Alumni Feature: Richard Grossi, Group Marketing Strategist at firstEquity Insurance Group
Richard obtained his Diploma in Marketing and Advertising Communications in 2004. He then joined the likes of Net#work BBDO as an Account Executive, later on joining firstEquity as their Group Marketing Strategist.
Richard recalls a lot of fond memories with the school, here’s what he had to say:
I often think of my experience at the Red & Yellow – I make mention of it often in my lectures.
My students often ask what it was like ‘back then’ – which I hate. Times have changed, media has changed and “thank God”, through the entire crazy process of constantly having to rebrand oneself, I have too.
Life on campus was one of many turning points in my life. Having lived a very sheltered life growing up in Durban, Cape Town and Red & Yellow marked the beginning of a new life.
My first experience of ‘brand’ was when I was about 6. I recall watching a Peter Stuyvesant commercial in a movie theatre and something inside twigged. I didn’t know what it meant, what it would look like but I knew that I wanted a piece of the larger-than-life advert I had just seen.
Red & Yellow introduced me to a new language – a new way to view life. I met people who were nothing like me, but at the same time, identical. The school allowed the space for students to mix it up and pull them out and walk away with something special and unique.
After graduating, I went straight into the big world of advertising – to the Network BBDO, Ogilvy’s of the world. I headed up some of the largest accounts and loved my 4 years in the game. Leaving advertising I completed an MBA with my eyes dead set on brand strategy. I’ve worked as a freelance strategist for many years in between advertising, corporate and studies.
I have chosen to work a 3 day week in corporate as a strategist while using the other 2 days to lecture.
I firmly believe, had I not gone to the Red & Yellow, the confidence that I have in myself today would not be there.
A big thank you to the school for inspiring and encouraging me to appreciate both the logic and the magic inside me – I strive every day to pay it forward.