Executive Interview with Kahea Mark

Image Source: Kahea Mark

Kahea Mark is a recent Chapman University graduate who has taken on a role at OMG23, a new media agency under Omnicom that handles media planning and buying for Walt Disney Studios. Kahea works specifically on ABC Network and focuses on social platforms. I was excited to be able to speak further about her role as I am interested in both the entertainment industry and media planning and buying. Through our conversation, I gained deeper insight into the mentality of a recent graduate that has entered the workforce as well as a better understanding of different roles related to media planning and buying. 

Q: What was your major and minor while you were at Chapman?

A: I studied Public Relations and Advertising as my major and then I had a Political Science minor for a little bit because I really like business and international relations and thought I wanted to go into that, but then I made Documentary my minor.

Q: What is your current position and how did you find it?

A: The official title is called Search and Social Coordinator which is called that because it works specifically on their digital advertising, even more specifically on their paid media behind social platforms, as well as Google Search and Youtube. A recruiter reached out to me on Linkedin, and it was toward the end of my junior/senior year. I was job hunting, but I didn’t have anything on my Linkedin that said I was hunting. It was more just me organically applying to agencies, so it was a bit of a surprise. I honestly thought it was a scam, but at that point, I was so close to the end of the year, and I was really feeling the pressure of finding a job, so I thought “why not?” After sending her my resume they set up interviews, and that’s when I realized it was a real job. 

Q: What are some of the day-to-day responsibilities of your role?

A: ABC has all of these different titles and shows that premiere season over season, so the day-to-day varies based on what season they’re in. As a general overview, in each season they’re planning for the next season. Right now we are in what they call “mid-season” which is after their Fall premieres and before their Spring premieres. They have a couple Christmas things running, we did something for the AMAs, something for CMA Country Christmas. We are also preparing for the upcoming new and returning Spring shows that they want to promote. It is the preparatory season where you’re planning the budgets for that, planning out proposals for different social platforms, and we are also doing reporting from the Fall shows. That includes pulling out key insights and tracking how shows like Abbott Elementary, Grey’s Anatomy, and The Bachelor did throughout the season. After that, for my day-to-day tasks, I will go through the emails for discrepancies and see what I need to resolve with our billing team or I’ll work with some of the title leads on plans and budget breakdowns. It varies day-to-day, but a lot of it is resolving discrepancies and planning ahead. 

Q: What is the most exciting project that you’ve worked on or one of your favorite experiences?

A: Something that has been exciting for me and I see applicable to my future is the performance marketing part of it because you’re very in the weeds of metrics, insights, and conversions and it’s very mathematical in that way to be able to take percentages and show growth or performance of different creatives. Being able to develop that into a report and communicating that back is really interesting even though I’m in the learning process. I also do presentations monthly about updates on the media industry regarding news and platform updates, which I really enjoy and think is one of my favorite projects. 

Q: What advice would you give to a soon-to-be graduate that is nervous about entering the workforce?

A: I think my first piece of advice is to be confident because when you are in your senior year you kind of reflect on what you have done in college, and it is stressful because at the end of your experience, you start to wonder if you’ve done enough and spent enough time on certain things. I think you as a college student feel like you haven’t done enough but don’t realize you have so much opportunity. It is important to take time to figure out yourself in terms of what you’re good at and what you want to do and really capitalize that on your resume. The second piece of advice is to take chances because in my sophomore and junior year, I was graduating early and just felt so ill-equipped, even with the internship that I had, but I kept applying even when places would say no year after year. I would interview for places two or three times, and they would still say no or choose someone else. I think having the work ethic and mindset of not letting a “no” stop you is important because it is part of the process and a “no” is ok. Even if I didn’t get the job offer I think it still would have been important to have a season of personal learning because getting real-world experience is just as important to take that time to grow.

Q: Where would you like this role to take you and what would be your dream job?

A: For my current role, I am open, but I am planning on waiting a year at least in the coordinator role which is the lowest role. I am currently applying to other things right now to see where things are sticking, but it is a little bit of a hard job market right now. The next step for this role is moving up from a supporting role to a leading role, which I would be open to if I end up staying. My dream job is brand strategy for a tech company because I feel like there is a lot of money and everything is moving that way. It is a growing industry with a lot of perks. If not brand strategy, account management on the company side is interesting to me as well. 

I really enjoyed my conversation with Kahea and found it valuable to speak to someone working in a field I want to enter as well. Her advice was really great, and I know I will be holding that with me as I move closer to the end of my college education.