Having joined Mediabrands four years ago, Julie Manchoulas has now been part of the Strategy Department for nine months.
“I’m a strategy director with a digital background. The work we carry out in this department is quite varied, but essentially we get involved during the brain-storming phase, providing assistance to agencies needing to deliver ideas to their clients.”
Julie enjoys furthering her development through her work. “For me, it’s very important to explore new ideas in the face of certain challenges. Having worked in several different areas and roles, I’m quite well rounded in my experience. This is undoubtedly one of my main strengths. What’s more, I’m more of a roll-up-your-sleeves kind of person. When given a challenge, I like to draw my own canvas, find the right route to achieve that goal and engage with my colleagues whose strengths are complementary to mine. I think the recipe to success combines out-of-the-box thinking and uniting forces around a common cause.”
Faced with her desire to move onwards and upwards, Julie was met with a great deal of understanding and respect. “I held numerous discussions regarding my need for a new challenge. Every time, I was greeted with an open mind, and I felt that we understood each other.”
From an early age, Julie has had a keen interest in art and decoration. “I’ve always loved it. I get a kick out of seeing how people can come up with such beautiful things.” Three years ago, she decided to try her own hand at it. “As I like to stay active, I enrolled for night classes in interior design. This allowed me to do something on the side that I was passionate about. I’ve always dreamt of being able to draw well and paint beautifully, despite not having those skills. Now I’ve found somewhere where I can still create, where I can still try out new ideas. For example, I recently put together a collection of children’s furniture by upcycling some tired-looking old furniture. This included four or five small chairs, together with a rocking horse, which I repaired, repainted and upholstered with self-designed fabrics.”
At Mediabrands, this new venture was well received, confirming what Julie sees as a level of open-mindedness that forms part of Mediabrands’ DNA. “It was an interesting reaction. It was told that this would give me more energy and vitamins. That this would give me even greater drive in my role at Mediabrands. In fact, it’s always seen as a positive when employees undertake their own side projects. Then, I realized that these two occupations actually feed one another. Let me explain. Some of my first decorative jobs were commissioned by ex-colleagues of mine. I suspect that they agree with my work ethic, such as recommending a cohesive whole, reassuring clients on their choices while pulling them out of their comfort zone a bit. On the other hand, interior design implies learning about different styles through time, history of art, etc. A certain level of general culture is essential when coming up with innovative strategies. So, while these two things may seem very different, to my mind, they actually complement each other!”