Kaylie Stansfield (1986): From Perth to New York

Kaylie Stansfield (Staddon) graduated from Santa Maria College in 1986.  Moving to the United States in 2007, Kaylie now calls New York home, where she works in marketing. She shares her story with us below.

What drew you to pursue a career in marketing?

I was initially attracted to the creative aspect of marketing. I loved the idea that the right image and the right message, delivered to a customer in the right place at the right time, could persuade someone to purchase a product. That initial interest evolved as the industry shifted from a predominantly print world to a predominantly digital world. It’s hard to believe no one had websites in the mid-1990s, let alone email, social media, streaming, and every other digital channel we interact with every day! Now my favourite aspect of marketing is combining strategy with data and creativity. You can’t beat that left-brain, right-brain mental gymnastics.

What have been the highlights in your career to now?

During my time in Perth, I had dual careers: marketing by day and performing at night. It was always a buzz to finish a day in the office and head straight to rehearsal or to perform at a corporate event with my singing trio, Red, Hot & Blue. Following my time with the trio, I performed in a few cabaret shows Downstairs at the Maj, the highlight being my Elvis show. (Yes, THAT Elvis). As for marketing highlights, in Perth, it was heading up marketing for His Majesty’s Theatre and Perth Concert Hall. In New York, my first highlight was securing my first job at The Economist, and my most recent highlight was producing and co-hosting a 30-episode podcast series for the CEO of my company during the pandemic.

What do you love about your current role?

My current role is VP Head of Marketing for the Americas at a creative production company called Tag which was recently acquired by Dentsu, the fifth-largest advertising network in the world. Although I work on the B2B side, meaning marketing Tag’s services to potential clients (global brands), what I most enjoy is having the opportunity to work with a blend of smart, creative, interesting people from all over the world who produce incredible advertising content for our clients. It is humbling to be around.

How long have you been living in New York, and what do you love about it?

I moved to New York City from Perth in 2007 and became an American citizen four years ago. My passion for NYC in the early years was deeply rooted in my love for Broadway, great restaurants, and the city’s ‘always on’ culture. It’s not an easy place to live – we have tiny apartments, the streets of Manhattan are always crowded, and the pandemic took its toll – but it does offer a melting pot of cultures, incredible career opportunities, and something unique to experience every day. That’s what I love most about it today.

Who inspires you?

The people who most inspire me are my immediate family members, and each for different reasons.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I wish I had a more interesting response to this! Like many companies, ours is a hybrid workplace which means we’re required to be in the office three days a week and can work from home two days. My office days typically start with the gym and breakfast before taking the subway to Times Square and walking a couple of blocks to the office. Then it’s meetings (virtual or in-person), deadlines, more meetings, and home to my one-bedroom apartment to throw a salad in a bowl and watch my favourite reality TV shows. New Yorkers are not known for cooking.

What do you enjoy doing in your downtime?

Honestly? Whatever I feel like. Sometimes that’s seeing a movie, or catching up with friends for brunch, or walking to Central Park. My job is highly structured to align with deadlines, so my downtime is rarely planned. Except for vacation… I usually plan that a month ahead. I travelled to Portugal in May, Scotland last Christmas, and Mexico last Thanksgiving.

What is your favourite memory about your time at Santa Maria College?

I certainly liked winning the Year 11 music award! That aside, there isn’t a single favourite memory that stands out. However, if I had to name one takeaway from my five years at Santa Maria, it is that you can be whatever you want to be, whether that’s a lawyer, a teacher, a CEO, a surfer, a parent, a plumber, a pilot, an architect, or a marketer. There are no rules to life, just choices. We were often told by the principal at the time, Sr Sheila Sawle, “If it is to be, it is up to me.” She was right!

Kaylie, thank you for sharing your story with us from across the globe!

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