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AND THE NEW Digital Account Executive, Waja Khan, celebrates his one-year anniversary with the agency this summer, and reflects on his highlights from the last 12 months.

Over to you, Waja!

Life before AND THE NEW…

Before I joined AND THE NEW I was studying Business Computing at Brunel University, but COVID-19 heavily affected my University experience, so it's safe to say I was glad when I finished!

Towards the end of my third year, I started the dreaded job application process. Marketing, IT support, business analysis – you name it, I probably applied for a role within those industries.

I'd never had a job before, so I felt it was only right to get my foot in the door with any opportunity I could find.

A LinkedIn scroll, that some how led to a job offer!

Scrolling through LinkedIn one day, I unexpectedly came across this new, exciting creative-digital agency called AND THE NEW, who were hiring for a Digital Account Executive. The job requirements didn’t align with my professional experience, but I had solid social media knowledge given I’ve been creating content in the world of esports and gaming since I was 14.

I didn’t hesitate. I sent my CV off and applied for the role without giving it too much thought. I wanted to be a part of AND THE NEW! Then, two weeks later I had an interview with Co-Founders Dan and Ryan.

I’d been to a few job interviews but this one felt different. The others felt a lot more serious, and I felt under pressure, but this one was the complete opposite. It felt like everything aligned from the start, and I was offered a second interview – to my complete shock.

The second interview was a day before my final university exam and a day after Ramadan had finished, so there was a lot going on around me, but I went in determined to leave an impression. I even turned up suited and booted – I didn’t know marketing agencies were more smart/casual attire!

For the interview, I was asked to present a go-to-market campaign for a product of my choosing. I presented a new concept for Sneak Energy, the energy drink synonymous with the gaming industry, and based it around a new flavour called ‘WajaMelon'. Get it?! Leaning on my content creator background to develop an influencer-based strategy, I showcased my editing and content creation skills throughout the presentation.

Fast forward to the following week, I received a phone call during streaming, so I had to mute and stop playing for a minute…

I was asked: “Do you want to be a part of the team?”

“Wait, what?!”

I just didn’t know what to say, aside of the obvious 'yes'! It felt so surreal. But it was great to get the feedback that my knowledge of the industry combined with my creativity got me over the line.

A year later, I never imagined that I would find myself in this position, pursuing my dreams and working with renowned clients in the realms of sport and esports. It still feels surreal, and there are moments where I need to pause and fully comprehend that I am living out what I have long aspired to do.

The AND THE NEW team really is something special. Everyone has their own characteristics and energy that really motivates us to produce the best work, and it just feels like the best environment to be in – especially as it’s my first ever job.

My best moment

There have been a lot of moments which I class ‘the best’, but I’ll narrow it to my best two moments.

The first one was very recent, when a client requested paid advertisements for their new app within a tight deadline. In the space of a few hours, we ventured to multiple football stadiums across London to capture public and user opinion on the app’s in-game rewards and hosted some on-the-spot Q&A’s about football topics. We smashed it, and the client loved it!

The other best moment has been consistently creating short-form content for our Formula 1 client, which has peaked at more than 14 million views in just one month on some occasions. Millions of people worldwide had seen my work and engaged with it!

As someone who has never witnessed such results from my own social media channels, the experience was incredibly overwhelming - in the best possible way!

The coolest experience

It was an entirely new and cool experience for me to be behind the scenes during our first shoot with our Formula 1 client.

As someone who is typically in front of the camera for my personal content, it felt different to take on the responsibility of instructing and briefing the talent.

Witnessing the transformation of our briefed creative concepts into a tangible reality for the first time was truly an exciting and personally rewarding moment.

My biggest learning experience

In my first year, I’ve been exposed to lots of new experiences, and gained a solid understanding of the behind-the-scenes processes involved in managing social media channels, creating compelling ad creatives and navigating the dynamic world of social media.

The most significant learning experience for me, on a personal level, has been effectively managing workloads while ensuring client expectations are consistently met.

Undoubtedly, there were instances of challenges throughout the year. However, I am genuinely grateful for these experiences as they have served as valuable lessons from which I can grow and become better.

Without encountering and overcoming these obstacles, I would not have gained the ability to adapt, improve, and strive towards reaching my full potential.

Digital Account Executive by day, content creator by night

Shortly after joining AND THE NEW, I was given the incredible opportunity to join FNATIC, the largest esports team in Europe and possibly the entire esports world.

Both of my worlds – personally and professionally – combine perfectly. Being involved in the creator space has given me the advantage of staying up-to-date with the latest trends in sounds, memes, and overall content across various platforms.

And this knowledge not only enables me to keep pace with current trends but also assists clients in integrating themselves with relevant and trendy aspects of the digital landscape to achieve the best results.

The journey of content creation has been a rollercoaster ride for me, constantly experimenting with ongoing content for my platforms, where I have surpassed a following of over 50,000 people and accumulated over 2 million views on YouTube in under a year.

The endless opportunities and the exciting projects I have had the privilege to work on with the FNATIC team have been incredibly enjoyable, and I’m excited to see what the future holds for me with FNATIC. And, of course, with the team at AND THE NEW and our ever-growing list of clients.


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