Mindshare Unplugged: Meet Roya Zand

Every month, Mindshare Unplugged spotlights and interview rising stars across Mindshare North America – people who exemplify our core values of Grit, Provocation, Speed, and Collaboration. Say hello to Roya Zand, Supervisor of Strategic Planning in LA, and find out what makes her tick.

About Roya: A four-year media veteran, Roya has worked on a range of accounts (Direct Response, Liquor, Entertainment), but found her happy place among the LA office team. Born and raised in Manhattan, she attended the University of Michigan (GO BLUE!!), briefly returned to NYC after graduation, then went to LA for a wedding and never looked back.  4 and a half years later, she is still here enjoying the sunny beaches with her amazing friends. When she’s not knee deep in excel charts and pivot tables, she is either helping plan the next ThinkLA event,  blowing off steam boxing, going on hikes, traveling, and petting every dog she sees.

1) What inspired you go to into the media industry? 

The most common answer out there- I stumbled into this industry! I was a neuroscience/pre-med major in college, but after graduation, I did a complete 180, upended my life and moved out to California on a whim. I was working a couple of odd jobs for a year (flower crown company, real estate, you name it), and then I eventually heard about a job opening at a media agency….and decided to go for it! Timing really worked in my favor, because they had an open role, so I was offered the job on the spot. After meeting and working with amazing people, and getting to plan amazing campaigns, the rest is history!

2) What do you think is the most exciting thing happening in media right now? 

To me, the most exciting thing happening in media right now is the use of data and technology for cause marketing. I remember a few years ago I saw this campaign done in London, coinciding with International Women’s Day. Facial recognition was used to recognize when people were paying attention to the image of a bruised woman. As more people looked at the ad, her bruises and cuts healed faster, communicating the benefit of not turning a blind eye to the problem. It was the most creative and unique execution I’d ever seen, and has stuck with me ever since.. The industry has been putting a spotlight on societal issues more and more, and using both media and marketing for good.

3) What advice would you offer to people who are just starting out in this industry? 

Don’t compare yourself to colleagues or other people in the industry. Career dynamics are much different than when you were in high school/college, where everyone moves along the same path and has the same milestones. Once you graduate and start your career, all of that disappears, and people start moving at the beat of their own drum. You may see your peers starting out with “better” careers or getting promoted before you, but don’t let that get to you.  I repeat: DON’T LET THAT GET YOU. Chart your own course and you will be golden 🙂