Q5: Millennials in management — meet Tanya Davis [interview]
by Carey Finn (@carey_finn) At just 28, Tanya Davis (@tans_tan) is East Coast Radio’s youngest-ever brand and communications manager. She speaks to us about her fast career track, and what she’s learned so far.
Q5: What attracted you to radio?
Tanya Davis: I was 13 years old and I remember a campaign that was running on East Coast Radio that completely blew me away. I would get into the car every single day and beg my mom to put the radio on so that I could hear all about the “Live inside and win the ride” campaign. The campaign consisted of three couples living in one car together, with no showers, short bathroom breaks and eat what you get. The couple to [outlast] everyone would win the car.
I was so captivated, intrigued, curious and absolutely hooked. Radio wasn’t a platform that just brought us music anymore; it was a medium that told stories and brought you content that was different, bold and big. Ever since that day, I knew I wanted to be part of radio, East Coast Radio [specifically].
Q5: In what ways, in terms of experience and skills, would you say you were prepared to take on this role?
TD: I believe that anyone could have the right experience and skills to take on any role, yes; studying and putting in the effort at varsity is important, but not everyone has the right attitude (be positive and optimistic), commitment (don’t clock-watch, be the first one in and last to leave) and enthusiasm (stop the blame-game and become a team player by looking for solutions and not mistakes) to take their experience and skills to the next level. I believe that has prepared me for this role.
Q5: What do you think millennials can bring to management positions?
TD: Breaking the stereotype of “this is how a manager should be.” It’s okay to have a bad day; it’s okay to feel stressed and overwhelmed; it’s okay to admit you were wrong and change your decision in front of your team; it’s okay to have fun and show it at the workplace. Millennials bring authenticity to management positions — real, raw and relatable.
Q5: How may young managers, particularly women, bust assumptions that older people might make about their ability to do the job?
TD: The truth is, because you are a young manager, all eyes will be on you all the time; you can’t drop the ball because, if you do, then you will be reminded that you did. The way young managers, particularly women, can bust assumptions is to be authentically you; don’t lose your voice because you are afraid your opinion might be wrong; speak up and make your voice heard; listen when criticised: there is always someone testing you to see how you would react to difficult situations, [so] don’t be defensive; instead, take what is shared with you, consider it and decide how to best apply it going forward. Prove to people that you listened when they spoke and applied their feedback in your own way.
Q5: Where do you see yourself in five years?
TD: Always looking for bigger and better things. Breaking the mould.
- Follow Tanya Davis on Twitter at @tans_tan.
Carey Finn (@carey_finn) is a writer and editor with a decade and a half of industry experience, having covered everything from ethical sushi in Japan to the technicalities of roofing, agriculture, medical stuff and more. She’s also taught English and journalism, and dabbled in various other communications ventures along the way, including risk reporting. As a contributing writer to MarkLives.com, her new regular column “Q5” aims to hone in on strategic insights, analysis and data through punchy interviews with experts in media, marketing and design.