Kicking off the new year, I chat to Pabalelo Serepo, senior media relations specialist at Ogilvy & Mather, to find out what is behind her selfie.
Pabalelo Serepo is a senior media relations specialist. Source: Supplied.
Tell me about yourself
Professionally, I am a seasoned communication specialist with over five years of experience in the industry. Currently, I hold the position of senior media relations specialist at the renowned firm, Ogilvy & Mather. My primary focus lies in B2B communications, and I have successfully worked across diverse sectors including energy, logistics, law, telecommunications, healthcare and more.
On a personal note, I am a naturally curious individual who enjoys reading, listening to podcasts, and staying informed about current events. I also try prioritise maintaining a healthy lifestyle, enjoy going on breakfast dates, and spending quality time with my family and friends.
What is IN and what is OUT for 2024?
- Embracing Fear: Committing to staying true to myself, taking bold risks, and pursuing opportunities that challenge me.
- Lifelong Learning: Continuously expanding my knowledge, particularly in the realm of AI and other innovations that influence our industry, with the aim of leveraging them to our advantage as communication professionals.
- Cultivating Awareness and Critical Thinking: Staying informed about news across various sectors and approaching information with a discerning and critical mindset.’
- Promoting Civic Engagement: Advocating for active participation in the South African national elections this year, encouraging everyone to exercise their right to vote.
- Being Debilitated by Fear: Resisting the paralysis of fear and self-doubt to pursue the things I truly desire
- Combatting Misinformation: Adopting a critical approach to information consumption by questioning and scrutinising what I read and hear, especially from non-credible sources.
- Neglecting Self-Care and Wellness: Avoiding excuses and making a conscious effort to prioritise my well-being and self-care this year.
Biggest lesson of 2023?
Change is inevitable and that God restores.
Describe yourself in one word
What are you listening/reading/watching?
Listening: Currently enjoying the Diary of a CEO podcast by Steven Bartlett, the On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast and Kelvin Momo’s latest album, Kurhula.
Reading: Engaged in Steven Bartlett’s The Diary of a CEO and exploring 37 Laws of Business and Life, along with Joel Osteen’s uplifting book, All Good Things Are Working for Your Good.
Watching: Recently completed the final seasons of Scandal and Suits.
What did you want to be when you were a child?
Initially, I aspired to be a fashion designer, interior designer, or events coordinator. But, as I matured, my passion shifted towards people, and in my matric year, receiving a human relations pupil award at my high school solidified my commitment to my current career path.
Who inspires you?
I draw inspiration from a diverse range of individuals and experiences in my day-to- day life, which include:
- Observing iMama on the side of the road, selling fruits and vegetables, and Ntate hustling to make ends meet, showcasing dedication to providing for their families.
- Admiring figures like Steve Biko, who spearheaded the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa, leaving behind a legacy, and Muhammad Gaddafi, who fought for a united Africa with a singular voice and currency.
- Recognising the achievements of emerging women entrepreneurs such as Nomndeni Mdaki, Sinovuyo Mudliwa and Mathebe Molise, who built successful black-owned businesses from the ground up.
Any advice for newbies in the industry?
- Stay focused by keeping your head down, blocking out the noise, and consistently putting in the effort.
- Maintain curiosity about your work, the people you work with, your company, and the world around you.
- Always strive to present your best self, and don’t hesitate to seek guidance when necessary; no one is expected to know everything when entering the industry.
- Discover ways to contribute value to both the organisation and the individuals you collaborate with.
- Develop a well-defined vision and plan for navigating your career in the short, medium, and long term—otherwise, others may dictate your path for.