June 09, 2019 - 4 min read

Rockit Spotlight: Theresa Thao Kumse

Rockit Spotlight: Theresa Thao Kumse

Theresa Kumse

Account Executive

Theresa Thao Kumse (formerly Theresa Thao Nguyen) is an Account Executive at Rockit Science Agency. After internships in design, creative writing, sales, video production, and marketing, she quickly realized her true calling was in planning and creative problem solving. Her unique experiences growing up in an ethnic enclave in New Orleans, going to high school as an exchange student in Austria, and studying global advertising in Paris have driven her interest toward diverse perspectives.

How did you get into the advertising industry?

I graduated high school during a market crash and knew my dream of becoming an oil painter were slim. I chose to major in advertising because I thought it was a unique mix of strategy and creativity. I graduated from Louisiana State University with a BA in Mass Communication with a concentration in Advertising and minors in Graphic Design and Sociology. My first job was at a video production company helping clients bring their stories to life through video. I eventually realized my true passion was in creative problem solving and got offered a job at Rockit Science Agency. I’ve been here since.

Tell me about your day-to-day.

Coffee. Email. Read. Write. Meetings.

How do you help clients?

As the primary point of contact for some projects, I do my best to manage expectations for both internal and external teams. If I had a workplace “superpower,” I would say it would have to be anticipating needs ahead of time. It’s a blessing and a curse because I do find myself overthinking things. However, I think my clients value my level of due diligence because it keeps everything on track and moving forward.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy all the different parts of account planning and project management. It’s also fascinating learning the details about each industry we get to work with.

How do you gauge the success of a project?

In general, if it meets the goals and objectives set from the marketing plan, I consider it successful. Advertising isn’t rocket science, so there isn’t a clear answer to every business challenge. Success to me is when we enlighten the client with something about their brand they were unaware of and that everyone is happy with the result. Pushing the boundaries is always a delicate balance, and I think our team does a great job at it.

What is your favorite project?

I like all of my projects, but the one that was the most meaningful to me was Camp Conquer, a bereavement camp for children. I’ve learned so much about the grief process, and I was happy we were a part of such a great program. I feel like I’ve become a much more empathetic person because of it.

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Describe your workspace.

My office is covered with things to read and review. Tons of sticky notes. A cup of coffee, tea, or water. Although it’s not extremely tidy (sorry, Marie Kondo), I know where everything is.

Who inspires you?

My mother. She’s the hardest worker I know, and she manages never to complain. One day, I would like to finish translating her book about her journey to America on a boat so that everyone can know how remarkable she is.

What’s it like being one of 9 children?

Looking back, I have a newfound appreciation for how hard my parents worked to give me and my siblings opportunities they didn’t have growing up. It’s fun to see them kick back a little bit and enjoy life now that we’re all grown up.

What would people find surprising about you?

I don’t like to plan my vacations. I do so much planning in life that my type of break is just relaxing at a beach with a book. My favorite beach was in Cannes, France, when I attended the Cannes Lions Festival.

What do you do outside of your 9 to 5?

My husband and I recently redid our backyard, so we spend a lot of time on our deck with our two dogs, Butters and Bruce.

Have you broken any records lately?

I’m pretty sure I was the youngest as well as the first female minority president of the American Advertising Federation of Baton Rouge. It’s not a huge deal, but it was an honor to me.

Awards Theresa won for the AAF-BR club while she was the president.
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