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Meet the Female Frontier honorees: Nia Martin

We chat to the Initiative star about rising to the top

Martin is Initiative’s associate director, client advice & management and one of Campaign US’ Female Frontier 2020 honorees for ‘rising to the top’. Here, we find out who inspires her and why she always carries a notepad.

Can you sum up your journey in less than five words? 
Perseverance is (the) key to success.

What’s your one professional rule? Have you ever broken it?
Being prompt and prepared. I always make it a point to go into any conversation, meeting, presentation or event with a pen and notepad. You never know when you’ll need to quickly jot something down. I have definitely broken this rule a few times throughout my career and had to rely on memory… not fun. 

How did you feel when you saw your name on Campaign’s Female Frontier’s winner’s list?
I was surprised, elated and lost for words. My first thought was this honor and recognition is nothing but God’s work. Looking at the fellow esteemed and accomplished women in advertising, marketing and communications names next to mine was truly an achievement in my book. 

What three qualities do you need to be successful? 
Ambition – having a strong desire to be the best version of myself which instills the confidence and desire to succeed in anything I do. 

Resiliency – being accountable for my actions and responsibilities and learning and growing from the mistakes, obstacles and transgressions that I have encountered and am bound to encounter in my personal and professional environments. 

Patience – being patient with my failures and frustrations and understanding that everything happens for a reason and in due time. You’ll know when it’s your season. 

How does the culture at your organization help you to thrive? 
Our agency culture transcends throughout our relationships with our clients, partners and teams which enables us to execute and deliver the best work possible. Not only does the infusion of culture benefit my professional role but also opens the doors to opportunities to be a part of organizations like Culture Club and IPG Mediabrands Diversity and Inclusion Groups that are focused on programs, tools and skills that help cultivate a sense of belonging and inclusion. 

If we took your boss out for a drink, how would she/he describe you? 
She would describe me as cool, calm and collected but most of all as diligent, thorough, discerning and confident. 

If we took your team out for a drink, how would they describe you?
As an outgoing, articulate, confident individual that can handle whatever is thrown her way. 

Who's your biggest inspiration and why?
My biggest inspiration is my family but more specifically my parents. I strive to be the best I can be to show my family that I’ve absorbed every lesson, piece of advice, words of encouragement and love they’ve provided to me. At the end of the day, I just want to make my mother and father proud of the black girl they’ve raised to be a strong black woman. 

What advice would you give to someone entering the industry? Any tips for success you'd like to share?

  • Always ask questions no matter the level of simplicity or complexity. Someone in the room is more than likely inquiring about the same thing. 

  • Build your networking portfolio and retain those relationships both in and out of your profession/ industry.

  • Expand your comfort zone beyond what you "think" is achievable for yourself. Make a point to volunteer, engage with peers you normally wouldn’t, interact and join different groups/organizations to gain different perspectives. 

What’s the most important thing you’ve learnt so far in your career?
Experience takes time, and that the pressure you put on yourself can be far greater than the pressure you perceive from others. 

What is your ultimate career goal?
My ultimate career goal is to continue to hold leadership roles and responsibilities and to feed and grow my passion for marketing through brand management. 

What would you like your legacy to be? And what would you hate it to be?
I would like people to remember me for being passionate about what and who I loved and that my integrity and character shaped the person I became to be. I’d hope that I left a positive impact/ presence in their lives and they remember the caring, funny, care-free Nia.  


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