IAA Serbian Chapter
Ljubica Vukčević, Direct Media Insight Analyst and a member of the IAA Young Professionals Section, gave an interview for IAA Serbian Chapter.
MEET YP: LJUBICA VUKČEVIĆ, DIRECT MEDIA, INSIGHT ANALYST
Ljubica Vukčević has been a member of our Section since the establishment of the YP Serbian Chapter and she was a member of the IAA Young professionals Steering Committee from 2012 to 2014. This year she was awardedglobal recognition for her contribution to the work of this association; the award given by IAA Worldwide: IAA Inspire Award – Young Leader.
Ljubica is an optimistic and cheerful person who believes that anything is possible because where there’s a will there’s a way. Ljubica works in the Direct Media Agency in Serbia as an Insight Analyst.
We talked to her and learned how she began her career and what is she doing now.
IAA YP: Where did it all start, how did you end up in the world of advertising?
Ljubica: How did I end up in the world of advertising? – I can’t tell myself. I enrolled in the Faculty of Dramatic Arts (FDA) believing that I would work in theatre production. However, as time went by, I studied different subjects and realised that I was getting more and more interested in marketing. During the third year of our studies we had the subject Advertising Agencies’ Business (or just Advertising) and we had an assignment to visit an agency and write a paper about it. So I went to OMD – this would be also a funny story to tell – why did I go to a Media planning agency despite the fact I was studying at FDA faculty partly so as to get away from numbers . I liked everything I had seen there very much, so I asked their director at the time, Ivana Uspenski, if I could continue visiting them and learn more. And so it was – for the following three months I would come to the agency and learn and by March 2010 I was already working their part-time and I had stayed there until I went to London to do my MA studies in October 2011.
IAA YP: You have studied at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts, how was this particular formal education helpful to you later on?
Ljubica: Although at first it might not make sense, I am truly convinced that people who want to work in advertising – would find FDA a right choice. Apart from subjects which have marketing and advertising in their programme – I am almost certain that FDA is the only faculty where you will learn, for example, about GRP (gross rating point) – and as a student of production itself you will acquire excellent skills for this kind of job.
IAA YP: After you had received your BA, you went to London to study for an MA. What was this experience like?
Ljubica: London was an amazing experience! As for the skills I learned on my Master studies, they might not have been that important for the job itself upon my return to Serbia, but I definitely have found them useful since they give me a different perspective on things and have shown me how much I can learn and that I will still have to.
IAA YP: You had an opportunity to work in the research sector, first in Serbia and then in an agency in London?
Ljubica: As for the job in London, that was really an indispensable experience. With the help of the director of Belgrade OMD at the time (whom I have already mentioned) – Ivana Uspenski, I got in touch with the central office of the agency in London, hoping for a part-time job as an additional income. But what I got was beyond my wildest dreams. So much more! With the position of Research Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa, my job responsibilities were significantly higher and that additionally inspired me to learn and work more than I knew I could – besides, I got an opportunity to work with colleagues and clients from around the world and I was able to see how they work and think. That was an inspirational year, indeed!
IAA YP: How does business culture and working in agencies in the UK differ from the ones here and can you make a short comparison for us?
Ljubica: Basically, the biggest difference is that in London you have more working tools and a lot of money is being invested into research itself, whilst here, if I am not wrong, there is no recognition, neither among the agencies nor the clients about how important this sector is as regards communication. The lack of tools in Serbia might not be all that bad – at least it forces us to be creative, so we create our own tools and find the solutions.
IAA YP: You are working in Direct Media Agency as an Insight Analyst now. What does this job involve? What are your challenges?
Ljubica: I have been working in Direct Media for 5 years and for the last three as an Insight Analyst. In principle, my job is to be the link between the Research and Strategic Planners and Account Managers so everything that we would find out about the media, target groups or anything else that client might need, we would investigate and transform into practical conclusions that would be further used by Accounts and Planners.
IAA YP: You often mention how you had great mentors in your career, so can you tell us how did this influence your personal and professional development?
Ljubica: I was really lucky to find good mentors wherever I went. I think that people see the eternal nerd student in me, so they enjoy teaching me. I always try to learn new things, to observe those whose work I consider good so I could maybe apply what they are doing. I believe this is priceless.
IAA YP: You became a mother a few months ago. Do you think that 21st century woman can have “everything”? How do you see the development of your career now?
Ljubica: Uh, I think the main question here is what does each of us mean by “everything”. I think there is huge pressure on women (and men too) to live up to as many social roles as they can – to be a good child, good employee, wife, mother, a good friend,… – but I don’t think that playing any of the roles perfectly – even all of them – means “having everything”. I believe we can have everything (except some extra time) only when we clearly know what will make us feel complete and when we reject the pressure to fight for something that we actually do not want. As for the motherhood, to be honest, I had no idea how wonderful it would be and how good I would feel. At this moment I am not thinking about my future career too much and when I am off work I am trying to be a parent who is 100% present.
IAA YP: Just recently you received global recognition of the IAA Young Leader for your contribution to work of the IAA and you have made all of us very proud! 🙂 What was this award process like and what are your future plans and steps in the Association?
Ljubica: Thank you! I was actually not aware that I was nominated – Jovan Vujović was working behind my back – and it was a surprise to me when they told me that I had won the award. I am deeply fond of this award – firstly, because I was nominated by someone whom I really hold in high regard and secondly that I received this award during my pregnancy leave when you believe everyone has forgotten about you. As for my plans in the Association, my membership in YP will end this year, so I am waiting for the election in order to get into the senior part of the section. Then we will see what will happen next.
IAA YP: What does IAA membership mean to you? What would be your message to young members at the beginning of their careers?
Ljubica: It is interesting that just like London – the YP section has exceeded all my expectations! When we had meetings before it was established and when we thought about what the section should be doing, I believed that we would be a small group of enthusiasts, who would hang out, exchange experiences to some degree and that would be it. And now, after all these years, I think that YP membership was really a good decision. There were so many useful lectures and workshops and I have met some really great people – so I can’t think of what more could I have got from this membership. As for the advice to younger colleagues, I think that they should get engaged in the section as much as they can, since just like with everything in life– “the love you take is equal to the love you make”.