Endlessly inquisitive, Mary combines her education in anthropology with her experience in public relations and visual effects to help brands venture down paths unexplored. A healthy interest in politics, economics, history and K-Pop all combine into Mary’s work. Mary studied at the University of Chicago and Yonsei University Seoul before working in New York and Vancouver and eventually making her way to London. At monopo, Mary is part of the production team, with a laser focus on guiding bold ideas towards reality.
Canada → USA → UK Born in Vancouver Trilingual (English, Mandarin Chinese, Korean) Cat Lady Queen of K-Pop Director of Chopsticks
Stray Kids! They’re an eight-member boy group that produces their own music. Something I really love about them is that they fully own their musical style and even clap back at criticism: When they first debuted in 2017-2018, a lot of netizens described their music as “noise” and likened their songs to “banging pots and pans.” A few years later, they released a song called “God’s Menu” that leaned into the pots and pans sound even more. One of the hardest things about creating and putting something you love out there into the world is seeing how people respond to it and Stray Kids has inspired me to really own what I create, no matter what anyone else says.
Vancouver will always be home. When I was younger, I wanted to escape and go somewhere else that was flashier and busier. But when I came back home after living in the US for five years, I really grew to love and appreciate the city for everything that it is.
As for New York and Seoul, I learned so much from living in both of these cities. But one lesson that they both taught me was that I am more capable than I give myself credit for. I used to think that being brave meant feeling no fear, so I obviously couldn’t be a courageous person. But after living in New York and Seoul, I realised that being brave means pushing forward despite feeling fear. I had been selling myself short for a long time.
Something that I’m always working on is trying not to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of moving parts that I have to wrangle. I like to think of a project manager as a stabilising force on a team, keeping everyone organised and afloat. But that often means being on the receiving end of endless problems that need to be solved. For me, the most challenging and rewarding aspect of my work is something that I do every day: Pushing past the overwhelm and charting a path forward.