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Agency Life

Meet Karen

Meet Karen

Natasha Smith

Natasha Smith

August 14, 2018

Part entrepreneur. Part negotiator. All go-getter.

"When it comes to the creative work, I always try to ensure we're seeking out a human truth."

Karen Goodman, Group Creative Director at Havas Chicago, talks about the past 12 months at Havas, what she’s learned, and what she hopes her team has learned from her.

 

So, how would you describe your experience so far?

Viceland. Puppies. Unlimited goldfish.

How have your past experiences brought you here?

I got my first job in advertising by holding a really expensive bake sale and talking up a recruiter in a women’s bathroom line. Aside from baking and using the restroom, I’ve pitched brands, led brands, and built one from scratch. I think the combination of hustle and hunger to create great work has brought me to Havas Chicago.

So, how would you compare working for a brand to working for a creative agency?

Before joining Havas, I was working in house at Under Armour. I learned a lot on the brand side, but the most important lesson was empathy. In the agency world, our currency comes from selling ideas. In the brand world, their currency comes from selling product. It was a humbling shift to experience, and the new insight made me even more excited to come back to the agency world.

What, so far, have you taught others on your team?

I’ve got an amazing team that has really taught me more than I’ve probably taught them. When it comes to the creative work, I always try to ensure we’re seeking out a human truth. Hopefully that exercise has helped them when approaching new assignments. At the very least, I hope they’ve learned to hide the chewing gum on their desks (I’m an unintentional gum thief).

"I hope to be more immersed in technology and trends that can make our lives better..."

What have you learned at Havas Chicago?

The need to constantly think beyond where the industry is and start imagining and creating where it should be.

What do you hope to learn in the next, say, five years?

Well, I’m trying to learn how to meditate, but it’s not going very well. Aside from that, in five years, I hope to be more immersed in technology and trends that can make our lives better, in both large and small ways. Maybe I’ll figure out how during my meditation.

What is creativity?

The Oxford dictionary says, “the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.” To me, creativity isn’t about creating original ideas, but about not being worried about the box our ideas live in. I think it’s an approach to solving problems without any constraint on what the solution might be.

How do you get inspired?

Movies. Travel. Three-hour catch-ups over wine—all the cliché answers. There’s never been a go-to source for me, except to get out of the day-to-day work routine and allow myself to reset.

What do you wish that everyone knew about you?

I’m always down to talk about Shonda Rhimes shows and ABC’s TGIT lineup.

"When it comes to the creative work, I always try to ensure we're seeking out a human truth."

Karen Goodman, Group Creative Director at Havas Chicago, talks about the past 12 months at Havas, what she’s learned, and what she hopes her team has learned from her.

 

So, how would you describe your experience so far?

Viceland. Puppies. Unlimited goldfish.

How have your past experiences brought you here?

I got my first job in advertising by holding a really expensive bake sale and talking up a recruiter in a women’s bathroom line. Aside from baking and using the restroom, I’ve pitched brands, led brands, and built one from scratch. I think the combination of hustle and hunger to create great work has brought me to Havas Chicago.

So, how would you compare working for a brand to working for a creative agency?

Before joining Havas, I was working in house at Under Armour. I learned a lot on the brand side, but the most important lesson was empathy. In the agency world, our currency comes from selling ideas. In the brand world, their currency comes from selling product. It was a humbling shift to experience, and the new insight made me even more excited to come back to the agency world.

What, so far, have you taught others on your team?

I’ve got an amazing team that has really taught me more than I’ve probably taught them. When it comes to the creative work, I always try to ensure we’re seeking out a human truth. Hopefully that exercise has helped them when approaching new assignments. At the very least, I hope they’ve learned to hide the chewing gum on their desks (I’m an unintentional gum thief).

"I hope to be more immersed in technology and trends that can make our lives better..."

What have you learned at Havas Chicago?

The need to constantly think beyond where the industry is and start imagining and creating where it should be.

What do you hope to learn in the next, say, five years?

Well, I’m trying to learn how to meditate, but it’s not going very well. Aside from that, in five years, I hope to be more immersed in technology and trends that can make our lives better, in both large and small ways. Maybe I’ll figure out how during my meditation.

What is creativity?

The Oxford dictionary says, “the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.” To me, creativity isn’t about creating original ideas, but about not being worried about the box our ideas live in. I think it’s an approach to solving problems without any constraint on what the solution might be.

How do you get inspired?

Movies. Travel. Three-hour catch-ups over wine—all the cliché answers. There’s never been a go-to source for me, except to get out of the day-to-day work routine and allow myself to reset.

What do you wish that everyone knew about you?

I’m always down to talk about Shonda Rhimes shows and ABC’s TGIT lineup.

Natasha Smith is the strategic communications manager for Havas Group. She happily represents 404 in the 212.

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