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Ad land’s Young Guns: Shreya Natasha Shah, FCB Ulka

With 2 years of experience in advertising, Shreya is a Senior Copywriter at FCB Ulka, Delhi. Shreya first ventured into advertising when she was completing her Bachelor’s in Mass Media from St.Xavier’s College, Mumbai. However, with an ardent interest in human behaviour and the ability to influence it through writing, Advertising, always seemed like a natural fit.

How did you get into the role you are serving?
I was always inclined towards writing. When I was 13, my mother confiscated my phone, and I wrote a poem portraying my love for it. The funny thing is that it actually worked! And I got my phone back. I absolutely loved the feeling that my words changed behaviour. Since then, I always knew I wanted to get into communications. But I remember the exact day that I decided to become a copywriter. I was in college when I attended a seminar by Keigan Pinto on copywriting. I remember the entire time I was just jumping on my seat, I was so excited because what he described was exactly what I wanted to do! 

What particular skill sets do you think you bring to the table?
Passion. I love what I do, and that is what motivates me to give a 150% in what I do. 

How did FCB Ulka come about?
FCB is doing some really great work and that is what attracted me to apply. But after my interviews, it was the people I met that made me want to come and work with them right away! 

Icons in this field you look up to and how they have influenced you and your work?
There are so many! It is the ads that I’ve seen growing up as a kid that made me want to join advertising – Piyush Pandey, Swati Bhattacharya, Arun Iyer – they’ve made ads that I never changed the channel for, and I think that’s what it’s all about. At the end of the day, advertising is an interruption, but with the kind of work they do, they make us want to be interrupted!  

What are the five most productive things that you do in your everyday routine?

  • Check out new stuff to see what’s happening in the industry.
  • Scroll through social media for a bit to see what’s trending.
  • Read articles on Quora! They are quite interesting and insightful.
  • Talk to people to get different perspectives.
  • And most importantly – I allow my brain to rest for a bit

Do you think a career in this field is a viable one in the long term?
Definitely! Advertising isn’t going anywhere, but it evolves every day. So, long term is certainly viable as long as we evolve with it too. 

What does it take to succeed in a career?
I do not know, because I haven’t reached there yet, but my mother always tells me “It’s your attitude and not your aptitude that determines your altitude!” So, that’s the advice I am following for now. 

What would be your advice to youngsters planning to enter this industry?
Don’t expect great things quickly. I think as millennials we are so used to instant gratification that we expect that early in our careers as well. But reaching anywhere takes time, patience and hard work. And in the meantime, it’s important to stay self-motivated. 

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
In office, racking my brains over a brief. 

Is there any organisation that you would like to work with in the future?
I honestly believe it is the people that matter and not the organization. As long as the people around me are inspiring and continue to push me, I’ll be more than happy to be anywhere.

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