Young Lions share some personal thoughts ahead of Cannes

Dentsu's 2019 batch of under-30 talent talk everything past, present and future (in a surprisingly wise fashion).

Take two minutes out of your day to step into the minds of these young, hungry Lions.

This is Dentsu Aegis Network’s 2019 crop of under-30 talent heading to Cannes following a competition that spanned the entire holding company.

Agency wranglers pulled them together to answer some random, quick fire (and personal) questions about life in advertising.

Read. Enjoy. Learn their faces. Buy them rosé on the Croisette.

Name: Alex Brezzi
Title: Associate Director of Strategy
Brand: Carat
Location: NYC

Best career advice ever received? 
The things that you do outside of the office make your work more interesting. Especially with a role in strategy, it is important to try new things and meet new people. The passions you have outside of the office allow you to bring fresh perspectives to your role. Ultimately, it makes you more effective.  

Professional struggles that you've overcome and how?
Building confidence. This is something I am constantly working at. I remind myself that even the most senior people struggle at times. It is important to always have your own opinion, and this helps me build on my confidence.  

Name one person who’s been a great mentor to you.
We have amazing female leadership across DAN. It has been wonderful to celebrate this collective group of women over the last few years. My mentors include: Sarah Stringer, head of innovation at Carat  and Hayley Paas, head of strategy at Carat.

Name: Corina Li
Title: Associate Director, Communications Planning and Digital Activation
Brand: dentsuX 
Location: Brooklyn

Best career advice ever received?
You are responsible for your own career. In each stage of your career there is a piece that sticks with you.  There are going to be sponsors, advocates and mentors, but ultimately you are the one responsible for your learning and crossing the finish line.  

Professional struggles that you've overcome and how?
I’m a perfectionist. I learned to lean on my team rather than try to do it all.

Most memorable campaign you've worked on?
I think I will always have heart for campaigns that gave me a lot of stress and headaches. Those are the ones where you are working day and night to overcome struggles. While it’s taxing, these are the most fulfilling.

Name: Corinne Youakim
Title: Client Lead
Brand: iProspect
Location: Canada

Best career advice ever received?
Being a good person and a good people manager is the only achievement worth one’s time and worth. You go a lot further having those traits.  

Name one person that's been a great mentor to you.
My dad. I do get influenced and have great role models at Dentsu Aegis Network. But every decision I make and all the advice I receive comes from my dad. He was a very successful architect and is very career driven. I get a lot of help and advice from him.  

Why advertising? 
As I worked on my double major (business and political science), I took a marketing course and I realized that I wanted to  specialize in it. I am interested in how marketing and advertising connects people and how it is always around us. It’s important to think: How are you listening to your audience? How are you going to influence them? It plays a big role in everyone’s life. I find this really fascinating. The way you position a brand can really change the perception. There is a lot of psychology involved.  

What advice would you give to recent college grads starting their career?
Definitely do not chase the money, but chase the knowledge and experiences. You won’t really see the full impact if you keep jumping jobs, and when you stay in one place you are faced with more situations and you learn to overcome them. You build knowledge and responsibly. Eventually the money will come!  

Name: Justin Earley
Title: Associate Creative Director
Brand: First Born
Location: NYC

Favorite/most purposeful campaign you've worked on?
"Stories that Surround You." It’s a clever concept. When you listen to an audio book, it takes you to a completely different world. It was a true 360 campaign and we got to work with a client,, who was willing to take the risk. 

What advice would you give to recent college grads starting their career?
Any time anyone asks me for advice, I always say to make yourself indispensable. Make yourself the  person you can count on. Learn more about the work than anyone else. Make yourself the go-to-person when anyone has a question. Don’t be afraid to stay the late night – people notice that you’re someone who wants to grow. 

Personal passions?
Any and all sports. I’m a huge soccer fan. I read a ton; I love books. I’m also part of the beer brewing crew at Firstborn -- we brew our own beers! 

Name: Marty Knuth
Title: Associate Art Director
Brand: mcgarrybowen
Location: Chicago

Best career advice ever received?
It was to go to portfolio school and quit my old job.

Professional struggles that you've overcome and how?
I think just starting out was very hard. I had to go through a few different internships, not knowing if I would be around and have a job at the end of it. This made me work hard because I wanted to succeed so badly. Just keeping a positive mindset got me to where I’m at now.  

What do you hope to take away from Young Lions Academy?
I just want to learn as much as I can from the people there and experience that creativity in a different way. I want to come back super inspired to make great work and take my career to the next level.  

Name: Gerardo Mendoza González
Title: Strategic Manager
Brand: Dentsu Aegis Network Media
Location: Mexico

Professional struggles that you've overcome and how?
Many people point to our generation (Millennials) as lazy people with a lack of experience. However, I fought against those prejudices by creating results. 

What advice would you give to recent college grads starting their career?
Take advantage of every moment because this instant is the only thing we have for sure. Learn from people, get the most out of the tools and remember that few people have the fortune to dedicate themselves to what they like the most. 


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