How I got here

Amy Phillips

When you know an opportunity is right – you not only say yes – you go for it and take full advantage knowing that you’re about to do something next-level. That’s the philosophy that led me to working with Pragmatic’s all-star team of whip-smart, thoughtful, results-oriented experts. As someone who always strives to do more, know more, learn more I’m fueled by this group of industry leaders who consume insights, evolve and grow. I’m honored to be a part of this team, and reflective of the experiences and fortune I’ve enjoyed throughout my career that have helped me arrive “here.”

During my first interview for a graphic design internship, the agency owner interviewing me drew a line on a piece of paper. He then invited me to draw a dot on the line and asked, “how did you get here.” I drew a dot – wondering if I picked the right spot on the line – and said, “I drove.” He paused and sat back in his chair, a bit perplexed. I mentally prepared to leave, thinking that was my first and last question. He must have realized that was a bit of an existential question for a 20-year-old. Of course, he meant how did I get here in life. Fortunately, he had mercy on me, we shared a laugh about perception and context and continued the interview. I got the job.

I learned a valuable career lesson in that moment – communicating clearly is crucial for receiving an expected response. It’s a concept I find fascinating. As a self-proclaimed visual communications nerd, I thrive on breaking down concepts and thinking about how complex ideas can be made intelligible quickly. I enjoy the psychological aspect of marketing and learning what provokes response and how people react to messages and visuals. I actually get excited when I’ve contributed to a project that resonates with people and when they react the way I’d hoped. I know – super cool, right?

In addition to a heavy focus in direct response, I’ve navigated nearly all of advertising’s niches – digital, packaging, outdoor and branding. The common thread has been streamlined communication, focused on engagement between brands and audience. That’s what brings me to Pragmatic today – the love of the response.

To date, my path to Pragmatic hardly resembles a black straight line. It’s colorful, textured and certainly not linear. I look forward to drawing the next segment with this team. Each day, I’m impressed by their insights, strategic minds and creative solutions. Respectful, humble and kind, it’s an absolute pleasure to collaborate with a group who loves what they do, and works so well together.

Amanda Russo

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