TBWA Sydney group account director and AdSchool Digital Strategy & Experience Design graduate Camilla Stapley says she fell into the industry by accident (originally wanting to be a chef) but after completing the AdSchool Digital Strategy course and reaching some of her career goals she is not looking back!

TCC: How long have you been in the industry and in your current role?

CS: I started as an Account Executive back in 2006 and I’ve been a Group Account Director at
TBWA Sydney for the last 18 months.

TCC: What is your degree in?

CS: Busted. I don’t actually have a full degree. I have an Advanced Diploma in Marketing and Public Relations. I studied from 9-5 every day for a year to get it done as quickly as possible to start earning money.

TCC: What is the best thing about your job and being in the industry?

CS: Cliché I know, but it really is all about the people. Nowhere else do you get to work so closely with such a weird and incredibly talented group of people. I learn something new from someone every day and laugh a LOT! There are some pretty entertaining people in this industry.

TCC: What made you want to get into the industry?

CS: It was by accident actually. Originally, I wanted to be a chef! I knew I was strong in communication and relationships back in school so wanted to give Public Relations a go but quickly worked out that advertising was more my thing. I got a lucky break through a friend who I went to
school with and the rest is history as they say. Time has seriously flown.

TCC: What are your wider career goals?

CS: I had a goal to be an Account Director by the time I was 30 when I first started in advertising. I actually made it to Group Account Director by that age so I’m still in a bit of shock with where I am.

But in all seriousness, my bigger career goals right now are to fight my fears. To do all the things that fear has held me back on in the past. Might sound silly but you can get away with avoiding certain things career wise up until a point. This year is about pushing into those fears so I can build a better me for now and in the future. Work in progress.

TCC: Who do you look up to in the industry?

CS: My Dad. He is an incredible role model to me and is 100% dedicated in everything he does. He worked his way to the top in one company and was with them 40+ years! He is retired now and can’t sit still.

Secondly, Dan Saxby, CEO of Iris Worldwide. I was working for him while in London. He pushed me outside of my comfort zones (a
lot) and I hated him for it at times, but he always backed me and gave me an opportunity to shine in front of the right people. It made me a much better person at my job. There have obviously been plenty more but I only have so much space to write.

TCC: What are your main sources of career inspiration?

CS: The Hustle – great read on tech and business news and written in a way that’s unconventional, so it is easier to digest daily.

Love a good Podcast, also. Right now I’m listening to all things Hidden Brain but I get my inspiration from everywhere, including friends, family, colleagues, shopping centres, news, fashion, movies, shows and music.

Being curious keeps things interesting for me and clients.

TCC: What motivates you on both a daily basis and to keep striving towards your goals?

CS: It’s amazing the feeling you get when you accomplish things at work. Be it a small new business win, finding a new way to do something, or a big presentation in front of loads of people. Once you get through it there is nothing like that buzz you feel. That, and my very supportive fiancé who is my biggest advocate and gives me a pep-talks daily, keeps me motivated.

TCC: What made you want to do the AdSchool Digital Strategy & Experience Design course?

CS: I was asked to fill in for a colleague who couldn’t attend and jumped at the opportunity. It’s a good way to really validate what you know already and to give you a variety of different approaches to solve business problems with.

TCC: What was the best thing about it?

CS: Seeing everyone’s brilliant thinking and presentations at the end. It just shows you the practicality of the course, among other things.

TCC: What was the number one thing you were able to apply in your day to day work?

CS: I’m going to list two but there were so many I could apply straight away. There are loads of different tools shared in the class you can take and use instantly.

The main one was around re-framing business problems to consumer problems. It’s so simple but puts a whole new perspective on the brief and why you’re doing what you’re doing.

Second, how to use prototypes and other visual tools to help bring your work to life and demonstrate the idea to sell it in.

TCC: What’s your passion outside of work?

CS: Friends, family, beach, travelling, people-watching, Buying linen (strange addiction), red wine and F45.