Special Edition – Interview

Serina MacDonald

Serina was part of the Special Edition 2018/19 programme. During the course, Serina gained a significant job promotion, which she attributes to the lessons learnt through TRC training.

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Serina is Head of Activation – Associate Director at Amplifi, part of the Dentsu Aegis Network. We caught up with Serina at Dentsu Aegis’ swanky Edinburgh offices to chat all things Special Edition.

Why Special Edition?

“I was off on maternity leave when a former manager sent me a link to the applications for Special Edition. She encouraged me to apply, saying that a woman in her current team had just completed the programme and she couldn’t believe the difference in her. When I initially looked at the opportunity, I doubted that I would be good enough to be selected. But I read feedback from previous delegates, who were making huge claims about the experience being ‘life-changing’ and I thought ‘I want a piece of that!’. So, I gave it a go and secured a place.

Given everything I have learned since completing the programme, the confidence gained and my improved mindset, it scares me to think what I would have missed out on had I not clicked that apply button!”

Returning to the Industry

“I had taken a year out of the industry for my maternity leave and felt I had generated a lot of energy on my time away from work. At the same time, I was also starting to get nervous about returning to the industry. A lot changes in the digital world in a year, so that was really playing on my mind. I came back to work and started Special Edition in conjunction, and I think I would have struggled more with the return if it hadn’t been for the course. Special Edition gave me a really positive outlook on returning to the industry – it was like a rebirth, as cheesy as that sounds!”

Finding my niche

“I’ve always enjoyed the industry I work in, and done well in terms of career progression, but I had reached the level of Associate Director and I didn’t know what was next for me. Even though I am confident in my knowledge, skills and experience, a part of me has always thought that I could never be a Managing Director or start my own business. I look at others in those positions and have never felt that I could relate. Following the course, I genuinely do believe that I am just as good as anyone else and that I have every chance of getting to that stage. The course has helped not only understand that, but it has also helped me define and shape my goals and ambitions which I hadn’t truly thought through previously. I feel like I now have a better understanding of my “niche” – and that I know what I have to offer an organisation to make a real impact on their business, and that’s quite powerful! I do believe that I could choose a company that I really want to work for and just approach them with what I have to offer – and that’s not something I would have dreamed of doing prior to the course.”

New Opportunites

“When I was doing the course, a role became vacant in another agency under the Dentsu Aegis network. I reached out directly to the Managing Director of the company to enquire about the position (something I never would have done in the past!) and during that conversation the role was offered to me then and there. I had been nervous about the prospect of asking because this is a senior role that manages across Edinburgh and Manchester locations. Without Special Edition, I don’t believe that I would have had the confidence to take the steps that got me this role. Following Special Edition I have a whole new mindset and perspective that has changed how I think, how I feel about myself and what I have to offer the world. That’s the greatest outcome, and more than I ever expected.”

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Special Edition is an original training concept by TRC.

Special Edition is funded by our partners BBC Nations and Regions, Channel 4, Scottish Enterprise & Screen Scotland. There is a delegate fee of £395.