Meet Melek Ourir, Senior Planner at Wunderman Thompson Tunis
Melek is a Senior Planner at Wunderman Thompson Tunis. She assists CEOs, CMOs, Brand Managers, and Content Creators in making decisions they feel good about. She has been working in Strategic Planning for more than five years in her home agency where she also leads new business development. She listens more than she talks, holds strong analytical skills, and has a relentless need to find meaning in conflict or chaos.
Melek was part of the Wunderman Thompson High Potential class of 2019 and participated in the ‘See It Be It’ program of the Dubai Lynx 2018, intended to support female leadership in the creative industry. Her work was awarded multiple times at the MENA Effies Awards, among other recognitions.
Why did you join this industry?
A series of fortunate events led me to advertising but what made me stay was the constant and wide stream of challenges. One doesn’t simply work in a creative agency; they take ownership of their clients’ businesses and redefine their boundaries. I often feel like I live tens of careers each year.
How did you land your first job?
I like to think that I grew into my planning job. I joined Wunderman Thompson as a summer intern in the social media team. A three-month fling turned into a six-year career, nurtured by the teaching of passionate people, big opportunities, and a true fascination with the logical workings behind the creative.
What’s the best advice you have received so far?
That leadership doesn’t have to be loud and commanding; it can be soft-spoken, confidently articulated, and built around respect.
What’s the best advice you have given so far?
Overthinking is a trap that advertisers, myself included, often fall in. I like to remind myself and my teammates that in real life, people don’t actually care about the minutae of what we are doing. How they consider a brand is usually a very straightforward affair that shouldn’t always be romanticized – just understood.
How do you feel about the stigma sometimes associated with Millennials and Gen Z?
There might be a cultural gap in the workspace giving our generation a reputation of weak work ethics. Millennials are highly self-aware and we naturally developed self-centered work values. We appreciate culture, flexibility, and transparency. Most of us will thrive in a clearly defined role with set boundaries and valuable incentive, instead of trying to fit their skills around organizational gaps in an adapt-or-die professional setting.
What do you think you specifically bring to the organization you work for?
I don’t see strategy as having the right answers but as a support system. My supportive planning M.O. is to offer the right kind of help, be it guidance, focus, or polish. I am still figuring things out but I try to be reliable to a fault, cool in a crisis, and build enough trust so that we can tackle the real issues.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned at work?
As a strategist, you get judged on the quality of the thinking you are capable of and can feel compelled to prove that you are the smartest person in every room. But a few years in, I realized a very trivial fact: No one has everything figured out and no one expects that you do.
What’s the most rewarding thing about your job?
There is an X factor to creative work and how it might resonate with an audience. I thrive in nuances and correct articulation of thoughts with one goal in mind: having work not only make sense but take a life of its own outside of a meeting room.
What’s the most frustrating thing about your job?
The lack of time will always be a challenge in any given task. I feel like we no longer measure performance according to the quality of the work but rather on certain expectations set by time constraints.
If not this, what would you be doing?
I would be an architect – a discipline that demands rigor, planning, and great creativity. I can’t help but draw similarities with my actual job as it is mostly about building the right foundations and strong pillars to have spaces that we feel good in.
Would you start your own venture in the future?
Sure. There is still a lot of room for growth in the field of customer intelligence, marketing research, and marketing technology – definitely something I would think about in the long run