Getting to Know You: Josh Venkataraman
Resilience, curiosity, bravery, service, care, and teamwork are just some of the characteristics that define every member of our WHOSAY team.
Previously, you’ve had the chance to meet seven WHOSAYers who embody these qualities; Katina Kontarakis, West Coast Account Director, Mike Swart, Head of Shopping Marketing, Lisa Bryant, Marketing Manager, Sam Jones, Master Storyteller, Kay Blair, Digital Media Buyer, Joel Ponce, Account Director and Caitlin Curry, Account Manager.
Founded in 2010, WHOSAY is built from the best of entertainment, technology, and advertising. The people that power WHOSAY are an incredible blend of advertising, technology and media professionals that foster a wonderful spirit of creativity, innovation, and commitment. Today you will get to know another one of our team’s members; Josh Venkataraman, Campaign Activation Coordinator.
WHOSAY: What’s the first thing you do as soon as you arrive in the office?
Josh: The first thing I do when I get into the office is to spend at least five minutes playing with any of the office dogs (ie. Nash, Duke, and Ollie). It’s arguably as important for starting my day as coffee.
W: What’s a typical day at WHOSAY like?
J: Each day at WHOSAY is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get. But they’re all chocolates so ya know…I’m happy no matter what.
W: What’s the most challenging part of your job? And what’s the part you enjoy the most?
J: I would actually say the most challenging part is keeping up with the creative minds here! I’ve always thought of myself as a creative person but everyone at WHOSAY (and this is also what I enjoy the most) has incredibly creative minds. The way they can throw around ideas and piggyback off of the ideas of others is so amazing to be around.
W: What is your role at WHOSAY?
J: I’m a Coordinator for the Campaign Activation team where I have the opportunity to not only contribute creative ideas for campaigns but also handle logistics for talent and production for a number of campaigns at the same time. While I was in school, I was able to produce a number of short films and I’ve found a lot of similarities in my role at WHOSAY.
W: Who is someone at WHOSAY that inspires you and why?
J: The person that inspires me the most (and my closest confidant and mentor) is Caryn Turer. Caryn has not only taken me under her wing to really teach me the ropes of this industry but she also always seems to have her finger on the pulse of what’s going on. I can ask her anything about any campaign and she just flips a switch and can elaborate on any detail. She is a very strong woman who knows how to get things done without losing her cool. She’s a really great person to learn and grow from.
W: What was your job before coming to WHOSAY?
J: Before WHOSAY I was in the NBCUniversal Page Program where I had the opportunity to work in departments all over the company and really learn all of the ins and outs of the media industry. I worked for shows like Saturday Night Live and the Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon as well as for networks such as SYFY and MSNBC.
W: What’s your secret life hack and/or productive hack?
J: I pretty much eat like an unattended child at a birthday party. So hand me some Jelly Beans and Twizzlers and I’ll work like a madman until I crash from the sugar rush.
W: What don’t most people know about you?
J: Most people don’t know that about a year ago I finished a case for Thurgood Marshall and convinced the Senate and House of the State of Florida to draft and sign a bill into action to posthumously pardon four black men from a 1950s case (the Groveland Four) for a crime they didn’t commit.
W: What do you want to achieve in the near and/or long-term?
J: Something that’s stuck with me since school is that no matter what I’m doing, I want to create content that matters, and here at WHOSAY, I get to do that. I’m able to work with brands I love with messages I agree with, but I also get to work on PSAs and social messages that reach a large audience and provide some public good. Long term, I’d like to keep working with content and brands that provide a positive influence on our society.
W: Share your advice with aspiring young people who want to break into your industry
J: One of the most important notions is to never stop learning. There’s always someone who can teach you something or a book you should be reading. Be curious about what makes things and people tick. The only way to grow is to do your best to absorb everything that’s out there.
W: What’s unique about your company?
J: What I love about this company is that it creates a very cooperative and social environment; nobody works on a project alone. From the moment a new campaign comes in, we have brainstorming meetings where everyone is encouraged to contribute ideas and really work together. I think that’s so important for a creative field.
W: What are your favorite books or quotes?
J: I recently read Sick in the Head by Judd Apatow. It was a really great look into at the world of comedy as well as thoughts and advice from icons who bravely lay themselves out in front of an audience who could either love them or hate them. It showed me that you can’t be afraid to take a chance.
W: What is the best advice you have ever received?
J: My friend Sandy used to say “Never be afraid to color outside the lines.” To me, that meant that there’s no one way of doing something. The world is made of innovators and creative thinkers who don’t follow a predetermined path so just because something was done one way before doesn’t mean it always has to be that way.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU is a series of interviews with the WHOSAY team.