“Know who you are,” Shreya Kushari from OMD USA

Welcome to the Pass the Mic and the Defining Moment series. We’re giving powerful women in the industry the opportunity to make the world their mentee. These rockstars are joining us to share their stories and sage advice with up-and-coming women.

Meet

Shreya Kushari, Chief Client Officer at OMD USA. She’s responsible for transforming client leadership practices and continues to bring innovation while maintaining sight of clients needs. Shreya was awarded the Adweek Media All-Star Top 15 Most Innovative in Media and the She Runs It Changing the Game Award.

Shreya stopped by our podcast booth at Advertising Week New York for a Pass the Mic interview. She shared her experiences coming to the US and the lessons she learned along the way as she grew into her current role. Take a listen and gain some knowledge (we even highlighted the takeaways to make it stick).

Spend time reflecting on priorities.

Spend Time Reflecting on Priorities, Shreya Kushari – Pass the Mic
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“Career advice for women coming up in the industry: really know who you are. Spend that time self-reflecting on what is your priority, and then those priorities will change with time. But just be very self-aware as you navigate the realities of being in this extremely tough business that we are in.” – Shreya Kushari

Let defining moments lead you.

Let Defining Moments Lead You, Shreya Kushari – Pass the Mic
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“The honest truth is that I never thought I was any different from anyone else until I was told so. And so, I went through life thinking I was an equal to everyone. [I] did not even think of my color or my gender as I went through the immigrant experience, of being a woman, or being in media, or putting in late nights, or coming in early, I'm a mother of two, so going through all the motions that anybody else would go through.

I think my first experience of accepting this fact was a career-defining moment. When I was very senior in my career and I happened to question a statement by a senior client, and it was so unnerving for him that I was asked off the business. And that was truly a negative experience, a career-defining moment, but also an understanding of the social dynamics and where you fit into the equation. It was also a time where I questioned, 'Who are your friends? Where should you work?' And it kind of led to a lot of decisions to where I am today.” – Shreya Kushari

Pick your battles.

Pick Your Battles, Shreya Kushari – Pass the Mic
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“The fact of the matter is that there are different people with different ambitions, and different goals, and priorities in life. And no matter who you are and whatever place you come from, you can get portrayed in a way that you may not choose to be, and you have no control over that. So, pick your battles. Know what you can choose, and know what you need to walk away from. Also, as you make those decisions, it is a testament to who stands by you and who walks away from you. So, remember those moments and look for those characteristics of the people that you work with.” – Shreya Kushari

Go the extra mile.

Go the Extra Mile, Shreya Kushari – Pass the Mic
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“First and foremost, I would say that, and I say this to everyone, the bar is always higher than the average. So, work harder. Put in that extra effort. Look for details. Don't look at your watch. Choose the person that you want to spend the rest of your life with. Don't make that person your albatross. And just go that extra mile always. And never question things like, 'So what if she is your boss? Get a cup of coffee for her. It's not going to hurt your ego.'” – Shreya Kushari

We’re so glad Shreya went the extra mile to join us for Pass the Mic. If you’re ready for even more great advice, there’s

more inspiring content waiting for you.