Humans of TMA is a content series that showcases the diverse, interesting, and creative people that make up The Marketing Arm.
Let’s Get to Know Ledina…
Can you describe what your role is at TMA and what that entails? Within my team I work on multiple clients, such as Advance Auto Parts, Wendy’s, DraftKings, American Airlines, California State Lottery, (and more!), to ensure client invoices are generated, TMA fees are properly added, vendor costs are correctly coded and entered, projects estimates are aligned with the team and client, the list goes on! Within Finance, I report monthly to upper management on Accounts Receivables, and WIP tracking is a super crucial part of my job. From slow weeks to random urgent requests, my role in Finance is always exciting!
What led you to this career/industry? Before moving back to Dallas from North Carolina a little over 2 years ago, I worked at a law firm as a Billing Coordinator. As much as I enjoyed working with numbers, the environment there was just too dull for me. When I moved back to Dallas, I connected with an old colleague that used to work here at the time and I fell in love with TMA from the moment she started talking about it. Being surrounded by creativity and getting to live every workday in an environment and culture that truly values me for who I am is just so comforting and welcoming. I graduated from SMU with a degree in Advertising and minor in Psychology. I have always loved the creativity and art involved with advertising and being able to mix that along my love for numbers feels like this role was almost molded for me!
What’s the coolest or your favorite thing you’ve worked on? One of my teams, Advance Auto Parts, produced the Die Hard commercial with Bruce Willis and making sure Bruce Willis got paid was a pretty cool experience!
What three words would your closest friends use to describe you? Honest. Loving. Ambitious.
How do you bring your full self into your work? What unique perspectives do you bring? By focusing on my mental and physical health, I am able to enter my workday with a fresh and positive mindset. I don’t hold back my goofiness with my teams and I think it’s important to try and get along with everyone you are working with. I bring my full self into work by being myself and doing my best to get everything done in the most efficient way. If you think about it, we are working the majority of the day so having a positive work environment and mindset will naturally reflect on your work product.
Where do you find inspiration? My family. Growing up with parents that have left their whole lives behind to start fresh in a different country without knowing any English, just so their daughters can have the opportunity for a better education, has taught me to never give up no matter how hard things may get. My parents work so hard and provide so much love. I adore them with all of my heart and soul and I am so inspired by their sacrifice and ambition.
What is your guilty pleasure? Definitely my cheat meals, and they only reason I consider it a cheat meal is because of its massive size. My husband and I train really hard 6x a week with clean eating and exercise, so naturally we are always excited for that time of the week to just go all out and eat whatever we want. Our go-to cheat meal is a Monster burrito from Freebirds (we each get a monster) and Val’s Cheesecake for dessert!! The BEST cheesecake you will ever have. The amount of food we can chow down is either super impressive or extremely gross.
What causes are you supportive of and why? Immigration. I was born in Albania and moved to the U.S. in 2000 from Greece. Only as of November 2020 did I become a U.S. citizen…not because I waited too long to apply, but because of how difficult the whole process is. Everyone’s immigration story is unique and comes with its own obstacles and fears. Being a citizen is taken for granted and it’s really hard to understand the struggles that come from not having status without experiencing it. My family has been through so much pain not being able to see and even say goodbye for good to certain family members. I really wish more people would understand the importance of giving everyone a chance to be here together for a better future.
What’s your hobby or passion project outside of TMA? Aside from basketball, I am a personal trainer! I squeeze in my sessions before and after work and I also have a photography business.
What’s the best advice you were ever given? To stop saying yes to everything and that it’s okay to be a little selfish. Honestly, a lot of people tell me this because I always want people to be happy so I say yes to everything and in the end it ends up draining me. I have really been working on making more time for myself and knowing that saying no doesn’t have to mean that I don’t care. Self love first. <3
What is one thing you wish more people knew about you? My love for basketball. My high school didn’t have sports and the only time I ever got to experience playing was for a few months during high school at the Greek Orthodox Church youth program. During the beginning of the pandemic, once the gyms slowly opened up again, I went and practiced my dribbling every single time I stepped foot in the gym. The dribbling led to practicing and perfecting my shots, which led to making new friends who encouraged me to join in on some of the games. I was so nervous at first because everyone that would play was male, so I felt so insecure on even asking to play because I was afraid they would not want me there because I am a girl. Thankfully, my new friends that encouraged me to sign up would play in these games and I had proven my shooting skills during practice, so I took a deep breath and played my first game…. fast forward to a few months later and now I play full-court, 10-person games weekly, being the only girl on the court!! I even got to play on the same team with Mark Cuban and ended up making two 3-point shots that game. It was a glorious day!!!
What would be the name of your TED Talk? LEDS-Talk Health. On brand with my Instagram/photography brand names. Focusing on the importance of fitness and positivity.
What are you watching? The Morning Show. Just finished You (so good). Just started Foundation and Narcos!!
What are you reading? “National Academy of Sports Medicine’s (NASM) Corrective Exercise Specialization.” Working on my second certification for training!
What are you listening to? EDM. Anything that will pump me up! Either that or classical study music. Very extreme ends but it’s what works for me.
What are you ignoring? Bad vibes. I like to focus on the good because I truly believe that being positive can really change everything. It all starts with perspective and having a good perspective can only help towards experiencing a good day.
Ledina Esserman | Billing Analyst | Dallas Office