Courtesy: Condé Nast's

In The Spotlight: Sharon Carter

By Dora Fagan

Delve into the intriguing life and career of Sharon Carter, as we uncover the hidden facets of this enigmatic figure.

Key Takeaways
  • Sharon Carter‚Äôs rise to prominence in her field.
  • Insights into her unique approach to challenges and opportunities.
  • The impact of her work on the industry and beyond.

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February heralds the observance of Black History Month across the expanse of the United States. Sharon Carter, Acting Director of Advertising Solutions (Ad Studio) at Cond√© Nast, imparts her perspectives on the importance of Black History Month, her capacity as Co-Chair of the NOIR ERG, and the joy of unleashing one’s artistic flair.

Would you be willing to give us insight into your personal history? How did your journey lead you to join Condé Nast?

Cond√© Nast held an eminent allure as a prospective employer during my collegiate years. I Sharon Carter fervently adhered to a weekly ritual of perusing the ‘Open Jobs’ section, eagerly seeking avenues for application. One lucky day, while perusing the job postings, I chanced upon an opportunity for an Advertising Operations Specialist, a domain where I initially commenced my digital voyage. Swiftly, I submitted my application and secured the coveted position. It has been more than seven years since I integrated into the Cond√© Nast family, and I cannot conceive of any alternative trajectory. My tenure here has epitomized the realization of a cherished aspiration.

How do you delineate your role to acquaintances and kin?

Initially, I (Sharon Carter) equated my duties to those akin to Olivia Pope within the advertising domain, simplifying the elucidation. However, I delve further by expounding that I oversee the genesis and execution of our array of impactful and socially engaging display units. Echoing the sentiments espoused by Deb Brett, my team orchestrates the resplendent bespoke advertisements adorning Cond√© Nast’s digital platforms. Clients searching for compelling and visually arresting ad units inevitably turn to my team and me.

As Cond√© Nast’s NOIR ERG co-chair, what objectives have you outlined for the forthcoming year?

While orchestrating internal endeavors for our African American workforce holds prominence, our efforts should transcend these boundaries. Cementing collaborative bonds with external entities underscores Cond√© Nast’s dedication to the African American community and our global pursuits toward effecting change. Another paramount objective is to ascertain that our African American colleagues feel esteemed and acknowledged, furnishing platforms such as town hall assemblies for them to articulate their concerns and contribute ideas for enriching our organizational ethos at Cond√© Nast.

What import does Black History Month carry for you?

For me, Black History Month represents a period of reflection, commemorating our strides thus far while acknowledging the path ahead. It furnishes an opportunity to pay homage to the historical and contemporary pioneers who advocated societal metamorphosis despite encountering formidable impediments. Some of my cherished childhood reminiscences revolve around Black History Month, characterized by literary expositions spotlighting influential African American figures, participating in activist-themed dramatizations, and reciting poetry at our school’s annual gatherings. As I matured, celebrating my heritage transcended the confines of a month and evolved into an integral facet of my daily existence.

In your estimation, identify a seminal moment from African American history in the United States.

The March on Washington in 1963 holds an indelible niche in my heart. It catalyzed enacting the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and provided the backdrop for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic “I Have A Dream” oration. The resounding resonance of Dr. King’s oratory and the visual imagery of multitudes rallying in advocacy of Black rights remains etched in my memory. I recited the “I Have A Dream” address during a Black History Month commemorative event in elementary school, and its impact continues.

What constitutes the most invaluable piece of counsel you’ve received?

Resist capitulation to doubt. When confronted with adversity, it is alluring to succumb to despair. However, life is replete with obstacles akin to hurdles on an athletics track. Just as an athlete surmounts these obstacles with unwavering determination, so must we navigate life’s challenges sans succumbing to doubt that undermines our fortitude. Yielding to doubt denotes surrender.

What aspirations do you foster for 2024?

My fervent aspiration for 2024 is to delve further into my wanderlust. The preceding year allowed me to embark on a whirlwind vacation spanning four countries in six days, a personal odyssey aimed at fostering the adoption of Ad Studio in Western Europe. I derive immense gratification from immersing myself in diverse cultures and admiring the architectural marvels embellishing disparate landscapes.

What would it encompass if you could pursue an alternative vocation?

Illustration holds an enduring allure for me, and delving into a career as a cartoonist or illustrator would present an enticing prospect. I nurtured my artistic acumen from a tender age, withdrawing serving as a cherished pursuit that endures to this day. Over the years, I have sketched myriad characters, finding solace and creative fulfillment. My artistic inclination has undoubtedly enriched my current role, infusing it with a distinctive perspective.

Envision being stranded on a desert island for 100 days. Which three items would you opt to bring, and why?

Restricting the selection to merely three items presents a formidable challenge. Assuming the absence of electrical amenities on the desert island renders gadgets obsolete, I would forgo technological contrivances. Were companions admissible, I would choose my mother, father, and sister. However, in material possessions, I would elect to bring along my sketchpad, a trusty pencil, and a photograph encapsulating the essence of my familial bonds. My family embodies the linchpin of my existence, their unwavering support and affection serving as my guiding light. Carrying a tangible keepsake of them would afford solace amidst the island’s isolation. As for the sketchpad and pencil serve as conduits for self-expression and introspection, enabling me to channel my thoughts and emotions into artistic endeavors.

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‚ÄúSuccess is not about waiting for the spotlight to find you; it‚Äôs about stepping into it when the time is right.‚ÄĚ - Sharon Carter