Jezz Chung has always let her curiosity guide her career—and it’s served her well indeed.
While a psychology major at UT Austin, Chung made her way into advertising after joining a student-run club called Texas Advertising Group. During her senior year, she participated in three programs that helped launch her career in advertising: AAF’s Most Promising Multicultural Students, 4A’s Multicultural Advertising Internship Program and Adcolor Futures. The programs introduced her to a group of “close friends and mentors” and helped her land a job as an assistant account executive at TBWA’s Apple dedicated unit, TBWA\Media Arts Lab.
“I didn’t see myself as an account person, but someone told me: When you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, you don’t ask questions,” Chung said. “You just get in.”
A video she created emulating Beyoncé’s 7/11 music video got the attention of the right people. TBWA\Media Arts Lab’s then-president, Erica Hoholick, soon became her advocate as Chung spent “a few sleepless months” juggling both creative and account work. “I was working alongside seasoned creatives who had gone to top portfolio schools, and here I was with a makeshift portfolio that included music videos I shot on my iPhone,” she said.
As the transition to creative became official, she found herself learning on the fly and fighting against imposter syndrome. “I constantly had to tell myself that just because my path was different than what other people took, it wasn’t any less valid,” she explained.
After four years working across nearly every Apple product, she decided it was time to move on and landed at Anomaly as a copywriter. A desire to make an impact on the world led her to propose a new role, the first at Anomaly focused on diversity and inclusion: diversity and engagement lead. Chung’s role is to “organize and amplify,” building existing partnerships and programs while working with Anomaly’s talent team on new initiatives.
“We need more investments in people and programs that help elevate marginalized voices,” she said of the industry’s diversity struggles. “Something that took hundreds of years to create isn’t going to change with a few initiatives and more hires. It’s a long game.”
While Chung has made quite a few bold moves in her career, she cited “getting too comfortable with being comfortable” as an error she made earlier in her career.
Go for it, even if it scares you. “Change is a deliberate decision, and it doesn’t happen on its own,” she advised.
“Show up,” she said. “Be intentional. Learn to listen. Get to know yourself really, really, really well.”
How She Got the Gig
“After exploring three different disciplines within advertising, I wanted a role that combined all my passions and interest,” Chung explained. “I did some deep digging to figure out my purpose and designed my dream job. I pitched it, worked with leadership to refine it and here we are! It speaks to the power of manifestation.”