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Agency Life

RUN-BELIEVABLE

RUN-BELIEVABLE

Patricia Murphy

Patricia Murphy

November 26, 2019

Havas Vietnam’s Chi Nguyen Linh on how her passion for running makes her a stronger leader and an inspiration to her team.

"When people tell me they’ve made time to go for a run in the morning, that is one of the most exciting things for me"

Chi Nguyen Linh is on a mission to make Havas Vietnam the healthiest Village in the network. The Managing Director, a dedicated runner, is on track to complete the Abbott World Marathon Majors (a series of six of the largest and most renowned marathons across the globe), but says establishing healthy workplace initiatives has been the most rewarding part of her fitness journey. The Ho Chi Minh City-based marketer talks about how running has made her a stronger leader and why investing in your team’s health is invaluable.

 

How did you start your career in the advertising world?

I began my career as a Management Trainee in Customer Development at Unilever before making the transition to Media Manager. The position gave me a broader view from the client side, especially in the early days of digital and social media. After 8 years with Unilever, I decided to move to Havas to experience digital in a different way, in a place with more entrepreneurship. I joined in 2013, when Havas Vietnam was not yet acquired. I felt like I was running a start-up because I began with one intern, but now I have 21 members on staff. It’s been an amazing journey, I must say.

What makes you excited to go into work every day?

I’m an early bird. I like being in the office when everything is fresh and quiet, and I love looking out the window at the city in the morning. It gives me a lot of energy and inspiration before everyone else starts coming in for a new day. I like making conversation at work. Those who know me well won’t wait until I start talking. When people tell me they’ve made time to go for a run in the morning, that is one of the most exciting things for me—besides pitches, wins, and awards.

Will you tell us a little bit about your role as Managing Director and the main challenges you face?

I’m in charge of Havas Digital: planning, buying, and production. The team is truly digital native; they are young, passionate, and always “on.” It’s an advantage for us to understand the target audience and craft meaningful stories. It’s also a plus to send a message to clients about our source of fresh and energetic people. On the other hand, it’s sometimes a challenge for me to read, feel, and accommodate. The generation gap does exist.

What makes the Vietnamese market unique?

The people. Vietnamese people are thirsty for knowledge and hungry for new experiences.

"At Havas Vietnam have made a commitment to running after work instead of happy hours, and monthly talks about diet and healthy habits"

Your passion is running. Your aspiration is to complete the Abbott World Marathon Majors, which is a series of six of the largest and most renowned marathons in the world. Why is this such an important goal for you, and how close are you to achieving it?

It’s common for all sports enthusiasts to have a big goal. Ask Michael Lelievre (CFO of Havas North America). He is a triathlete, and he told me once that he would like to compete in the Ironman World Championship. For marathoners, Abbott World Marathon Majors is a must. Running is my passion. I have collected 3 majors: Boston, Berlin, and New York. I have registered for Tokyo and Chicago, all by time qualifier. I am hoping to cap everything off with the London marathon, but I’ll need a little help from the Village there to fundraise for my entry. 

What has been your favorite race?

Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB), an ultra-running race through the Alps, remains my favorite. Standing on the top of Col Ferret, I felt nothing but peace. It was too cold for me; I’m too used to life in a tropical country, but I did stay there for a while. Catching early light after running all night long is also unforgettable. The phrase “you only live once,” has never felt truer.

You were the first Vietnamese person to qualify for the Boston Marathon, which you ran earlier this year. Can you tell us about that experience? 

It was heartbreaking; there were too many hills. The supporters were amazing, and I got to raise money for Newborns Vietnam, an NGO I support.

Your passion for running has filtered into your professional life through healthy initiatives in Havas Vietnam. Will you tell us a little bit about these?

We have a company health scheme with daily actions as simple as using stairs instead of elevators. We have made a commitment to running after work instead of happy hours, and monthly talks about diet and healthy habits. Guest speakers sometimes come from clients. I myself do the same when clients replicate our model. We call ourselves Madmen 4.0.

 How does your passion for running benefit your career as a marketer?

My enthusiasm for running helps me engage more with clients on the journey of building meaningful stories.

What makes a good leader? 

A.R.E is my formula: Authenticity, Resilience, Empathy.

What are you most proud of in your career?

Being the underdog. I have been a part of teams that won at the MMA Smarties, the Young Spikes, and the YouTube Creator Awards, just to name a few. I really enjoy coming from the dark and taking the trophy.

Other than running, what makes you the happiest?

Playing with my puppies: a French bulldog and a dachshund.

"When people tell me they’ve made time to go for a run in the morning, that is one of the most exciting things for me"

Chi Nguyen Linh is on a mission to make Havas Vietnam the healthiest Village in the network. The Managing Director, a dedicated runner, is on track to complete the Abbott World Marathon Majors (a series of six of the largest and most renowned marathons across the globe), but says establishing healthy workplace initiatives has been the most rewarding part of her fitness journey. The Ho Chi Minh City-based marketer talks about how running has made her a stronger leader and why investing in your team’s health is invaluable.

 

How did you start your career in the advertising world?

I began my career as a Management Trainee in Customer Development at Unilever before making the transition to Media Manager. The position gave me a broader view from the client side, especially in the early days of digital and social media. After 8 years with Unilever, I decided to move to Havas to experience digital in a different way, in a place with more entrepreneurship. I joined in 2013, when Havas Vietnam was not yet acquired. I felt like I was running a start-up because I began with one intern, but now I have 21 members on staff. It’s been an amazing journey, I must say.

What makes you excited to go into work every day?

I’m an early bird. I like being in the office when everything is fresh and quiet, and I love looking out the window at the city in the morning. It gives me a lot of energy and inspiration before everyone else starts coming in for a new day. I like making conversation at work. Those who know me well won’t wait until I start talking. When people tell me they’ve made time to go for a run in the morning, that is one of the most exciting things for me—besides pitches, wins, and awards.

Will you tell us a little bit about your role as Managing Director and the main challenges you face?

I’m in charge of Havas Digital: planning, buying, and production. The team is truly digital native; they are young, passionate, and always “on.” It’s an advantage for us to understand the target audience and craft meaningful stories. It’s also a plus to send a message to clients about our source of fresh and energetic people. On the other hand, it’s sometimes a challenge for me to read, feel, and accommodate. The generation gap does exist.

What makes the Vietnamese market unique?

The people. Vietnamese people are thirsty for knowledge and hungry for new experiences.

"At Havas Vietnam have made a commitment to running after work instead of happy hours, and monthly talks about diet and healthy habits"

Your passion is running. Your aspiration is to complete the Abbott World Marathon Majors, which is a series of six of the largest and most renowned marathons in the world. Why is this such an important goal for you, and how close are you to achieving it?

It’s common for all sports enthusiasts to have a big goal. Ask Michael Lelievre (CFO of Havas North America). He is a triathlete, and he told me once that he would like to compete in the Ironman World Championship. For marathoners, Abbott World Marathon Majors is a must. Running is my passion. I have collected 3 majors: Boston, Berlin, and New York. I have registered for Tokyo and Chicago, all by time qualifier. I am hoping to cap everything off with the London marathon, but I’ll need a little help from the Village there to fundraise for my entry. 

What has been your favorite race?

Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB), an ultra-running race through the Alps, remains my favorite. Standing on the top of Col Ferret, I felt nothing but peace. It was too cold for me; I’m too used to life in a tropical country, but I did stay there for a while. Catching early light after running all night long is also unforgettable. The phrase “you only live once,” has never felt truer.

You were the first Vietnamese person to qualify for the Boston Marathon, which you ran earlier this year. Can you tell us about that experience? 

It was heartbreaking; there were too many hills. The supporters were amazing, and I got to raise money for Newborns Vietnam, an NGO I support.

Your passion for running has filtered into your professional life through healthy initiatives in Havas Vietnam. Will you tell us a little bit about these?

We have a company health scheme with daily actions as simple as using stairs instead of elevators. We have made a commitment to running after work instead of happy hours, and monthly talks about diet and healthy habits. Guest speakers sometimes come from clients. I myself do the same when clients replicate our model. We call ourselves Madmen 4.0.

 How does your passion for running benefit your career as a marketer?

My enthusiasm for running helps me engage more with clients on the journey of building meaningful stories.

What makes a good leader? 

A.R.E is my formula: Authenticity, Resilience, Empathy.

What are you most proud of in your career?

Being the underdog. I have been a part of teams that won at the MMA Smarties, the Young Spikes, and the YouTube Creator Awards, just to name a few. I really enjoy coming from the dark and taking the trophy.

Other than running, what makes you the happiest?

Playing with my puppies: a French bulldog and a dachshund.

Patricia Murphy is a content creator with a background in digital health and lifestyle journalism. She loves to chat and tell stories.

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