GREYSpotlight: Catherine McDonald

Catherine McDonald

Job title
Senior Account Manager

Grey Melbourne

Claim to Fame
Two Australian Effie Awards for the SeeingMS was a pretty fantastic result – with a Silver for Most Original Thinking and a Bronze for Not for Profit/Cause Related Marketing. We’re hoping for Gold in the APAC Effies.

Please tell us a little about yourself: your career path, your role at Grey and how has the experience been so far?
I started work at JWT in London on the global Kraft account, where I learnt everything about cheese and dairy. Returning home to Australia, I have worked in Melbourne and Sydney on a wide variety of clients. I started at Grey in April 2012 – nearly four years ago and it was like coming home! It’s an amazing team who feel like family!

What sparked your interest in the advertising/creative industry?
Growing up, I collected print ads and was obsessed with fonts! My internship at high school in was at JWT in New York. The creative nature of the industry continues to be appealing and inspiring. For me, Account Service is the best of both worlds, fusing the creative aspects of the industry with my innate need to organize people and projects.

Who inspires you? Who do you aspire to be?
My Dad. He works so hard, and loves what he does.
He is so professional in everything he does. He provides support and influence to so many people both professionally and socially, and of course to me! He is a fantastic public speaker, so if I can hold the floor like Dad one day, then I’ll be pretty pleased.

What is your biggest fear? And why?
I fear letting others down. I am a people-pleaser by nature and am always aspiring to ensure that every job I’m involved in (whether at work or at home) is a job well done.

What is the longest you have gone without sleep?
Not surprisingly this was work related! I spent nearly 40 hours awake, after finalising a tender document, catching a flight to hand-deliver it to Canberra. I was very tired but thankfully it was all worthwhile as we won the business!
A close contender was an ‘all-nighter’ for the inaugural White Night festival in Melbourne a few years ago – although this time I spent my time exploring galleries and museums as Melbourne partied throughout the night.

If you could have lunch in the world with anyone – dead or alive, who would it be? And why?
Can I choose where I’d like to have lunch instead? I’m imagining a courtyard in Italy, surrounded with family and friends, delicious food and wine… That to me would be pretty special. But if I had to nominate someone to have lunch with, Audrey Hepburn would have to be a pretty amazing lunch date. Such style and grace. And so many stories from all her incredible films.

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