Maya Reti, 26

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Maya Reti didn't start out in advertising. But after six months in clinical psychology, the Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Arkansas "found I was taking too much home," so she sought other options.

Advertising beckoned because it combines creativity and problem-solving skills. Ms. Reti ended up in New York as a creative group assistant at McCaffery Ratner Gottlieb & Lane. The 26-year-old is today a full account exec.

Strategy and positioning are a passion. For Barbara K Enterprises, Ms. Reti and her team shifted the focus of the women's tool kits away from an empowerment theme ("potentially too liberal") and toward independence.

Ms. Reti says that when writing a creative brief, instead of a broad target audience," I try to develop a specific person. That's where my psychology background comes in."