Mars El Brogy is truly a Square who does it all. And you can trace the rise of digital through her impressive career, which has seen her move from print journalism to TV production roles to new media, content, community and digital producer stints at the BBC and London Live, through to her most recent appointment as Head of Video Production at ESI Media, the commercial department of the London Evening Standard, The Independent, i and London Live.
She also finds time to volunteer as Social Media Producer for events like the Royal Television Society Media Summit, Empowering Women Summit and The Muslim News. If that was not enough, Mars also produces and manages for international artist dancer, performer and choreographer Salah El Brogy (who is her husband). Mars is a trained journalist who writes for The Independent and regularly delivers talks and workshops on broadcasting and digital. She delivered the prestigious Baird Lecture for The Royal Television Society in Birmingham, following the footsteps of former speakers like ex-BBC Director General Mark Thompson and businesswoman Baroness Martha Lane-Fox.
To top it all, Mars also recently became one of our Squared Mums, more on which shortly.
‘I’ve wanted to be in the media since I was 10,’ she says, ‘and I had my first work experience at a newspaper aged 16, so I come from this very traditional media background. My first experience with digital at work was in 2007 as the New Media AP at All3Media-owned Maverick Television and from then on, I was hooked!’
A series of digital roles then followed, but it was during her time at TV broadcaster London Live from 2014 onwards that she started to think about supplementing her digital know-how developed on the job with more structured training.
‘I was in a role where you had to do a bit of everything and I knew that the changing nature of digital meant there were some gaps in my knowledge. I never want to be the one that’s following; I want to innovate. I wanted to make sure I was in a position where I could be a digital leader.’
Mars found Squared Online on Twitter and shortly afterwards found out that her former manager at London Live is also a Squared alumnus. When Mars fell pregnant, she made the decision to take the leap.
‘I’ve always invested in myself and my skills and a year of maternity leave was too long for me to be out of the industry. Motherhood was a time for me to invest in my career. So I joined Squared in March 2015, a few months before my due date in May.’
And of course, the inevitable happened…
‘I went into labour when the first group project was due and was e-mailing my team in the labour ward! Seriously, thank god for free hospital Wi-Fi!’
With the help and support of her parents and husband, Mars then continued her Squared studies as a first-time mum with her newborn daughter Amina (an honorary Square – she was with Mars watching all the live class, after all) in tow.
‘I’ve never worked in virtual teams before, and loved the dynamics – people who don’t know each other collaborating across different timezones, and how to manage that. It prepares you for what will be the norm.’
She’s still in touch with her team, one of whom also had a baby around the same time: ‘we share our stories! Through Squared Online you learn, but you also grow your network globally. It makes the world a smaller place.’
Mars recently returned to work and is already putting her Squared Online learnings to good use.
‘When putting together a strategy, I can go further than say ‘oh, we’ll need to use these channels’ – I have the confidence to explain why we need to do it. I see the big picture and can now paint it for others. I’m less afraid of analytics now too!’
Find out more about Squared Online: you can give us a ring on +44 (0) 20 7173 5938, or download the brochure to read about the course and the Squared experience.
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