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How I Got Here: Depop Australia’s Marketing Manager on landing her ultimate job

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ELLIOT LAUREN

WORDS BY CAIT EMMA BURKE

“Networking is so important, and it doesn’t have to be slimy. Show up for the industry you want to be part of.”

Have you ever stalked someone on LinkedIn and wondered how on earth they managed to land that wildly impressive job? While the internet and social media might have us believe that our ideal job is a mere pipe dream, the individuals who have these jobs were, believe it or not, in the same position once, fantasising over someone else’s seemingly unattainable job.

But behind the awe-inspiring titles and the fancy work events lies a heck of a lot of hard work. So what lessons have been learnt and what skills have proved invaluable in getting them from daydreaming about success to actually being at the top of their industry?

Welcome to How I Got Here, where we talk to women who are killing it in their respective fields about how they landed their awe-inspiring jobs, exploring the peaks and pits, the failures and the wins, and most importantly the knowledge, advice and practical tips they’ve gleaned along the way.

This week, Depop Australia’s Marketing Manager, Mia Besorio, tells us how she landed her ultimate role. Mia is incredibly well versed in all aspects of media and marketing – she’s a talented multi-hyphenate creative who isn’t afraid of taking risks.

After studying media and communications while working for free for a variety of publications and agencies, she landed her first paid role in the industry. Since that time, she has worked across editorial, project management, business development, brand management, marketing – you name it, and she’s done it.

I first met Mia when I was an editorial intern at Acclaim Magazine. In what was an intimidating, male-dominated environment, Mia always impressed me with her unflappable confidence, creativity, quick wit and kindness. She took me under her wing, and by watching her, I learnt the value of networking and supporting and building up our fellow women.

Over the years, Mia has given me excellent career and life advice, and she has always reminded me to know my worth and prioritise what I want. I interviewed her last year for Melbourne collective, Ladies of Leisure, and what I wrote then still rings true (please excuse me while I quote myself). “That’s what Mia does best. She helps other women believe that they can do the thing, manage the project, land that job, and nail that pitch. Mia reminds women that it’s all possible, if only they back themselves first.”  Here’s what she’s learnt along the way.

What do you do and what’s your official job title?

I’m the Australian Marketing Manager for Depop. For those of you who haven’t used the app yet, Depop is a fashion marketplace to buy, sell and discover unique fashion. Our mission is to empower young creatives to transform the future of fashion. My role as Marketing Manager is to increase awareness and build credibility around Depop in Australia amongst the creative and consumer communities.

Take us back to when you were first starting out. Did you study to get into your chosen field, or did you start out with an internship/entry-level role and climb the ladder? Tell us the story.

My first attempt at university was studying media communications straight out of high school. I was far too directionless at that point to make it stick, so I took some time off to live my life. It took me five years of living to come back to study – still doing media communications but this time at RMIT University.

I approached study differently this time, now knowing that my passions were music and fashion, it gave me purpose. Ironically, they were always my core interests, but it took seeing things in the real-world to understand where the career opportunities existed in these industries. I did the absolute most during my (second) time at university. I worked without pay in exchange for experience at several agencies and publications, as well as working in student media. I made invaluable connections and developed tangible skills to build a solid resume so I was qualified by the time I landed my first paid industry job, which I secured whilst still studying.


Mia speaking to Rico Nasty at a Depop event

What challenges/hurdles have you faced getting to where you are now? Can you tell us about one in particular?

When I was starting out, the biggest challenge I faced was being taken seriously as a young Asian woman from a low-middle class family, with little to no experience in the industries I sought to be part of. My parents had migrated to Australia less than a year before I was born, so there was no roadmap for my success. My parents sacrificed everything so I could dream. But while the possibilities for my future were infinite, I struggled to find role models in the public eye that I could relate to or aspire to be like.

Understanding and accepting my heritage and my identity were huge internal hurdles I had to overcome before I could grow. My story is not unique, it’s the classic immigrant narrative: we had to push open doors that were not open for people like us. I’m very thankful for the mentors I did find along the way, who helped me get my foot in those doors. I hope that one day I can be a role model for others who are experiencing similar adversities.

What do you want people to know about your industry/your role?

While the theories of marketing might seem fixed, the functions of marketing are ever-changing, non-linear and require constant upkeep. A great marketer is someone who is obsessed with consumer behaviours and interests. A truly great marketer is a consumer themselves – they advocate for the vision they are selling you, and they do the things they ask you to do. They let the audience take a participative role in the journey and they embrace change. I’m so lucky to work for a future-forward company like Depop which is full of people in the same headspace as me. Because we are tech-fashion, we’re amidst two industries that are always innovating. The future is unknown, but that’s what makes it exciting.

What’s the best part about your role?

Empowering young people to be creative is undoubtedly the best part of my role. I knew it then, and I know it now: young people will change the world if we let them lead. The future generation act with such intention, integrity and intelligence. There is purity in everything that they do. It’s this magic that we adults will lose if we don’t put respect on the youth and the influence that they have on culture.

What would surprise people about your role?

The final output you see in the market is approximately 20 per cent of what I actually do. The campaigns, shoots, content, publicity, events – the end result gets all the praise, but the real work comes in the admin. The emails, meetings, spreadsheets, cross-functional collaboration, it’s all the “boring stuff” that sets up the “fun stuff” for success. I wish someone told me this when I first started out, so I was better prepared for the reality and responsibility that comes with a career in marketing.

What skills have served you well in your industry?

Social skills. The best experience I’ve gained was during my retail jobs on the side of high school and university. I learned how to talk to people from all walks of life, which is a very applicable skill needed in the workforce. The ability to maintain the most mundane small talk plus hold it down in a nuanced and articulate conversation is crucial in marketing. Practice makes perfect, so get out there. Networking is so important, and it doesn’t have to be slimy. Show up for the industry you want to be part of. I met some of my strongest industry contacts at gigs and shows.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to be in a role like yours one day?

Don’t disregard an opportunity because it doesn’t directly align with the title you want. What makes me good at my job now is that I have literally been on every side of the industry that I deal with now. When I speak to agencies, media, publicists, digital marketers, event contractors, or members from cross-functional teams within Depop, I actually know what I’m saying and what I’m asking for. I know what realistic timeframes and deadlines are, and I can empathise with the other side. My advice is to keep doing the most because every experience is invaluable. The more experiences you have, the more empathy you will gain, and the more employable you will continue to be.

What about a practical tip?

Go get your life, don’t wait for it to find you. Once you decide what you want to do, then do everything you can to successfully fulfil the criteria of the job description. Commit yourself to upskilling in any areas where you aren’t qualified. Have patience and enjoy the process, there’s no fixed timeframe for achieving success. Make it your opportunity to lose. Don’t hope – manifest.

Read the rest of the How I Got Here series here.

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