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Exceptional Women of the World: Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook

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For Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook’s VP of EMEA, there is no shortage of energy or optimism.

Beginning her career at BBH in London, Mendelsohn is a force to be reckoned with, relentlessly espousing the gospel of getting out there and “making more stuff”. She also believes that we shouldn’t be afraid to fail and that “done” is much better than “perfect”.

Inspiration is all around Mendelsohn — from her experience in South Africa with small business owners who built their businesses on Facebook to her children from whom she learns every day, especially as it relates to their adoption and use of technology.

Moreover, her contributions, as co-chair of the UK government’s creative council, gives her a front row seat to the challenges of change and allows her to continually advocate for the creative industries

An advocate of doing things that one is afraid of, Mendelsohn, one of the co-editors of The Drum’s special Cannes issue with Sheryl Sandberg and Mark D’Arcy, feels that being out of one’s comfort zone is the best way to learn and that putting the phone down and actually looking up from time to time, especially in cities, can be a revelation.

Additionally, Mendelsohn believes strongly that relationships truly matter — as do the little things in relationships, relaying a story about how she became “phone friends” with the PA for BBH CEO, John Bartle — and how her act of kindness, in giving her an opportunity to meet with him was a critical learning.

In her mind, life is precious and she consistently shows gratitude for her career opportunities, family and friends — and is keen to make the most of it, packing in as much as she can.

For the industry, Mendelsohn is convinced that creativity has never been more important than it is today — and fitting the biggest ideas in the world’s hands is a worthwhile and exciting challenge.