Women in Business: Jessica DuQuesne
Senior Project Manager
Saatchi & Saatchi X
Education: Delta (Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), University of Cambridge
Professional background: DuQuesne joined Saatchi four years ago after spending several years working in the banking and nonprofit sectors. She began as a project manager and was promoted quickly, playing a key role in client relationships with Procter & Gamble and Coca-Cola.
What brought you to Northwest Arkansas? I am originally from Lima, Peru. I moved to Miami in 2001, and about 12 years ago my mother moved to NWA to start a business with her family. She knew that life in Miami was very challenging and opportunities were limited, so she asked me to come with my family to NWA and take a look at the area. We fell in love with it and immediately decided to move here. The quality of life here for families is something you don’t find in many places. Kids get to be kids, and that is something I value more than anything else.
What are the attributes of a good leader? I believe a good leader is someone who has the ability to inspire others to dream, set goals and helps them achieve those goals. They have this inspirational character and can utilize their spirit to promote teamwork. A good leader knows how to make every individual, no matter what position in the company, feel like an intricate part of the team.
What has been your biggest career break? Definitely working at Saatchi X. I feel that all the skills and knowledge that I have acquired through the years have all led me to where I am now. Marketing has always been a passion of mine, and I am fortunate that my background in project and account management is a key element to everything I do every day.
We hear all the time that Northwest Arkansas is a great place to live. What’s one area that needs improvement? This area has grown so much since I moved here 12 years ago. One area I think is improving but needs more work is the culture and diversity side. I think we can all see that with the Walton Arts Center and Crystal Bridges this is slowly changing, but I believe that we need more opportunities for children and families to be exposed to art such as exhibitions, music and also other cultures.
To unwind, I like to … cook. I like trying new recipes and truly taking my time to do it. I also run outdoors when I can. There is something about listening to music and being out with nature that relaxes me.
Who’s the person(s) you admire most? My mother is definitely the person that I admire the most. Unfortunately, she lost her battle to cancer three years ago, but her life lessons will live with me forever. Even in the end, she was a fighter and never gave up. Her love of life, family and her faith helped her through the worst years of her life. At a young age, she worked really hard and was top of her class, worked very hard to put herself through school, and landed a great job at one of Peru’s largest financial institutions. She taught me you can be a wonderful parent, wife and have a successful career. That determination and work ethic continued even when we moved to the States. She did not believe that moving to a different country and speaking a different language should limit our dreams but actually should make them bigger.
What’s one item you can’t live without? My childhood family albums. They tie me to my past, my roots and my culture. They help me show that to my girls so they keep that connection.
What’s the last book you read? I am part of a book club, and we read “The Woman in Cabin 10” by Ruth Ware. It is a very classic murder mystery book. Very entertaining and does keep you wondering the entire time. I am also reading “How Brands Work” by Byron Sharp, which is a marketing book.
I wish I knew how to … Play the piano. I know it’s never too late to start, and it’s definitely on my bucket list. The music that comes from it is hypnotizing and just plain beautiful.
As a working parent, what’s the secret to maintaining a work/life balance? Making sure your family comes first every time. No matter how hectic work gets and even if you have to work many hours each day, make sure your children’s activities are a priority in your life. Second, make sure to spend time with people that you love because they are the ones you share your successes with. And last but not least, remember to take care of yourself. You can’t take care of anyone if you are not well. It is a daily struggle and a constant self-reminder but a very important one.