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    Meeting of the Minds: EssenceMediacom’s Tara Iwamoto and Rhea Anand

    This week’s Meeting of the Minds sees Tara Iwamoto and Rhea Anand from GroupM’s EssenceMediacom reveal their leadership heroes, current streaming binge and career goals.

    The Mediaweek series aims to showcase their diverse perspectives, thoughts and opinions by bringing together two different points of view from an industry rookie and an experienced expert.

    Tara Iwamoto, managing partner, Creative Futures at EssenceMediacom

    Meeting of the Minds: EssenceMediacom’s Tara Iwamoto and Rhea Anand

    Best career advice – keep it simple.

    My favourite podcast/read – The Alchemist by Paul Coelho. I read it at a time in my life that felt a little uncertain and it was the perfect reassurance that we are all following our own path and we will get to where we’re supposed to be.

    Current streaming binge – The Buccaneers on Appletv. Who doesn’t love a show about Americans causing trouble (I’m American btw).

    Leadership hero – As I get further into my career, I value a leader with integrity. You don’t have to be perfect (no one is) but you have to do what you say you’re going to do and uphold your values. David Grant my boss as PopSugar Studios lead with integrity and I’m still very impressed by that.

    I wish someone had told me – That this is a long road and you can’t sweat the small stuff. I think I’d gain 10 years back if I’d followed that advice and still try to actively practice that.

    Guilty content pleasure –  TikTok – I love the viral dances. I think it speaks to the former ballerina in me.

    Best training course/session – Hands down it was a Leadership Course run by a professional coaching company. There were so many techniques I still use today. Most helpful has been the coaching aspect. This is where you are only there to ask questions and allow for the other person to be introspective. Sometimes people don’t need you to tell them the answer, they need your help in getting there.

    Your mentor – I don’t have a formal mentorship but I believe you can also learn a lot from watching and emulating the behaviour of leaders that inspire you. Stevie Douglas-Neal leads the Sydney EM office with the right amount of candidness to push for the best work and empathy to show that she really cares about the people who do the work. I think her passion for EM and our clients is a wonderful example of leadership.

    Hot medium or show – As a TV junkie, I actually think the short snippets of TV shows or movies on TikTok is breathing new life into some forgotten but amazing media. I think this is so smart and fulfills either the nostalgia or discovery itch that everyone has.

    Favourite media event –  was recently chosen to be a judge for an award ceremony. It was easily one of the best experiences I’ve had. It was amazing and inspiring to see the calibre of entries which made the judging tough. I got to meet some industry veterans through judging and sit with them later at the awards. I presented Best PR Agency of the Year and that was another highlight!

    Career goal for 2024 – Be able to merge more of my coaching training to build up and support my team and obviously win some awards. There is so much talent in CF, I really want to shine a very public light on that next year. 

    Rhea Anand, social media executive, Creative Futures at EssenceMediacom

    EssenceMediacom - Rhea Anand, social media executive

    Best career advice – The best career advice I’ve been given is just simply to constantly be curious and ask questions.

    My favourite podcast/read – A favourite read of mine is Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. It’s a heavy read but a really thoughtful and interesting insight into humanity and evolution. There is an amazing quote from the book that says “Consistency is the playground of dull minds” that has stuck with me ever since reading it. It’s something I carry into my work and life daily.

    In terms of podcasts, one of my all-time favourites is We Got The Chocolates. It’s the perfect easy listening comedy and I love how they create content that extends across platforms.

    Current streaming binge – I’m a little late to the game but I’m currently steaming Succession.

    Leadership hero – Being quite early in my career, I can’t say I’ve encountered one person to idolise as a leadership hero; however, I think that that you can look to multiple people for behaviours that depict great leadership. Personally, I really value transparency and intent in – and this is something that I am lucky to experience that amongst the people I work with as well.

    I wish someone had told me – That everyone’s career and life progress at a different pace. Having studied two degrees, I think when I joined the industry, I compared my career and progression against others. I still have to constantly remind myself that things progress at different paces – whether it be work or just in life! 

    Guilty content pleasure – My guilty content pleasure has to be endless scrolling on BookTok. As an avid book lover, this type of content just speaks to me.

    Best training course/session – As I’m still quite new to the industry, I haven’t attended many training courses yet! There are a few technical courses that I have my eye on and hoping to take to continue to grow and upskill in the field.

    Your mentor – Starting off in the industry when I joined EssenceMediacom, I received a lot of mentorship from the Head of Content and Partnerships, Jess Hope. From the get-go, she has been a positive influence on my growth in work where she has the ability to drive creativity while providing support. I admire her creativity and empathy, and consistently look to her for a great example of leadership.  

    Hot medium or show – While not the newest development, I think streaming platforms in general just continue to change how we consume film and TV. I am a big film enthusiast so seeing the streaming service productions and speed at which new films and TV are now at your fingertips is so interesting.

    Favourite media event – Again, as I am so new to the industry, I haven’t had attended many media events but looking forward to a few exciting opportunities coming up to do so.

    Career goal for 2024 – I’d really love to be involved in a project from start to finish that is nominated for a media industry award. With so many exciting upcoming projects and clients, I am hopeful this could be a reality!

    To take part in future editions of Meeting of the Minds please email: ab@mediaweek.com.au

    For past editions of Meeting of the Minds see here

    See also: EssenceMediacom names Rohan Nayee as client managing partner for Commonwealth Bank of Australia

    Top image: Meeting of the Minds – EssenceMediacom’s Tara Iwamoto and Rhea Anand

    The post Meeting of the Minds: EssenceMediacom’s Tara Iwamoto and Rhea Anand appeared first on Mediaweek.

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