Lisa Pickett, Account Director
1. You did it! You’re part of AKQA the world's most awarded digital agency. How did that happen?
I came to AKQA very early on in my career – as an account executive working on Nike Women in our London office. After college I enrolled on as many summer schools and grad schemes I could to gain as much experience as possible. While I was on one of these graduate schemes, I was lucky enough to have a friend who knew someone who worked at AKQA and I asked if they were looking for any entry level roles – turns out they were, and I managed to get an interview and got the job.
Joining AKQA at that stage in my career was a baptism of fire in many respects, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way, and I’ve been here ever since.
2. What challenges or hurdles have you overcome along the way?
I’ve learned that most things worth doing are deceivingly hard and will always encounter hurdles & challenges - at the time they seem impossible, but looking back they have been some of the defining points in my career.
I’ve been in multiple situations where I’ve had no ‘template’ or brief to follow, other than ‘get it done’ which has been challenging, and at times marginally terrifying. Whether that was being out in Manilla as an account manager (i.e. pretty junior!) helping produce a reality TV basketball series for 3 months (never having been to Manilla, worked in film, or spoke a word of the local language), or figuring out a use case (and then how to build) one of the first Alexa skills in the UK for the launch of the Echo (before there was even such a role as ‘voice architect’), to name but a few.
While these were definitely stressful, and at times seemingly impossible, I have picked up some invaluable life lessons along the way – no matter how junior you are, it is up to you to make sure your role is more than ‘the note taker’ (so make sure you listen and learn as much as possible to contribute meaningfully); no one expects you to know it all – the only stupid question is one you’ve asked before, and having a great attitude goes a REALLY long way in getting the job done.
3. What do you hope to see changing in the future for women?
I hope to see more women in positions of power to help ensure that this wave of positive momentum continues and is impactful. Also to encourage and inspire the next generation of female talent to continue redefining the face of this industry. I was extremely lucky when I started out to work amazing senior female talent, who encouraged me to speak up and push to be considered for any opportunity I felt I was appropriate for or would benefit from.
I’d also love to see a more equal spread of women across all disciplines as having a female perspective across all fields is invaluable if we are to create relevant and meaningful work that appeals to real people vs. boardroom execs.