The story of my CV: Gemma Hunter, Global ECD & Head of MBA Australia

Gemma Hunter, MediaCom’s Global ECD and Head of MBA Australia, recaps the highlights of her career and explains why asking questions is the best way to learn

What did you want to be when you were a teenager?

I was crazy about horses. I used to spend all my free time at the stables. So the dream was to become a champion three-day eventer. For those who don’t know, it is a combination of dressage, cross-country, and show jumping.

What was your ‘big break’ in the working world?

When I worked at MTV, my boss, Dave Sibley, was the inspiration I needed for my big break and he was also my greatest motivator. He saw something in me I didn’t know was there and he kept challenging and pushing me to be the best version of myself. He also put up with my constant questioning, mad ideas and desire to have a go at everything I could learn. In fact, the collaborative culture at MTV influenced the way I lead teams today.

What was the biggest setback in your career?

I haven’t had any serious setbacks that stick out in my mind but I have had times where I felt real barriers to progress, including a couple of toxic bosses over the years. One was openly sexist and made it clear that my being female was an obstacle to a promotion. I eventually got the promotion and the fight for it made me stronger and clearer about who I am and what I will and won’t tolerate.

What is the best thing about your job?

That one for me is easy as it is also my life purpose: nurturing and growing future leaders. That and when we are delivering creative work that’s so good it gives us and the client chills. I love what I do, seeing people reach their full potential is my motivation.

Lastly, what advice would you give to those just starting out in media?

Trust your gut, be brave, have a go, don’t be afraid to fail as long as you learn from it. Laugh a lot with people you love. Make space for yourself in whatever way gives you energy; without pilates, I’d be a lot more stressed. Lastly, surround yourself with people who inspire you and question, question, question. It’s the best way to learn.

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