Nicole Bernard – CUP Member Spotlight- May 2012

What is your occupation and how did you come to work in this field?
SVP, Fox Audience Strategy; my career trajectory that has led to this opportunity is too unwieldy to document. My career began as an attorney- working in the music industry in Business Affairs and has run an interesting course that led me to Fox Broadcasting where prior to assuming this role I worked as the SVP, Broadcast Standards and Practices for the Fox network. That position allowed me to work with across every department at the network as well as third party creative partners, showrunners and creative executives to liaising with viewers/audiences as a ”viewer advocate”. Those combined opportunities led to the launch of Audience Strategy and my role as the department head- a combined opportunity to work across multiple entertainment platforms to augment efforts to engage with broad and diverse audiences.

What is the biggest challenge of your work?
Working to bring about perception and cultural shifts without building the perception of wanting to or being capable of changing human nature.

What is your proudest achievement?
My proudest professional achievement was launching our first strategic partnership initiative- a new writers initiative designed to highlight senior level storytellers- in partnership with all of our cross-divisional businesses as well as stellar external partners and it being recognized in the business as a “game-changer” in engaging diverse creative talent.

What leaders, thinkers or doers do you admire most?
My parents (Jamaican Immigrants dedicated to higher education), Nelson Mandela

Where do you see yourself in ten years?
I have learned not to commit “my plans” to stone because I might miss other fantastic opportunities just because they were not part of “my plan”. That said, I would not be surprised to see myself exploring entrepreneurship.

What would be your advice to young people who want their careers and lives to have an impact?
Invest your time, energy, education and effort around something you are passionate about- if it is art, music, law, finance, and once you get there take a “seat at the table”, recognize the voice you have there and find innovative ways to leverage your input. There is no better way to make a living and your focus will always make an impact- no matter how it is defined.