Director of Brand Strategy at New York Times
"I deeply believe in my own stories."
Gold. "The effect of a sunset hitting a mirrored New York City building."
her favorite color described:
Sabena Gupta currently holds the title of Director of Brand Strategy at the New York Times, one of the most prestigious media outlets in the world. A New York University alumni, Gupta rose from associate brand strategist to the Director position in a matter of four years and has worked on numerous marketing and brand campaigns and projects. Some of her notable work includes the New York Times' "The Truth Is Hard," "The Truth Has a Voice," and "The Truth is Worth It." Gupta is also a recipient of the 2019 Forbes "30 Under 30" recognition.
She also loves to read and is specifically into the Harry Potter series and loves anything written in the 1920s. Her other passion is food-- going to new restaurants and trying new cuisines is a big part of my life.
DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY IN YOUR LIFE.
A typical day starts with waking up, getting ready for work; I usually like to watch some morning TV shows as I'm getting ready.
Usually, when I get into work it's pretty nonstop from there. I'm in a lot of meetings during the day and a couple of the things I do at the Times are: working with our creative team to come up with marketing ideas for the brands and helping them think through the strategies of those ideas. My meetings are a lot of evaluating creative work and working with those teams and our newsrooms journalists.
After the workday: spending time with friends, going home, relaxing.
WHAT IS THE MOST ENJOYABLE PART OF YOUR JOB?
I would say my favorite thing is getting to work with journalists. I've always been really inspired by the practice of journalism and the work that they do and some of them are incredibly smart and incredibly courageous people and the work that they're doing is such an important thing in our world.
Getting to represent the work they do in our marketing so that we can continue to play this role in the world and in peoples' lives is probably the most rewarding part.
"I would say one of the most exciting [branding projects] that I have done is the Truth campaign. It started in January 2017 when journalism had been talked about in a way it hadn't been in a long time... we as a brand felt like that was a conversation we wanted to be apart of and we wanted to remind people that we are here and we've been committed to this mission for as long as the NY Times has existed.
We took that opportunity and our ad launched in the Oscars on 2017 and it's all about how the truth is hard to find in the world right now but its something that we are committed to finding for our readers and for society.
I think there's a presumption that your age and experience has a lot to do with what you're capable of and being relatively young for the place I'm in my career, that's something I've faced in the past. Having to sort of prove yourself and show that you're is credible even if that's maybe not what your resume says- I think that's a continual challenge that I face.
When I decided to change my major, the program that I was in at NYU was the 7-year dental program that was something I was kind of locked into so when I decided to change my major that message wasn't really received well and it was challenging at the time because of course, I wanted to make sure my family believes what I'm working towards.
What I did to overcome that was I wanted to show my family that I could make an exciting career out of it so that inspired me to get all kinds of internships to show my family what I was capable of doing when it was something I was really passionate about and I think that's something that repeated itself a lot in my career.
her words for you
If you could go back and do anything differently with your life, what would you do?
Who is someone who has inspired you?
I'm consistently inspired by the women in my family: my sister, my mom, and my grandmother. They represent everything I want to be. Strong women with their own passions and ambitions who also play such an important role in raising and nurturing families. Even if there are things I would do differently, I'm always in awe of their accomplishments.
What is a saying or quote that motivates you the most that you would like to pass on?
"Age is foolish and forgetful when it underestimates youth."
from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling