1. What do you do?
In a nutshell, I manage the relationship with our client, Air Canada, specifically for digital and social media initiatives. I work very closely with the clients, as well as our internal creative teams to ensure that we meet (preferably surpass!) the client’s goals and expectations.
2. Have you learned something at your job that completely surprised you?
Actually, just the fact that I get to work with a major airline is something that still thrills me every day! I’ve always travelled a lot since I was very young and grew up near the Dubai airport. The airplanes roaring above my house every day were so low, I felt I could reach out and touch them. The travel geek in me gets a huge kick out of working in this industry and being up close to planes quite often.
3. What is the one thing your colleagues probably don’t know about you?
I can’t roll my R’s (I have to fake it when I speak French), and I can’t whistle either. Fortunately, neither has had a particularly damning impact on my life.
4. What’s your favourite project that you’ve worked on since you started here?
Earn Your Wings is by far one of my top favourites. It started out as a small, extremely challenging project and we’ve grown it over the years into a part of Air Canada’s loyalty program, with truly exceptional results and a heap of awards to boot!
5. In your opinion, what makes for good content?
Tailoring content so that it resonates strongly with a specific audience is really key. Working with the social media team, this is something we consider on a daily basis: how to make a piece of content relevant for different groups of people.
6. What do you like to do in your spare time?
Tons of reading, horse riding, biking, and I run Ysabel LaRousse, my online shop featuring perfumes and skincare products that I make exclusively with natural ingredients. Also, as a leader of the Montreal Etsy Team, I help organise large-scale artisan events, and mentor entrepreneurs. Sleep is rarely an option.
7. What’s the last thing you read/saw that inspired you?
Defiance – by no means a recent movie, but one of my favourites. It’s dark and heavy, but I love it so much because of the incessant resilience shown by people who lost everything in the face of terrifying dangers and still fought to survive.
8. What are your top 5 must-see destinations?
– Lindisfarne – a Northumberland island, off England’s north-east coast. Famous for being the site of the first Danish Viking attack on England. It feels incredibly mysterious and magical.
– Cape Breton – Easily one of the most stunning and peaceful spots in Canada. Drive around near the coastline and everything is absolutely Instagram-worthy. I kept pulling over on the highway to take photos!
– Ireland/Scotland – Really, just put me anywhere in either of these places and I’m happy. Castles around every corner. For maximum enjoyment, tour the countryside on horseback to really appreciate the breathtakingly dramatic scenery.
– Arles – I fell in love with this quaint little city in the south of France. Walk around and the influence of the ancient Romans who once inhabited Arles is still very evident.
– Ras Al Khaimah – I had to finish this list with a throwback to my roots. Dubai is such a trendy destination, but to get away from the excessive glitz, plan a day trip to RAK. Drive through rugged mountains, stop by the roadside for local sustenance from a small Arab canteen, and then spend the rest of the day scuba diving in warm, crystal clear waters. Pure bliss!
9. What’s the best-kept secret in the neighbourhood?
Lunch at L’Arrivage – a restaurant in the nearby Pointe-à-Callière museum. I love anything to do with museums, so this makes it extra cool for me. Their patio has a gorgeous view of Vieux Montreal’s Old Port.
10. What is the one piece of advice that has helped you the most since you started working in this industry?
Nothing is impossible. Go through every option, and then break out the really crazy ideas. If you want something badly enough, there’s always a way to make it happen!