Asian Heritage Month Employee Spotlight: Zulfina Bashirova, Senior Media Planner

Zulfina Bashirova, a graduate of the University of Buckingham, got her start in the world of media and advertising in her native Kazakhstan. After earning an MSc. in Marketing Management, she fearlessly jumped into her career with both feet and now has almost a decade of experience working in the industry.

Wanting to purse her career in a place where there were opportunities were plentiful for women, she relocated to Canada after an Express Entry program allowed her to go through the process relatively quickly. “I wanted to live in a place with a good government that supports citizens and where you have rights. Kazakhstan is also not the safest country, and I wanted to feel free and safe, being able to build my career as a woman, living in a modern society”.

She first found herself working on the client side of the business, but always knew then that she preferred the agency lifestyle. “I was very lucky to have been chosen as a Media Planner at Media Experts shortly after moving to Vancouver.  When I joined the team in 2021, I felt like this role was made for me. I was so happy to join such a supportive and creative team.”

As a Senior Media Planner, Zulfina works closely with her clients Specsavers, ATB Financial and Michael Hill Jewellers, ensuring that they get the best value for advertising placements that will effectively reach their audiences. She is an integral member of the Vancouver team, constantly finding unique and creative strategies and tactical solutions for paid media, all while negotiating with vendors and partners, reporting on insights, trends and so much more.

Describing herself as adaptable, understanding, and introverted, Zulfina can often be found curled up on the couch watching detective series or comedies, The Office being a most recent favorite.  A big fan of the warmer weather the West has to offer, she tries to spend as much time outdoors as she can, hiking and taking long walks in the park.

Zulfina lives by the principle “Be honest and work hard”, something she learned from her parents. She pulls her strength from them and knows she can achieve anything if she works hard and remains honest with herself and with others. “They taught me to be a good person, to be honest, work hard and to always try my best in life”.

While she does not regret her decision to establish herself in Vancouver, she does miss her relatives and friends that live in Kazakhstan. “In my culture we value our relationships with family and friends the most. It is important that we are close to each other, support each other, meet at holidays or just weekends to share a meal and to spend time together”.

She cherishes her many memories of holidays or birthdays spent gathering with loved ones, cooking a lot of food, and gathering around the table, sharing food and stories. “It was always the most important part of my life”.

When thinking about the future, Zulfina hopes that it will be filled with more time with those she loves, adventures and travel across Canada and beyond.