Bloom North Profile: Ruepal Aujla
Ruepal Aujla is Managing Partner at McCann Birmingham and leads the digital media team. Ruepal holds seventeen years’ experience in the media industry and has worked for several of the largest agencies in the UK.
Ruepal was recently promoted to the newly created position of Group Diversity and Inclusion Officer across McCann Central, the UK’s largest integrated agency. This follows the great work she’s been doing in chairing McCann Birmingham’s Conscious Inclusion Council and spearheading multiple diversity and inclusion initiatives across the agency.
What do you most admire in a colleague?
Someone who is genuinely collaborative, open to new ideas and generous with their time. Those are the kind of people who are enjoyable to work with and so valuable to successful teams. I also appreciate people who don’t take themselves too seriously and can have a laugh.
What moment in your life most helped in shaping your career?
Perhaps the moment when I chose to write my university dissertation on the subject of a then emerging new media channel, search advertising - and a pioneering tech company that was set to become very successful, Google. When I landed my first agency role a few months later as a graduate, my boss told me that my dissertation topic was what had swung it for me vs the other candidates. That first role was a great start to my career in media and I learnt so much in a short space of time. In fact, the lady who hired me is now Chief Transformation Officer at Mediacom in the US.
Which women do you look to in life to help guide you?
I hugely value and respect the life advice that my mum gives me. She arrived in the UK from India in the 70’s when she was just 19 years old. Together with my dad, they worked so hard to eventually be able to build a business and give me and my siblings a wonderfully happy and stable childhood.
I have learnt so much from both my parents and they are still my first port of call if I’m ever feeling unsure about an important decision or need a second opinion.
I have also been lucky to work with several genuinely supportive women and have learnt from inspirational women in the industry. I love seeing my female peers doing brave things and being successful, it gives me the confidence that I can do great things too.
What advice would you give your twenty-year-old self?
Travel and see more of the world. I was probably a bit too focused on my career during my 20s – and although that didn’t work out too badly tbf – it did mean that I probably didn’t take enough advantage of the freedom of holidays without little people to look after! I hope to do more travelling when we eventually become empty nesters!