Welcome to The Journey Talk with Rafa Uccello! Here we talk to young marketing professionals about their career journey, aspirations and inspirations. Get to know more about the people that are shaping the future of our industry.


This week, we chatted with Emme Anderson, a client strategist at Nielsen, who came to Canada to attend university, with the hope she can make a fresh in building a new career path.

Name: Emme Anderson

Pronouns: She/her

Education: University of Toronto, Bachelor of Commerce – Management/Marketing

Industry: Digital Marketing & Data Management 

Favourite quote: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

—Eleanor Roosevelt

Guilty pleasures: The Bachelorette and ice cream—preferably at the same time.

Q: Did you have a career in mind when you started?

I’m originally from California, and I have dual citizenship. When deciding where I should go to school, my parents mentioned Canada. Many don’t realize how many good schools there are here. I knew I was interested in business & marketing, and U of T had a great program. I wanted a fresh start from high school, so moving to Toronto felt like the right choice.

Q: At what point did you know what career you wanted, and what you wanted to achieve?

A: I knew I liked business, math and economics; my mom also works in the marketing industry. I was not sure specifically which path I wanted to follow within that industry, so I was looking at school programs with different options. Mid-way through university, one of my courses had a project where we had to talk about our career plans. We had to pick a dream job, explain why it was our dream job, and which steps we were going to take to achieve it. I pondered it for two weeks and thought about what I wanted to do with my life. I wrote it all down; this definitely helped me find some guidance.

Q: What is something impactful that you learned?

A: I think that not everybody you meet through school or work will think the same way as you. This can be from their work styles to the way they communicate. I started noticing this in University where you have to work in a group of people you have never met before and may not share the same vision as you. You have to learn how to easily adapt in order to work more effectively with people. With work, I’m constantly meeting new people; having those interactions during university, definitely helped prepare me for that. You need to figure out the best way you can adapt to different situations; to be more efficient.

Q: What is one thing you wish you knew when starting your career in marketing?

A: I wish I knew that you don’t need to be perfect at everything all the time. When I started, I was nervous and wanted to do everything, perfectly. If I received constructive feedback from someone, I would still take it negatively; I thought that I wasn’t performing well. However, perhaps I merely made a minor error, and the feedback was a way for my team to help me grow and learn. In the marketing industry, for example, it’s not only your particular job or the projects you work on, that might go through constant change. Consequently, it’s common to make mistakes and have to learn new things on a regular basis. With COVID, all of us went through multiple changes in a short period of time; we all had to learn how to adapt—quickly! It’s ok to make mistakes; you just have to stand tall and learn from them.

Q: What keeps you motivated and inspired in your professional life?

A: That is definitely a hard one. Of course, there are days I’m unmotivated. I live alone in an apartment, so the transition from in-office work to remote work, due to COVID, was definitely an adjustment. You go from seeing people every day, to being very isolated. I do have a cat that keeps me company, though!

I don’t feel like I need validation from other people but I really love when I get positive feedback—everyone does! This can be from a manager, or conversely, someone I can help. But in the end, if I am able to provide them with a good solution they’re happy with, it gives me validation; it motivates me with my day-to-day tasks.

I enjoy being around my team and collaborating in person. If we were to go back to in-office working, I would definitely like it, even though I got used to work from home. Online meetings can be a bit distancing without the in-person connection. My team and I want to make ourselves available so the people that we are working with can connect with us.

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