Victoria BrooksVisible Start Graduate

Integrity and sustainability continued to be significant to Victoria, who recognised the value of supporting a ‘corporate social responsibility’.

I really enjoyed talking to Victoria. From the outset she came across as an open, honest, courageous and highly intelligent person and we quickly established common ground in that we both had North American upbringings, mutual acquaintances, experience living and working in different countries, even German husbands!

I was struck by how she’d overcome adversity in her life, her determination to move forward and the courage she possessed when it came to grasping opportunities with both hands.

Victoria spoke warmth and pride about her father and her early life in rural Vermont working his ski shop: he was big on marketing and had a creative circle of friends, one of whom offered Victoria an internship at his graphic design agency to work on snowboarding brand Burton…trés cool.

It was whilst at university studying Psychology that he sadly passed away and suddenly she had to support herself: taking on two very different jobs: one in clinical psychology for children and the other in the marketing department of Converse shoes researching buyer psychology.

After graduating, a friend who was working at Ogilvy in NYC offered her a job and two weeks later she’d moved to NY to work as a Strategic Planner. Fast-tracked into the position, she soon had a PA and at 21 found herself presenting strategies to the board of Ford!

Moving to Fallon NY, Victoria had the opportunity to work on a street basketball brand, leading her to question the ad industry’s approach to campaigns involving minority communities. Instinctively, she found a way to give something back: offering apprenticeships to ensure that creative input came from the community itself.

After losing both her job and home in the horrific events of 9/11, she moved to the UK where she was offered a role in the agency’s London office and given an opportunity to explore a whole new world: to Victoria, Europe was entirely new.

Integrity and sustainability continued to be significant to Victoria, who recognised the value of supporting the agency’s clients in achieving this for their brands, pushing and succeeding to develop a ‘corporate social responsibility’ consultancy offering within her next agency, BBH.

It perhaps was no surprise that her next move was into the non-profit sector: a brief stint that led to freelance contracts to partner NFPs with brands in order to impact social and environmental change, notably working with Sony Europe, LEGO and WWF on a Climate Change project for COP.

Victoria “stepped back” a few years ago to look after her two children but remains engaged in her current consulting role at Bloom: actively pushing for gender equality within the ad industry…I’d love to see what she can do when she’s not stepping back! Victoria truly believes in the power of brands to bring about positive change and I know she will do just that – joining Visible Start is just the next step towards achieving this goal.

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Vanessa CaribeSandra Scher