The Ri5 profile:
Marchessa Hollyfield, Wave


Marchessa Hollyfield is client services director at Wave. She has been at the agency over ten years, starting in recruitment marketing as a sales executive before moving into an account exec role, management and currently client services. Her work involves digital communications, employee engagement and internal communications.

How did you first get into the industry?

By accident! Over ten years ago, I was looking for a sales role and came across what was then Wave Advertising. I didn’t even understand the industry but it sounded really good to tell friends that I worked for an advertising agency. After joining, I quickly learned about the industry and realised I was better at working with clients than I was at selling.

Would you do the same again?

For all the experiences I’ve had so far, definitely.

What would you do if you didn’t do this?

Hmmm… Perhaps something really random like set up my own little food place.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received in your career?

If you don’t ask, you don’t get. I was told this when I became an account executive. It can be quite daunting when dealing with clients as you’re starting out in your career. This also applies to everything in life generally. Never be afraid to ask, otherwise you’ll never know the outcome!

And what piece of advice would you give somebody starting out in the sector?

Don’t be afraid to question and challenge (positively). It will only help you learn quicker and help form your own opinions about the industry.  Always get stuck in wherever possible, it will be seen positively and you never know what opportunities will come from it.

What’s your favourite recruitment ad?

I quite like SMRS’ advert for Yodel Delivery Drivers. Cheeky and fun.

And what’s your favourite non-recruitment ad?

It’s not an advert but a powerful campaign which was definitely my favourite of 2016. I was very moved by the Ad Council’s Love Has No Labels campaign which is a film piece using a giant X-ray screen showing skeleton couples dancing, kissing and hugging. As a curious crowd start to form in front of the screen, you see the skeletons walk off screen and real people come out as themselves from all walks of life, from different religions, different races, gay, straight or other labels that people are referred to. Despite prejudice, love looks the same regardless of what labels people have.

You’re entertaining industry contacts. Where do you take them, and why?

I haven’t been yet, but I think it would be really fun to do the Crystal Maze challenge. A little nostalgic and we get competitive - the losing team has to pay for drinks afterwards.

What are you reading at the moment?

My Director lent me Why Smart People Make Such Stupid Mistakes. I read this book on and off and then come back to it again, I was supposed to give it back a couple of years ago.

And what are you listening to?

As I’m typing this, I’m listening to a Reggae playlist on Spotify.

Which five guests would you invite to your ideal dinner party?

Sir David Attenborough, Brian Cox, Adam Richman, Manny Pacquiao and Chrissy Teigen.

What are your top three films?

Training Day, The Notebook and Interstellar.

Something or someone for Room 101?

Queuing – I get queue rage.

What items do you never leave home without?

Aside from the obvious being mobile, keys and purse… I’ve just had a quick look in my handbag and there’s a reusable bag (very cool), umbrella and sunglasses in there, just because you can never predict the weather at the moment!

What’s your biggest achievement – career or otherwise?

Non career: Completing a 240 mile charity bike ride from Milan to Monaco for the Brain Tumour Charity on behalf of a close friend.

Career: Winning an award for Bloomberg Make Your Mark, which was great as it was a campaign I project-led.

Who’s your biggest hero, and why?

Cheesiest thing ever but, my two daughters. They just make me want to do better and when I’m having a crappy day, they put everything into perspective and make me realise actually things aren’t so crappy.

What is your ideal holiday?

I’ve actually booked a holiday to the Philippines this year which I’m really excited about. My mum is from the Philippines so I’m looking forward to seeing family after 26 years. We’ll also be island hopping around Palawan so I’m really excited about it.

Three words to describe yourself?

Competitive, creative, and always hungry!

Your best and worst habits?

Best: volunteering to help (without even knowing what it is).
Worst: Giving away the endings of films.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Chicken wings – I consider myself a bit of a wing connoisseur.

What single fact would surprise people the most about you?

I’ve eaten two footlong Subways in 38 mins.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Share this article

Any questions? Any comments?

Your instant reactions to this article can be posted here. Use your own name or a nom de plume.

Be the first to make a comment...

Please log in to make a comment

Already registered?

Haven't registered?

Register for FREE - it only takes a couple of minutes

Not registered? Click here.

The Ri5 profile: 
Marchessa Hollyfield, Wave
  • Latest jobs
  • Student Recruitment Account Senior Manager Client Job Location: Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Bristol or Watford Read more >> KPMG
  • Digital Marketing Co-ordinator Client Job Location: Watford (1st 6 months to be based in Canary Wharf, London) Read more >> KPMG