Carat Convos: Anathea Ruys, Managing Director, West Coast, Carat US

“The thing about culture is that one person can’t deliver it.”

What does a standard work day for you look like?
There is no such thing as a standard workday, everything can change on a moment’s notice and I find that quite exciting. I might find myself meeting with clients; we have a lot of terrific clients here and I like to spend a lot of time with them because the challenges that they are trying to solve is the reason that we are all here. I also work a lot with our different specialist teams and I’m fortunate because I get to work across clients with these incorporated specialty teams as well. So, any day you might find me collaborating with any of our teams on a challenge, and more often than not you’ll find me working on new business.

What is your vision for the West Coast office in the next 6 months?
We have a really exciting 6 months coming up. With all of our specialist units in the same office, in the next 6 months Carat will be working even more closely with these teams. We are really lucky here because we are a relatively small office, even when we get to capacity within this office, we will only have about 350 people and that is a very manageable size for us to know and collaborate with each other. We really do operate under the guides of we are one Network team and that is working really well for us, so I see the next 6 months being very exciting. It would also be really nice if some of those new business pitches turned into new business wins and we were welcoming in some new clients into the fold.

Now taking a look back, what was your first job? What was your experience like?
I was a woman’s magazine editor for one of Australia and New Zealand’s largest magazines and I loved the lifestyle, but I left that after becoming publisher and went into what we were then calling PR, but we would now call content, in a media agency. So, I quickly became accustomed to the media agency life and since then I’ve worked either in content, advertising, or, of course, the media industry.

What is the biggest piece of advice you would give to someone starting out in their career?
There are probably two things I would say, the first is that your career is going to be really, really long. I know you are eager to jump ahead, get promotions, and continually move up the ladder, and that is important, but also really focus on building the foundations of their career. It is like building a house, if the foundation is shaky everything above that will also be shaky. So, make sure you take the time to learn your craft, to really understand what it is you are doing and why. Once you have that in place, you have set yourself up for a really strong, flourishing career.

The second thing I would say is be curious. Take risks and chances, ask to be involved in different things, explore what different divisions and specialisms are doing. You never know when you will find something that you completely fall in love with and it’s a really good way to find out what everyone else is doing and how you can benefit from collaborating.

On your free time what show or movie could you watch 100x over?
I am completely addicted to Friends and can watch it on repeat. There is so much amazing content out there that I haven’t watched, yet I find myself going through to the end of Friends and back to the beginning of the season.

What do you think helps spark the ability to have a great office culture?
The thing about culture is that one person can’t deliver it. I like to enable people to create a culture that works for them and encourage them to really explore what that culture looks like. We spend so much time at work and the people we work with need to be important in our lives. You don’t need to be best friends with them, but you need to have respect. You need to feel like they are bringing something terrific to the table, and you also need to feel like you are bringing something to the table.

I enjoy creating opportunities for teams to come together. In the Culver City office, we hold all office meetings where we share news and current work to make sure everyone is on the same page. That is really important because it is only when you know what everyone around you is doing that you can really understand what they are going through. Culture also comes from welcoming new perspective. We are always excited to have vendors, partners, and interesting professionals come into the agency and share their perspective, which help us all embrace that sense of curiosity, and as a team.

Having traveled and lived in so many different locations, what was your favorite place so far?
I grew up and spent most of my working career in and around Australia and New Zealand. I also lived in Singapore, which is a wonderful leaping off destination to travel to different parts of Asia. My family and I have enjoyed traveling around Asia and in particular my kids have been to some ridiculously exciting places for young people, but for me, I keep coming back to Vietnam, I love Vietnam. The environment is so beautiful, I’ve met so many wonderful, kind-hearted people there and of course the food is just amazing.

Get In Touch