crazy couple of weeks and had just wrapped up. We ended up laughing and dancing the night away. Work hard, Play hard..

    What keeps you motivated? Do you have a personal motto?

    My personal motto is: You can’t have a bad day if you’re smiling. I try to smile all day long, I’m in a good mood and good things happen. If I do get into a funk, I put on my favorite song and jam out! I’ll be back to smiling soon after that.

    Are there any written materials you suggest to read?

    The best advice I can give to anyone regardless of their industry is to keep learning and reading. It’s so important to want to learn more, otherwise the world will pass you by. One reading suggestion is The Alchemist. One of my good friends gave it to me to read and it changed my mindset.

    What advice do you have for female ad professionals who are beginning their careers?

    Have a voice early in your career and establish yourself as a leader and someone who deserves a seat at the table. Know what you are worth and ask for it. Don’t be afraid to speak up.

    Any closing thoughts for the ThinkLA community?

    The first year I started with ThinkLA, I taught an Account Management 101 class and it was so rewarding to feel like I was making a difference to someone starting out in their career. The feedback I got was so positive, it only confirmed that mentoring and helping people around me grow, learn, and move up is one of the best things about my job. But I’m not gonna lie: the Award Show Gala after-parties never disappoint!

    Any closing thoughts for the ThinkLA community?

    The ThinkLA community is very unique and I’m very happy to be apart of it. It can be a difficult to know how to navigate organizations similar to ThinkLA, but the community ThinkLA has built is on the fosters up and coming professionals and educates the community in a fun way. I’m very happy to be part of it..


    Danielle Erves 

    • website:
    • IG: @ervespr_
    • Twitter: @ervespr
    • LinkedIn:


    Tags:  #Thinkla  #thinkMembers  #volunteerspolight  Advertising  L 

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