Creative Lives — We meet Mother London's junior strategist and resident culture vulture, Rashid Mohamed
Before being offered the role as junior strategist at Mother, Rashid Mohamed started out as a runner. But it was perhaps working as a ride operator at Thorpe Park that equipped him with his most essential skills: “I learned how to be alert, a team player and be more confident.” Since taking up the position at the London-based agency, he’s applied these abilities to a whole host of projects – from bringing a calendar-based campaign for KFC to life on social media to curating a blog for Bailey’s. Becoming something of a researcher by necessity, the role sees him trawling Reddit and reading Twitter Moments to keep up-to-date on cultural goings-on. Here, he tells us about needing good people to make good work, and why online research has become the ‘bread and butter’ of everything he does.
Junior strategist, Mother (2017–present)
Leaflet boy, Tesco, Ride operator, Thorpe Park
Never went to university
Outside Mother, London
How would you describe your job?
On the pulse trend connoisseur, research expert, culture vulture, the voice of a generation!
What does a typical working day look like?
I work 9am to 6pm. Morning rituals are mostly looking at things on the internet for 30 minutes, to see if anything noteworthy has happened that people need to know about. There are many weekly tasks that I have to complete, but as they’re due on a given day, I slowly complete them throughout the week.
What do you like about working in London?
Meeting different people. Every day I have the opportunity to learn something new. But I hate the commute; public transport in theory is amazing but it’s actually hell.
“I came in for the interview and killed it. Joking, my interview didn’t go well, I honestly thought I messed it up.”
KFC’s witty full-page apology published in the Metro, following the store’s shortage of chicken supplies in the UK, 2018
How did you land your current job?
I started as a runner. A friend of mine told me about an opportunity at Mother for a runner, so I came in for the interview and killed it. Joking, my interview didn’t go well, I honestly thought I messed it up. After working as a runner for a year and a half, I got the opportunity to become a junior strategist. My advice on that is to be friendly, work till you sweat and if you’re not sweating, crying and stressing you obviously aren’t working hard enough.
How collaborative is your role?
I can’t talk for other places, but when it comes to work, I feel comfortable talking to who I work with both internally and externally. To make a good thing, you need good people.
What are the most and least enjoyable aspects of your job?
I honestly love everything I do. I feel it’s up to you to make what you are doing enjoyable. People really appreciate the things I do, so all my tasks feel purposeful.
Inside the studio
What has been the most exciting project of the last twelve months?
I helped post some of the KFC Double Down stuff on social media, as well as feeding in with copy. Going back and forth with the team was super-fun and I felt really involved which was great!
What skills are essential to your job?
Being able to listen, and actually take in what people are saying. Being on the ball, and having knowledge about what is happening around you. Always keeping up-to-date, and being somewhat of a culture vulture.
What tools do you use most for your work?
Google for research – the bread and butter of everything I do. I love Canvas8 also, Twitter Moments and Reddit.
How I Got Here
What did you want to be growing up?
I wanted to be a firefighter and a pilot, and at one point a vet.
What were your first jobs?
Thorpe Park, loved it. I was a ride operator, had four rides under my belt, and no joke – I was one of the best. I had great chat on the mic, and I was quick. My rides were efficient. I learned how to be alert, a team player and be more confident.
Was there anyone in particular that helped your development at the start of your career?
A guy called Nathan, who was my senior at the time. He taught me how to make a deck as well as how to use Excel, both key essentials in my role.
“I honestly love everything I do. I feel it’s up to you to make what you are doing enjoyable.”
Rashid at work
What’s been your biggest challenge?
Being concise with my thoughts, and putting all the mayhem in my head on paper in a manner that makes sense.
Is your job what you thought it would be?
My main misconception was how long it would actually take for me to get into the groove of things. Before starting I was super-excited, had goals and expectations of myself, not of others. I was disappointed that I didn’t reach them in the speed I thought I could.
What would you like to do next?
Becoming a part of a big campaign and having a clear, key role in it. To get to this point I just need to work harder.
Some of Rashid's work for KFC
Some of Rashid's work for KFC
Words of Wisdom
What advice would you give to a young creative wanting to do the same kind of work?
You can do it. Fall and get up repeatedly until you’re in, and then make yourself irreplaceable – a one of a kind.