The Moose With Egyptian Roots

Known as “Moose” around the office, Mustafa is Echo’s project manager by day, and a crazed Dodgers baseball fan by night. He’s also the only Egyptian in our office. For more about our Moose, read on.

How long have you worked at Echo-Factory?
2 1/2 years

Before you joined Echo-Factory, you worked for several major corporations. Was it difficult adjusting to agency life?
Coming from a multi-billion dollar company to an eight person agency was definitely a big adjustment for me. As an Enterprise Rent-A-Car Manager, I was responsible for around the same amount of people, but I was also responsible for 350 cars, local body shop accounts, local insurance companies and clientele. Needless to say, there was a lot going on. When I started working at Echo, it was like a breath of fresh air. The atmosphere was completely different. It was still business oriented but at a casual level – I could wear jeans and a t-shirt instead of a suit. It took me some time to learn how an agency operates and how to manage the creative side of advertising, but overall, it was pretty easy to incorporate what I learned at Enterprise into my work here.

What do you like about advertising?
I was a Marketing major in college so I like that advertising and marketing go hand in hand. I was involved in marketing tasks with Enterprise but it was more about relationship building with clients. While I still work to develop relationships with our clients, it’s nice to know that the services we provide help a client brand themselves and sell their product. It’s a very satisfying feeling to know that a company is successful because of what you have done for them.

You’re a project manager. What does that involve?
Hmmm….what doesn’t it involve, I think, is the right question. It’s funny because whenever people ask me what I do and I tell them I’m a project manager, they immediately ask me what that entails.

As a project manager, I focus on two areas: external and internal. Externally, I act as a liaison between the client and Echo. I make sure that appropriate projects are proposed and that they get in the system correctly. Internally, I make sure that everyone knows what is going on with the projects that they are assigned to and how and when they should be completed. It’s essential that my communication with the clients and employees is clear and concise so projects are done properly and within the budget. Of course, we are a small agency so everyone wears multiple hats which means occasionally, I can be found giving creatives direction, critiquing creatives and just finding any way possible to bug them…;)

What do you like most about your job? What do you like the least?
I know most people don’t like to have all the responsibility on them, but I kind of strive for it. I never realized it until I got out of college, but I always seem to want to be in charge. I’ll take responsibility when no one else does. I like to lead and what better way to do that then to be in management. What I least like about my job is when I have to discipline employees, that’s never fun.

Your parents are Egyptian. Were you born in Egypt too?
I was actually born in Southern California. So, sorry, you can’t deport me. However, I did live in Egypt for four years when I was a little kid (4-8yrs old).

Why do people call you “Moose?”
Simple really. Whenever I would pronounce my name for people, I would really emphasize the “Mus” part so it would sound like “hi my name is Muuustafa.” After saying that a few times people just came up with Moose as a nickname. Officially, my dad’s friend’s son who was Egyptian started it way back when I was a little kid.

The Dodgers are your favorite baseball team. Why?
Well, growing up in Southern California, there were the Dodgers and the Angels. The Dodgers were the first team I saw play in person so it’s only natural that they became my favorite team. I played baseball as well when I was younger.

You’re a big movie watcher. Name the last movie you saw.
In the theatres: The Avengers
On Netflix: The Rum Diary

If you had to pick one ad campaign to watch over and over again, what would it be?
Ah there are so many good ones….If I had to go with most recent I would go with the iPhone 4s Siri commercials with Zooey Deschanel, Samuel L. Jackson and John Malkovich. Even though they use celebrities to sell the product which is not very original, they make the celebrity relatable by showing them in their homes as regular people and not as stars.

But, if I had to pick an all time favorite, I would have to go with Nike’s Air Jordan Commercials. Not just because MJ is awesome, but because they have not been able to replicate that with any star athlete in any sport.