'Work hard and your work will speak for itself': 8 questions with ​Amanda DeLay, Conill and Team One

Editor’s note: ThinkLA’s DIG (Diversity, Inclusion, Gender) initiative has been created to celebrate and work towards greater diversity in Los Angeles. ThinkLA and The Drum are pleased to highlight African American leaders in the Los Angeles marketing community, their thoughts on the industry and how to build greater momentum for all.

Amanda DeLay, associate talent director, Conill and Team One

Who was your role-model when you were younger?

My role model was my mom. I wanted to be just like her, a strong woman, a professional and amazing mother.

What was your first job in advertising?

I was the receptionist at Team One. Remember, always be nice to the receptionist.

What is most rewarding aspect about your job? What makes it all worthwhile?

I love watching someone’s career grow and contributions they bring to the agency and our clients. It’s amazing when you see a junior employee turn into the senior member of the team.

What's the best compliment you've ever given?

The best compliment I have given someone is that they are smart and I love working with them. Another compliment I have given to a women, is that they looked beautiful. This one was my favorite because, as women, we are hard on ourselves and usually don’t receive compliments well. And she did, that made me feel good.

What advice do you have for young black people in advertising?

Find a mentor or a sponsor, someone that is going to give you the feedback you need to hear, not just what you want to hear. This person should be advocating on your behalf as well. Work hard and your work will speak for itself. You are amazing and earned everything you are experiencing.

How can we support more diversity in advertising?

With minorities you need to reach them at a younger age. Unfortunately, our culture only promotes certain careers. If we can get in around 8th grade or high school and explain what adverting is and what you do to influence or promote to change the world or even one person’s point of view to purchase your product over the competitor that would be amazing. I think we need to more outreach to schools and bring them in for a week or month so they can experience the process.

What's something about yourself that would surprise people?

I grew up in Inglewood, California and stayed in California for school and work. I am an original. I have made it.

What should our industry be talking about in 2017?

I think we need to talk about how we use our respective talents and platforms to change the world for the better good of humanity. We have the world as our audience, how do we show off the good? The main way to do this is to celebrate what makes us different but allows us to bring our best self to the world we live in.