FROM BOOTCAMP TO STRATEGIST
Photographs by Andrew Pieroni
Last year, Miami Ad School Toronto invited 17 of the city’s most strategic minds to join its Strategy and Planning Bootcamp. One of those budding strategists was Ashmita Ray, who set her sights on a career in the field of strategy. Not only did this Strategy and Planning grad score a covered Strategy & Social internship at J. Walter Thompson Canada, but now she’s rocking a full time gig as a Business Analyst for the agency. To find out more about how Ashmita went from strategy thinker to an business guru, we sat down with her to talk about Miami Ad School, her love of Toronto, and her favourite office snacks.
TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF AND WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO MIAMI AD SCHOOL TORONTO?
I like to call myself a global citizen who has a passion for understanding human behaviour. Growing up in multiple countries, I was immersed in different cultures where I had the opportunity to learn and adapt to different communities. Because of this, I always found the advertising industry to be fascinating as it tapped into understanding the desires, fears and aspirations of people. With this, Miami Ad School Toronto to be provided an exciting, new-age educational opportunity to enhance my skills for the industry and gain insightful tips that would lead me to better understand the art of influence.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THE STRATEGY & PLANNING BOOTCAMP?
The advertising industry is constantly changing and with that I believe that the importance of strategy is becoming more relevant. Increasingly, people are becoming weary and distrustful of advertising. Therefore, it is important to truly understand the consumer and their relations to a brand to creative effective advertising. The role of the strategy and planning is to try and connect a brand to the consumer in a meaningful way that benefits both parties. This, in itself, is quite interesting to me and I was very intrigued in obtaining a solid skill set that would allow me to enhance my strategic thinking.
WHAT WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON YOU LEARNED?
Don’t take everything so personally. Just because your idea dies, it’s not the end of the world. Learn from it, move on, and improve.
WHAT’S THE BEST PART OF YOUR NEW ROLE?
The best part of my new role is being in the presence of great minds and learning first-hand from the multitude of people, resources, and opportunities that JWT has to offer. I am very thankful and fortunate that my short time in the industry started form being taught by Canada’s leading strategists to working with a globally renowned agency. As a proud strategy and planning grad, I look forward to learning as much as I can and seeing where this journey takes me.
HOW DO YOU SPEND YOUR TIME OUTSIDE OF WORK?
I love trying new cuisines, reading satire articles, and re-watching episodes of The Office.
MOST UNDERRATED SPOT IN TORONTO?
Khao San Road. One of the only place that has satisfied my cravings for Thai food after leaving Bangkok.
OFFICE SNACKS: SALTY, SWEET, OR SPICY?
Sweet for a morning pick-me-up, salty for an afternoon snack and spicy to get a kick in the evenings.
WORDS OF WISDOM FOR ANYONE INTERESTED IN STRATEGY AND PLANNING?
Be curious about anything and everything!
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