Alumni, Digital Culture, MA Arts and Cultural Management

From Humanities to Advertising: An interview with Francesco Mastroviti

This week’s interview is with CMCI Alumni Francesco Mastroviti, the Global Brand lead for Alfa Romeo at Starcom. In this interview, he discusses his current job role, the challenges he has faced during his career and how his education and his time at King’s College London have supported his success.

by Kirsty Warner

Francesco Mastroviti is an expert in Digital Marketing & Advertising.

He undertook an MA in Cultural & Creative Industries at King’s College London between 2015 and 2016.

Can you give me an overview of your current job role and your career journey? How did you get to this position, and what is a typical day like for you?

I currently work as Global Brand Lead for an Italian automotive brand at Starcom, a media communications agency part of Publicis Groupe.

I connect the brand’s central management with our global agency network to provide the client with the best possible product and the highest level of service and professionalism.

Now, the fun bit: I did not plan any of this.

My background is in humanities, and prior to getting my degree at King’s in Cultural & Creative Industries I had majored in philosophy for both my BA and MA.

I had always thought I would stay in academia or in a closely related field, but soon after graduating, I was given the chance to work full-time at an independent media agency based in London.

This experience opened my eyes to the many opportunities available in the private sector, and motivated me to pursue a career in advertising communications.

In as much as you have a job description, there is no typical day in advertising. Everything we do is the result of a collaboration, which in my case entails working with strategists, planners and operational specialists across four continents to ensure that we deliver consistently across all our projects. Seeing the diversity of skills at work in our industry is something that I really appreciate.

More broadly speaking, what are the challenges, if any, that you have faced during your career and how have you dealt with them?

After graduating I had this tunnel vision of finding work in the cultural sector, and therefore found it difficult to assess the full extent of my career options after graduating. My advice would be to get as much real-world experience as possible early in your career, and not to judge anything that you do not have first-hand knowledge of. Each of us has many more potential careers that we could possibly imagine.

How has your education, and more specifically your time at King’s College London supported your success?

Even if today relevant experience can sometimes replace a degree in someone’s CV, it would be naïve to discard the role education has played in my career. I am a believer of the potential of humanities in “teaching to learn”, empowering students to later acquire independently any knowledge they might need in their careers. I have to thank KCL for rigorously teaching me the principles of social research, a transferable skill that has proven highly valuable in my career, and for the opportunity to collaborate for my dissertation with a partner as prestigious as the Greater London Authority’s culture team.

What are your career aspirations?

I look forward to advancing my marketing knowledge and leadership skills, and would love reconciling career and studies by collaborating with a higher education institution.

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