Industry Profile: Jen Cerqualia at VERSA

Jen Cerqualia credit to kinfolk_imagery

Our industry profile looks at some of the professionals working in the advertising, ad tech, marketing and media sectors in Australia. It aims to shed light on the different roles and companies in the burgeoning industry.

Jen Cerqualia: Client strategy partner at VERSA.

Time in Current Role/Time in Company:
I have just started in this newly created role at VERSA for the past two months.

How would you describe what the company does? VERSA is a leading digital transformation agency helping organizations with all things digital, including strategy, user research, data and analytics, website creation and development, user experience (UX), visual design, content management, continuous improvement and conversational AI products such as live chat and virtual assistants as well as voice experiences.

What do you do day to day?
I help private, government and non-profit organizations create digital roadmaps to improve their customer experiences.

I lead the creation of optimized solutions by bringing together the best teams, products and services of digital specialists.

Define your job in one word:

I got into marketing because:
I love making information digestible to create change, build connections, and empower people to adopt products and services that can help them and the community at large.

What is the biggest challenge you face in your role?
The rapid pace of digital innovation to find that happy medium between the needs of the organization and those of the public.

What is the biggest industry-wide challenge you would like to see addressed?
Accessibility and inclusion being at the forefront of creating digital solutions instead of an add-on towards the end of creation.

Notable campaigns you have worked on:
Save Energy campaign website creating behavior change to save energy and raise awareness of climate change – launched in Melbourne by Al Gore (Nobel Peace Prize winner, environmental activist and US Vice President) for Sustainability Victoria.

Launch of the Smart Approved Watermark campaign website for household services and products that save water consumption.

Announcing a new helicopter service for the Telstra Child Flight emergency helicopter service for babies and children to save thousands of little lives a year.

The Live in Melbourne ‘My Story’ campaign features migrant stories of people who have moved to Melbourne and changed their lives.

Who has been a great mentor to you and why?
My mother Lorraine and Aunt Irene were role models for balancing paid work and parenthood. They also encouraged bringing other people to the table who need representation and opportunities, because with privilege you have a responsibility to help others. They have given hope to some of the most marginalized groups.

In my last job, I worked for an incredibly inspiring and supportive digital transformation director, Donovan Ferguson, and in my current job, I’m blessed with a passionate leader, Kath Blackham, who is a great example. to be a successful working parent as CEO of VERSA.

A few tips for someone who wants a job like yours:
I think my job is a mix of everything I love about working in the digital industry. I worked for 25 years specializing in digital. I love building on client relationships, working on strategies and roadmaps to achieve the best possible business and audience results.

I am very much in favor of reinforcing what you naturally shine for and what you are passionate about. This allows your unique contributions to come to the surface and will give you more longevity and less burnout.

If I wasn’t doing this for a living, I’d be:
Work with children to help create a generation of empathetic leaders. I’m sure you can say that I’m a big fan of Brené Brown and believe in teaching vulnerability and authenticity in the formative years and it’s never too late to learn.

Kudos to the Bully Zero organization for their tireless efforts to change schools and workplaces so that they become welcoming and productive environments rather than places of anxiety. Anything less than safe, valued and respected should not be tolerated. Let’s encourage this behavior as soon as possible.

My mantra is:
“Still I Rise” inspired by Maya Angelou. This sums up the fact that the human spirit will never cease to elevate again and again. It also expresses that freedom is a right for all and should not be defined by adversities or oppressors. It highlights the power to fight injustice.

I also live by, “We don’t always have to agree with each other to respect each other.”

My favorite ad is:
Respect Victoria Respect Women – Advertise and inspire respect to change thinking, challenge stereotypes and promote respect for women. I am a feminist and I gladly wear the title. I also applaud the Consent is a Conversation commercial with Clementine Ford.

Plus most of the commercials Gruen’s Todd Sampson likes. I respect his point of view on so many things that I’m sure we’d share the same list of favorite ads. If Todd is reading this, I welcome a coffee with you anytime to compare listings.

Music and television broadcasting habits. What are you subscribed to?
I like a good upbeat playlist on Spotify. I also have a penchant for science and business leadership podcasts and love a biography, comedy, or doco on Stan, Netflix, or Prime.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you:
I volunteer to lead yoga classes for children to help them overcome stress and anxiety. It also instills a sense of respect in how they interact with others to help eradicate bullying.

I am a class addict. I like to learn new things to improve my practice and inadvertently end up with qualifications to teach others or volunteer to help others, such as organizing children’s yoga classes to raise money for charity.

I also volunteer for the VIC ICT for Women Network to increase opportunities for women in STEAM-related industries, starting with education in primary schools.

In five years, I will be:

To continue to lead the creation of innovative solutions and learn from years of “ease of use” improvements that I have helped shape for thousands of organizations and audiences. I would like to continue doing that with VERSA.

Do you have anything to say about this? Share your opinions in the comments section below. Or if you have any news or a tip, email us at [email protected]

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