#StandApart: Serda Evren, VP Corporate Comm + Philanthropy, MasterCard

Communications leader by day, Dear Abby by night. Serda Evren, VP of Corporate Communications and Philanthropy at MasterCard Canada is tasked with creating, protecting, managing, mitigating, building and telling stories about MasterCard, but her hidden talent adored by her colleagues, friends and family: exceptional giver of unsolicited advice. Maybe this is the result of her time spent in the US capital honing political communications or navigating the challenging waters of Canadian telecom PR? One thing is for sure – Serda has the special sauce to drive communications and lead high performing teams. Lucky for us, Serda has shared her tips for success.

Practice Makes Perfect

Serda began her career in the heart of the political scene: jumping from Queen’s Park to immersing herself in a Master’s Program in Washington, D.C and studying Political Psychology in the shadows of the Lincoln Memorial. She then transitioned from politics to PR, working at Rogers, and is now mastering the payment tech scene at “not your grandfather’s plastic anymore”—MasterCard. “Building a career isn’t a straight line,” Serda explains. “It should be about curves, ups and downs, sharp edges. That’s how you figure out what brings you satisfaction and gets you out of bed every morning.” And now, what gets her out of bed every morning? The opportunity to work with wonderful people who are always willing to listen, help and support her and she is able to do the same for them.

Know Thyself

Serda’s number one rule for being #StandApart is easy – being real and walking into work day-in and day-out with a sense of authenticity and sincerity. “People who #StandApart to me are those who are true to themselves—or if we can use the buzzword of the year ‘authentic’—they admit to their weakness and own their strengths. They operate with integrity, passion and heart.” Serda’s advice to prospective candidates (as well as future leaders) is to “know thyself and be self-aware”.

When authentic players make up your team, you get an authentic whole: individuals who invest, support, and ultimately create connections that can be as rewarding as success or awards (of which Serda has won a few of her own). After being asked about her own career path, Serda mentions that relationships are what she’s most proud of. “A career isn’t just about work, the level, or the paycheque. It’s about who returns your calls, who applauds your successes, who offers you solid advice, and who champions you.”

Positivity is Platinum

“When you hire smart, talented professionals who have a true passion and dedication to their craft, the way they can #StandApart even more is with positive energy and a sense of humour. It’s easy to celebrate wins but the ability to bring that positivity and wit on a tough day is how you come together as a team and build a strong shield,” says Serda.

And the reason Serda is so knowledgeable on being #StandApart? Because she lives in that category herself. Here’s what one of Serda’s team members had to say about her #StandApart factor:

“There’s a quickness to the way Serda’s mind works that is really inspiring to see in action. She takes complicated concepts and quickly develops an appealing narrative for media and stakeholders. The speed at which she works allows MasterCard to find a place in the news with a consistency that builds our brand. And her decisive nature means time and resources are used to their best value. It all results in a leadership style that inspires creativity and thoughtful risk taking to ensure the MasterCard story is told,” said Lauren Mostowyk, Director, Communications & Philanthropy at MasterCard.

Over Serda’s career she has earned more respect from her colleagues than reward miles it takes to travel to Paris. And she has had fun along the way rockin’ out to her favourite tunes found on Shazzam. Thanks for sharing the recipe to your success Serda!