L'Oreal ACD Chief Digital Officer Ryan Clark chats hot wings, versatility, and taking risks - risks that may even result in losing an arm.
What are three words that would describe you?
Balanced, Empathetic, Analytical.
What’s on the top of your bucket list?
Cage diving with great white sharks.
What’s the best single day on the calendar?
Being a Melbournian and having played football, it has to be the AFL Grand Final! It’s always a great time of year to catch up with my mates, have a beer, a laugh, and (hopefully) not a cry (only if my team lost).
Do you have a favourite social media platform?
Instagram – Having lived and worked in London for 10 years, I was very fortunate to meet some amazing people. Due to time zones and just life in general, it’s sometimes hard to coordinate a catch-up. I find Instagram helps me stay connected and up to date with what’s going on in their lives.
What is the most impressive thing you know how to do?
I can slam dunk a basketball.
What risks are worth taking?
Risks that have as much risk as they do reward.
Have you ever broken a bone? How did you do it?
I have broken my left elbow. It was a compound fracture! Probably no surprises here when I say it happened whilst on a scooter in Vietnam. Having not been able to get sufficient treatment in Vietnam, it actually turned into a bit of a horror story: having not slept in 36 hours and infection starting to set in, I made the decision to travel back to Australia on the plane with it still broken, where I then spent 5 days in intensive care and was, in the end, very fortunate to keep my arm.
Do you speak any other languages?
Yes, I speak fluent sarcasm and a little bit of emoji.
Do you have any secret talents?
Well, I’m not sure if any of these qualify as secret talents, but I’m pretty good at remembering numbers, solving problems, being a sports all-rounder, entertaining people, and rocking a mean dress-up outfit. Maybe I’m just a jack-of-all-trades, master of …um, being mediocre at a bunch of different things? But hey, at least I’m versatile.
Do you have any pets?
I don’t have any pets at the moment, but I would love to get a dog. Unfortunately, my current lifestyle doesn’t allow for it. However, I do have a plant, so I guess that counts as a pet of sorts.
What is one thing that can instantly make your day better?
Coffee – it instantly makes me feel better!
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
Stretch! I like to keep an active lifestyle, and I just don’t seem to recover the way I used to (probably showing my age here). It also helps me get my mind focused on the day ahead.
Are you usually early or late to events?
I come from a family that is notorious for always being early, but living in London for 10 years quickly broke that habit. No matter how early you leave, you always seem to be late in London. So now, I like to consider myself fashionably late 😉.
What is one skill you would love to master?
Designing beautiful PowerPoint decks! Unfortunately, it’s not a skill that comes naturally to me.
If you had the opportunity to take an international gap year and do whatever you wanted, where would you move and what would you do?
If I had the opportunity to take an international gap year and do whatever I wanted, I would jump at the chance! I’m pretty fortunate that I did this early on in my career – I was eager to see the world and had limited travel experience overseas, so I took a full year out and managed to see 24 countries across 4 continents. It was an amazing and truly memorable experience – I met some incredible people and had so much fun along the way. I highly recommend it to anyone considering it. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you won’t regret!
If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
This is an easy one: Michael Jordan! I’d love to hear both his on-court stories and how he built his legacy off the court with the Jordan brand and Nike. It would be way too much to cover over dinner, so I’d propose also kicking on with a few whiskies. And it wouldn’t be a night out with MJ without a cigar!
If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be?
Flying – the cost of flights ain’t getting any cheaper.
Say you’re stranded on a desert island (and all basics are met), what are three things you would take with you?
A fishing rod, a hammock and a solar powered music device.
If you could eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Wings! I’d happily chow down on hot wings for the rest of eternity. #hotwingsforlife!
If you had a time machine, where would you time travel to, and why?
As a tech-savvy individual, I am constantly fascinated by what the future holds, so I would be keen to time travel into the future. It would be incredible to see how far technology has come and the impact it has had on the world and the way we live. I can’t wait to witness how we’ve advanced as a human race and how we’ve tackled the challenges of the future. Who knows, maybe I’ll even finally get my hands on a hoverboard!
You can find Ryan here.
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