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In Conversation with 360i’s Linda Ferrara

360i’s Linda Ferrara, VP business affairs and talent management, shares how a career in advertising beat out her childhood dream job of becoming the first female jockey and why empathy is her superpower

In Conversation with 360i’s Linda Ferrara

360i's latest employee spotlight explores how 360i’s Business Affairs builds relationships with departments to prevent major project roadblocks through Linda Ferrara. Then she gives us the skinny on SAG puppeteers, ongoing education and why offering alternative solutions to creatives have been some recent career hallmarks. 


Q> How would you explain your job to a small child? 

Linda> Perhaps a logical explanation for a child is to compare my role to that of the schoolyard game traffic cop. I am the lead role, and everyone must follow my rules to safely get across the street. I must let the team and individuals know what rules we need to follow in a project to get across the street. Sometimes you must stay in place, lose a turn or go back to your original position so everyone can eventually move to the next area and get to your destination. 

 

Q> Tell us about your favourite project you’ve worked on and why? 

Linda> I have had a lot of enjoyable and challenging projects over the years and many clients that I've worked on, but I would say my most challenging projects completed years ago were working with high level SAG puppeteers on a campaign for a major sporting event. It was a short timeline, and many late nights and weekends were spent trying to work with a major company that had a lot of rules. We had to deal with agents and several puppeteers while trying to logistically work out how to shoot this and arrange the puppets in a confined space. It was fun because we came across many obstacles and had to work with another agency. The fun part was learning how the puppeteers operate and how expensive it is to ship and clean the puppets. Overall, it was a very interesting learning process. A more recent initiative was supervising a low budget project with a colleague that included a live stream event. The stream presented many challenges dealing with talent, working with a third-party signatory and figuring out logistics and insurance, but it had an extremely entertaining and successful outcome. 

 

Q> How is your job uniquely creative? 

Linda> My job is uniquely creative because many situations call for alternate solutions to offer to the creatives for consideration as work arounds to get a project through some legal or logistical, budgetary or talent related hurdles. Business Affairs is involved in every aspect of a project, from concept review to estimating and tracking budgets. We work with account teams on budget, with finance and AP on client and vendor payments, and with legal and outside resources vetting creative concepts, clearing third party property rights, and creating and reviewing all contracts. We also reconcile jobs and much more. Without Business Affairs and the relationships we foster with all departments, the projects would hit major roadblocks. 

 

Q> What is your biggest career accomplishment thus far? 

Linda> Overall, I don't think there is one big accomplishment, but rather a series of consistent development and on-going learning that has enabled me to contribute on many levels to the success of the agency in small and big ways. I have developed expertise in certain areas and historical knowledge that is not something that can be developed unless you have years of experience. 

 

Q> Tell us about your career path. Where did you start vs where you are now? 

Linda> I started in finance and moved up to a supervisory level. I wanted to be involved in the creative side of the business, so I moved over to Business Affairs and worked my way up from a business affairs coordinator to VP and head of business affairs. I learned every aspect of the production role, including hands on production, in house editing, supervising editing sessions externally, producing radio, all aspects of talent negotiation, booking, trafficking and becoming an expert in SAG and union contracts. I also studied all departments and how each plays a major role in a successful project. I have a broad-base but deep understanding of the industry and the players. 

 

Q> What advice would you give to your younger self?  

Linda> Education is a life-long experience, and the more you know, the more you must learn. Everyone and every experience, good or bad, plays a role in continued growth and development. Success has to be personally defined by you. Have patience, learn all you can every day and understand what your needs are to achieve balance in your life and your career, then work towards achieving it. If you are not happy with something in your life, it is your responsibility to do something to work towards improving it. No one else can do it for you. 

 

Q> What is something that inspires you? 

Linda> Basically, I'm a very empathetic person, so I am inspired by stories of people that are altruistic or have overcome obstacles in their lives to become an inspiration to others. I also have always had a great love of music since I find it evokes strong visual and emotional memories on every level more than any other medium. Music can be current and bring joy into the moment, but it also can bring you back to a time in your life that reminds you of people, places and experiences. I have a lot of interests and always find something to keep me engaged and busy. 

 

Q> What was the most interesting job you’ve ever had? 

Linda> I worked at the airport after school and on weekends during high school and college and was able to meet a lot of famous and interesting people While it was not my life-long career choice, it was a fun job and paid well for my age group at the time. Obviously, advertising was my career choice long term. 

 

Q> What was your dream job when you were younger? 

Linda> My childhood dream was to become the first female jockey! It remained a dream until I became a teenager only because I loved horses so much. 

 

Q> What TV show are you currently binging? 

Linda> 90 Day Fiancé 

 

Q> What is your secret superpower – Personal or professional? 

Linda> Empathy, patience and persistence 

 

Q> Bucket list item? 

Linda> Write a book. 

 

Q> If you could meet someone famous, who would that be? OR Have you ever met anyone famous? 

Linda> I've met a lot of famous people but not one that has managed to really impress me yet. 

 

Q> What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received? 

Linda> You inspire me to become a better person. 

 

Q> One thing that makes you happy. 

Linda> Finding family history on Ancestry.com 


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