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Agency Life

The Lifelong Learner

The Lifelong Learner

Danielle Smith

Danielle Smith

May 7, 2019

Ester García Cosín, Managing Director at Havas Media Group Spain on what drives her career

"The leader is the one who foresees the change before others do."

Havas Media Group Spain Managing Director Ester García Cosín has spent over 20 years at at the agency deepening her expertise across research, strategy, and operational management. She shares what inspires her, what her biggest career challenges have been, and what she wishes she could change about the industry.

 

 

How did you start your career?

My first job in the communications industry was for a TV channel. I worked in the audience research department, and it was certainly the place where I realized what was really meaningful in the media and how the audiences lived day to day. After leaving the TV channel, I started to work at Kantar Group, a company that measures TV audiences, and thanks to that experience I was able to form relationships across the agency’s scope of clients throughout the country.

 

Tell us about what drives you.

Acquiring knowledge. Learning, reading, studying, listening.

I’ve been lucky to work with good professionals and extraordinary people who I learn from every day throughout my career. However, I have to admit I’ve also learned from my mistakes and from the less good experiences that have made me understand what I don’t like.

 

What have been your biggest career challenges? Your biggest accomplishments, so far?

During my 21 years at Havas and my 25 years within this industry, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a great number of advertisers from different sectors who have faced times of change, crisis periods, and business expansions over the years. Being with them during these challenges, I suppose has made their challenges mine as well. Challenges that I have been able to learn from.

My greatest achievement has been to show to myself and to the teams I work with, that endeavor, commitment, doing good work, and the respecting this job as well as respecting the people involved, is always a fruitful effort.

 

Why Havas Media?

The reason is that this company has given me the possibility to develop my professional career, by offering me exciting challenges, different positions, and great responsibilities — in the research field in my early years, then in strategy, client services, management, people management, organizational transformation projects, strategic planning etc.

 

What are you really good at?

At everything? 😉

I think that you are never really the best at anything in particular. You can always learn more, aim to be better. The best thing that can happen to you is being surrounded by professionals, people better than you whom you can learn from, provided that you can contribute something in return.

The things I do really like are organizational behavior, people, and culture — and the overall impact these have on business.   

 

What do you hope to get better at?

At everything!

I think that everyone is always capable of being and becoming better. The secret is never to think that things are already good, but always to think that they can be better. The leader is the one who foresees the change before others do.

"I believe in accomplishing purposes, and I do believe our industry should echo and give voice to our society."

How do you inspire others?

In my opinion the best way to inspire others is to be honest, transparent and genuine. That’s the only way to do it, and I hope I do! I share what I think, what I know, and what I don’t. One thing I am certain about: nobody could deny that I truly love what I do and that I try to be better every single day, continuing to be filled with enthusiasm and good energy.  

 

What inspires you?

Many things! I’m inspired by people. I’m inspired by reading. I’m inspired when I view case studies and share experiences with professionals from other fields.

 

When people outside of the industry ask about your role, how do you describe your position?

When I’m asked by my mother or eight-year-old daughter, I tell them that my job consists of helping other companies explain to people what they do. I help companies find the most effective channels of communication based on their goals.

 

Last year, you had the honor of being a media judge at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. What’s it like being a judge? Did you feel extreme pressure?

I felt a huge responsibility but at the same time, I was very thankful for the opportunity. It’s has been beneficial to me to have access to such high quality work at a global level with all the different influences teaching me new things and showing me new perspectives. Being a judge expanded my to thinking and I was introduced to a wider scope of countries and the way they are creative with communication, creativity, market insights, and social contexts.

 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten? The worst?

Two good pieces of advice come to mind. The first is that it’s better to regret something you have done than something you haven’t. The other comes from my father, it’s a piece of advice he always said to me and I always try to take it with me: “Look to the future but seek the joy of present.” To me, it’s useless looking back or longing for the past. My brother turned this idea into another idea I keep with me as well: “In a five-day week only two days are usually sunny; shall we waste the three rainy days?

The worst advice I’ve ever received it came from a boss I had who told me that I must work to be on top of mind to senior management because, “appearing prevails over being.” Of course, I strongly disagree, and fortunately, I didn’t follow it, because I believe that actions speak louder than words.

 

What do you wish that you could change about the industry?

Maximizing the reach of a message is something we really know how to do well. So if we could manage to use this expertise to launch messages that contribute to improving the environment we live in, our communities, or the individual and collective consciousness that would be fantastic. I believe in accomplishing purposes, and I do believe our industry should echo and give voice to our society.

 

What do you hope stays the same?

Nothing at all. Hoping that would be misleading oneself. Everything is subject to being modified, and we should focus on creating change for the better.

"The leader is the one who foresees the change before others do."

Havas Media Group Spain Managing Director Ester García Cosín has spent over 20 years at at the agency deepening her expertise across research, strategy, and operational management. She shares what inspires her, what her biggest career challenges have been, and what she wishes she could change about the industry.

 

 

How did you start your career?

My first job in the communications industry was for a TV channel. I worked in the audience research department, and it was certainly the place where I realized what was really meaningful in the media and how the audiences lived day to day. After leaving the TV channel, I started to work at Kantar Group, a company that measures TV audiences, and thanks to that experience I was able to form relationships across the agency’s scope of clients throughout the country.

 

Tell us about what drives you.

Acquiring knowledge. Learning, reading, studying, listening.

I’ve been lucky to work with good professionals and extraordinary people who I learn from every day throughout my career. However, I have to admit I’ve also learned from my mistakes and from the less good experiences that have made me understand what I don’t like.

 

What have been your biggest career challenges? Your biggest accomplishments, so far?

During my 21 years at Havas and my 25 years within this industry, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a great number of advertisers from different sectors who have faced times of change, crisis periods, and business expansions over the years. Being with them during these challenges, I suppose has made their challenges mine as well. Challenges that I have been able to learn from.

My greatest achievement has been to show to myself and to the teams I work with, that endeavor, commitment, doing good work, and the respecting this job as well as respecting the people involved, is always a fruitful effort.

 

Why Havas Media?

The reason is that this company has given me the possibility to develop my professional career, by offering me exciting challenges, different positions, and great responsibilities — in the research field in my early years, then in strategy, client services, management, people management, organizational transformation projects, strategic planning etc.

 

What are you really good at?

At everything? 😉

I think that you are never really the best at anything in particular. You can always learn more, aim to be better. The best thing that can happen to you is being surrounded by professionals, people better than you whom you can learn from, provided that you can contribute something in return.

The things I do really like are organizational behavior, people, and culture — and the overall impact these have on business.   

 

What do you hope to get better at?

At everything!

I think that everyone is always capable of being and becoming better. The secret is never to think that things are already good, but always to think that they can be better. The leader is the one who foresees the change before others do.

"I believe in accomplishing purposes, and I do believe our industry should echo and give voice to our society."

How do you inspire others?

In my opinion the best way to inspire others is to be honest, transparent and genuine. That’s the only way to do it, and I hope I do! I share what I think, what I know, and what I don’t. One thing I am certain about: nobody could deny that I truly love what I do and that I try to be better every single day, continuing to be filled with enthusiasm and good energy.  

 

What inspires you?

Many things! I’m inspired by people. I’m inspired by reading. I’m inspired when I view case studies and share experiences with professionals from other fields.

 

When people outside of the industry ask about your role, how do you describe your position?

When I’m asked by my mother or eight-year-old daughter, I tell them that my job consists of helping other companies explain to people what they do. I help companies find the most effective channels of communication based on their goals.

 

Last year, you had the honor of being a media judge at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. What’s it like being a judge? Did you feel extreme pressure?

I felt a huge responsibility but at the same time, I was very thankful for the opportunity. It’s has been beneficial to me to have access to such high quality work at a global level with all the different influences teaching me new things and showing me new perspectives. Being a judge expanded my to thinking and I was introduced to a wider scope of countries and the way they are creative with communication, creativity, market insights, and social contexts.

 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten? The worst?

Two good pieces of advice come to mind. The first is that it’s better to regret something you have done than something you haven’t. The other comes from my father, it’s a piece of advice he always said to me and I always try to take it with me: “Look to the future but seek the joy of present.” To me, it’s useless looking back or longing for the past. My brother turned this idea into another idea I keep with me as well: “In a five-day week only two days are usually sunny; shall we waste the three rainy days?

The worst advice I’ve ever received it came from a boss I had who told me that I must work to be on top of mind to senior management because, “appearing prevails over being.” Of course, I strongly disagree, and fortunately, I didn’t follow it, because I believe that actions speak louder than words.

 

What do you wish that you could change about the industry?

Maximizing the reach of a message is something we really know how to do well. So if we could manage to use this expertise to launch messages that contribute to improving the environment we live in, our communities, or the individual and collective consciousness that would be fantastic. I believe in accomplishing purposes, and I do believe our industry should echo and give voice to our society.

 

What do you hope stays the same?

Nothing at all. Hoping that would be misleading oneself. Everything is subject to being modified, and we should focus on creating change for the better.

Danielle Smith is the Communications Manager of Havas Group. She’s believes every meal can be tacos if you have tortillas and the heart to try.

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