Finding your “X” in media

Well-placed pride. It’s a must at Humanise.

And today, it’s the emotion that’s taking centre stage. We wanted to talk to three employees of Glassroom, the collective’s media agency, whom we are particularly proud to work with. It feels good to say loud and clear that we’re proud, that we recognize the value of our work and that of those around us, in all humbleness!

An interview with Alessa Leblanc-Michel, Director, Digital Performance; Beatriz Cruz, Director, Digital Performance; and Thi My Lien Dang, Media Strategist.

Humanise: Hi to all three of you! It’s a pleasure to take this time to get to know you a little better, both personally and professionally.

You’ve been working with the wonderful and growing Glassroom team for a while now. Did you always want to work in media?

Alessa: For me, media is an industry that I kind of stumbled into—haha. I’ve always had an interest in numbers and analysis on the one hand and art and creativity on the other. I did my degree in marketing and, when I finished, it was by chance that a friend offered me a job at a media agency. 

I think I’d only had one chapter on media in a marketing course in college and it was a bit of a blur to me. But the next thing I knew, I discovered it was the perfect mix for me—a way to put both my analytical and my creative side to use!

Beatriz: No, not necessarily. At first, I wanted to work in the cultural/museum/foundation field, but after completing two internships, I realized that I needed a more fast-paced environment with more analytical responsibilities and tasks. And that’s what I found right away in the world of media agencies and digital marketing!

Thi My Lien: I always wanted to work in the advertising industry. During my DESS courses at the University of Sherbrooke, I had the chance to meet people who were passionate about media strategy and how creative it is. It was their passion and their campaigns that made me want to stay in Quebec and work on the media side of advertising. 

H: What did you do before?

A: When I was a student, I worked in retail and events. In university, I did an internship at a public relations agency and then another one in the marketing department of a makeup company. 

B: I studied visual arts, then I earned a double bachelor’s degree in international business and marketing, then a master’s degree in digital communication. During my studies, I did internships in museums and art galleries, and I also worked in the catering industry with caterers and bars. But since I began my professional career, I’ve always worked in media.

T: Coming out of college, I was fortunate to have had a variety of experiences in the business. I worked on the marketing/communications side for a vendor, I was a project manager, and finally I specialized in digital at media agencies.

I’ve worked on everything to better understand the impact of each step, because in media, everything is connected!

H: What made you want to work at Glassroom?

A: There are many answers to this question. The value of transparency that’s in everything we do, the opportunities for career advancement, the super qualified and passionate team, the truly inspiring leaders and the feeling of being treated as human first.

B: I was drawn to their unique approach to offering services to clients, ranging from a traditional media agency, to consulting, to hybrid modes of operation and training clients to be more self-sufficient. 

Then it was the quality of the professionals and people on the team at the time. But it was the values of transparency and collaboration that led me to make the leap!

T: I agree with everything Alessa mentioned, especially the human values at work. 

It was also the collective aspect that attracted me to Glassroom. Working with so many talented people and having the opportunity to discuss things with experts from other agencies takes me out of my comfort zone, but above all, it pushes me to think about things differently! It’s the collective wealth of all the different “Hs” that makes working at Glassroom every day a joy.  

H: What’s your favourite part of working in media?

A: I always feel a bit like a geek when I say this, but I love analyzing results and looking for hypotheses to test or gain insights. I feel like a detective who has all the facts in front of her and now I have to let them speak for themselves or solve the puzzle.

B: I love that digital media never stops evolving. Ten years ago, you couldn’t put ads on YouTube. Before the pandemic, nobody was on TikTok. This constant evolution of platforms and formats means that, as digital specialists, we have no choice but to continually learn and question what we do every day. 

Digital media always keeps us on our toes, and that’ll never change throughout our careers.

T: In strategic media, what I love most is when we have to think creatively, outside the box, to make sure we reach our target and that they remember us! It’s that creative moment combined with my rational brain that makes it all make sense!

H: What’s the one thing/concept/theory you learned at Glassroom that’s particularly useful to you today?

A: Honestly there are so many, but one of the biggest things l’ve learned is that transparency is what makes us true business partners. 

B: I’ve learned that everything can be broken down into a matrix format: marketing strategy—no problem, matrix! Represent a conversion path—matrix! A KPI framework—matrix! A customer onboarding process—matrix! We are matrix queens at Glassroom 😉

T: That’s a great question! If I had to pick one, it’d be the power of different points of view. Talking to different experts both internally and with clients helps steer the ship in the right direction. 

H: We’ve shared with you that having you as part of the team is one of our proudest achievements at Humanise. Now it’s your turn to share with us one of your proudest moments, personal or professional, since you’ve been at Glassroom! 

A: I’m really proud of the path I’ve taken to specialize in digital. Coming from a 360-degree strategy background, I had to learn more about digital to move into the part of media that I was most interested in. I’d also like to thank the team and leaders for helping me along this path by training me and having confidence in me.

B: For me, I’m really proud (and happy) to have helped develop a great team of people who are always caring, curious about their job and open-minded. 

I’m proud of our level of expertise and the quality of service we offer our clients. But we don’t stop there; we continue to push further to develop our skills and the value we bring to our clients. 

I’m most proud of the fact that, a year ago, some of the operating methods and initiatives were just words on paper describing my vision for the team—and today, it’s our reality.

T: Since working at Glassroom, my definition of collaborative work has changed. Working as one team with clients, internal teams, but also external partners, brings me joy and stimulates my mind. 

I see how this model pushes me to exceed my own expectations every time and, above all, to have found MY place! 

H: It’s inspiring to hear your different stories. And now, what are you most proud of as a team with Glassroom?

A: We’re really proud of the added value we bring to our clients. We’re more than media experts—we’re business partners. 

When a client meeting ends and they tell us how much they learned or how many ideas they got from the meeting, we know we really made a difference. 

B: Transparency is part of Glassroom’s DNA. Transparency and trust aren’t just values that we put in our mission statement—they’re principles that we use to guide our day-to-day at every level. As a team, we seek to work with integrity with these values. Everyone contributes to this, and I’m very happy to be a part of it.  

T: What makes me proud is the importance our team places on work-life balance and how open our leaders are to initiatives that support it. 

For example, the new 9/10 model that Glassroom and the Humanise Collective have adopted, which consists of working nine days and taking a break on the tenth, is a change in the way we work that brings out the best in all of us (and that makes us all feel good!). In fact, during my flex days, I had the opportunity to incorporate yoga sessions into my week. It’s a game changer to have such a great work-life balance!

H: If time permitted, we could have kept chatting with you for hours. Thank you for sharing with us! Any final words?

A: Thank you for taking the time to speak with us. We look forward to continuing the conversation at the next happy hour with a drink in hand!

B: We love to have fun and spend time together. Come say hi at the next Humanise happy hour 🙂

T: The team is still growing. This is your chance to join our great gang! Check out our job openings and, if you have any questions, be sure to reach out! Psst: We love curious folks 😉 

To learn more about the Glassroom team and discover all their quirks, read this article featuring rapid-fire questions and watch this video