Danica Berjanovic – Account Manager @ OMD Australia

1. Before we dive into your role at OMD Australia, what has your career journey looked like so far?

Like most people in media, I didn’t know what media agencies were before I worked in one! I completed an undergrad bachelor’s degree in Business and Psychology, in my final year of university I took on the role of Marketing Manager for TEDxMacquarieUni. 

I had no prior knowledge of how to do event marketing and only took a few marketing units throughout my studies, I ended up loving every step of the process – asking questions like ‘how are we going sell X number amount of tickets’, ‘what’s the creative direction’ and ‘what are the best media channels to get our name out there’. 

Fast forward 5 years, an internship and a few role changes, I still get to ask similar questions everyday as part of my current job.

2. Transitioning into work, what the heck does an Account Manager @ OMD Australia do?

What is OMD Australia?

OMD Australia is the leading marketing and communications agency. It’s part of the OMD family which opens up a lot of doors both locally and internationally.

What do Account Managers do at OMD Australia?

Account Manager is a pretty broad term that changes depending on what agency you work in really. I like to think of it as a jack-of-all-trades

On any given day you wear the hat of a project manager, a connector, a negotiator, a media planner, a data wizard and occasionally even tech support for your team.

A friend of mine once said ‘our role is to make brands more human’ and that’s something I try to emulate in every piece of work our team delivers.

What does your role specifically entail?

I’m currently leading a passionate team of go-getters on the Rebel account, Australia’s largest sports retailer. No day is the same, which is cliche but it’s true. 

Campaign planning and insights is a big part of my role (and the fun part), that means understanding consumer insights, briefing out publishers, speaking with trading partners to get the best outcome for the client brief. There are a lot of stakeholders involved, on client side and also across states as we work closely with the OMD Brisbane team.

3. What’s a campaign you’ve worked with on in your currently role and how have you helped bring them to life?

Campaign Name: Rebel 2021 Basketball campaign

What was it?

Increasing Rebel brand awareness and authority within the basketball category.

What was your role?

Asking questions like – how do consumers interact with this category, what is the opportunity for rebel, what channels do we use to communicate with the target audience.

We ended up doing some great partnerships with the likes of ESPN, Twitch and Pedestrian!

4. What do the entry level pathways for account managers in a media agency look like?

A lot of people get hung up on the idea of making it big early, at university there was always fierce competition around getting into the best company, getting into the grad program or summer internships. Remove the pressure and take small steps to reach your goal. 

Read job descriptions of your ideal role (i.e. a head of marketing – aim high) and understand what are the skills you’re going to need to get to that position, this is your long term career goal. 

Then find an internship or a media assistant role within an agency, if you have siblings or friends that are already in the industry, don’t be afraid to reach out to them. Once you’re in, this is the time when you can work with different types of teams, get a chance to experience different types of ‘media’ before you decide if it’s the right fit for you. I’d recommend going for a generalist role rather than something really specific if you don’t know where to start. 

Pending that you’ve nailed the above; 

  • Be proactive and look at ways you can build your circle of influence within your team, in the agency or industry level 
  • Attending training and forever learning, most agencies have great internal opportunities and wider industry initiatives like NGEN or publisher training courses like the Google Certificate. 
  • Prioritise your wellbeing, being junior in the industry, try not to burn the candle at both ends. Learn to manage upwards, know when you need to prioritise work life vs. social life. Get clear on your values and set up good personal boundaries early on.

What are the other specialisations in a media agency?

Within an agency like OMD that is a full service agency you can go into many different specialisations; including Investment & Trading, Digital Activations, Partnerships or Content teams.

5. What’s one thing you recommend someone who wants to work in a media agency do right now?

Your first role is probably not going to be the endgame role, think of your first year in media as a work gap year – try as many different things as possible. 

Put your hand up to help with data, sit in on a creative ideation, help the strategist do the deck layout. Little things like that are windows of opportunity to help you understand what sparks passion and what you’d rather stay clear of. If a role or company culture just doesn’t sit right with you, don’t be afraid to be agile and move quickly.

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