Tag Archives: talent

Feb06

Intern Spotlight: Jacky Le

1797057_10153791614345725_818946895_nName: Jacky Le

Intern Position Title: Digital Intern

Company: FASHION Magazine

Location: Toronto/Vancouver

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I’m a West Coast boy at heart raised in the yuppie and yogi-filled city of Vancouver. I kind of fell into writing and journalism during high school and eventually I cultivated a love for the fashion publishing industry, which has led me to relocate here in Toronto. I have a huge affinity for Beyonce, London fashion and pop culture, and I never shy away from a dance floor.

Can you tell us the steps you took to land this internship?

For FASHION I was able to land the internship with a good word from an editor at FLARE Magazine where I had interned prior. Honestly it’s all about who you know and leaving a good impression from the get-go, that can really determine what your next job will be. Also, I landed the FLARE internship after spotting a tweet from one of the editors. It truly shows the power that social media has in our generation.

What attracted you to this company?

In my opinion FASHION & FLARE are at the highest echelon in the fashion industry within Canada. I always believe it’s important to learn from the best so that obviously influenced my decision on where I wanted to intern.

What skills are you learning at your internship?

Digital and interactive media plays a huge part in the fashion publishing industry now. People always say digital is where things are heading and I slightly agree. Unlike print, the turnover rate for content is super fast paced so you always have to be on the ball and ready to product content, as well as know what is current and in the news.

What has been a highlight so far?

Getting to be an integral part of the team. And I get a kick out of seeing my name in the magazine masthead as well.

Most challenging part?

Learning that it’s okay to make mistakes. As an intern this is the time in your career where you should be making mistakes. Simply learn from them and make sure you never make those mistakes again in the future when you enter the real work field.

Could you describe what a typical day is like for you as an intern?

If I’m not skimming the internet or looking for pitches and buzz-worthy articles, I’m most likely working on an assigned post. As well, I’m scheduling tweets and Facebook posts for the ongoing days.

Give us one word to describe your workplace environment:

Fast-paced. I think that’s two? Oh well…haha.

What advice do you have for someone who is just starting to look for an internship?

Pick a magazine that you would ideally want to work for. Once you land that internship, chuck your ego and pride at the door and soak up as much information as you can. Be polite and always look as if you’re having the time of your life even when you’re not.

Who do you look up to in the industry?

Katie Grand, Nicola Formichetti , Derek Blasberg. As well as my former teacher Tyler Udall.

What is your dream job?

Senior editor at Vogue UK or W Magazine.  A boy can dream…

 

Jan28

Intern Spotlight: Jonathan Jackson

 

Screen Shot 2014-01-26 at 9.56.02 PMName: Jonathan Jackson

Intern Position Title: Social Media Editor

Company: TOPMAN Canada and Hudson’s Bay

Location: Toronto

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

Toronto native. Worked in retail since 2006 for Hudson’s Bay and H&M. Attending Ryerson in the Business Management program majoring in Global Management and minoring in Finance. I knew about the brand before Hudson’s Bay launched it in Canada so I jumped at the opportunity to transfer to the new location on Queen and move downtown in 2012. I then worked for the brand for a year before I pursued an internship.

Can you tell us the steps you took to land this internship?

The position had been posted in the back of the Topshop stock room for a solid month. After the position had been filled, I worked up the courage to send a detailed cover letter and resume asking to provide any help to the Marketing and Events Manager for Topshop/TOPMAN. I was called for an interview the next day in the afternoon and went in for an interview early that evening. On my way to another job I received an email asking to begin as soon as I could.

What attracted you to this company?

Strong company profile and market presence. I have worked for Hudson’s Bay for nearly 5 years now. Over these years I’ve witnessed first hand the changes the new board of directors have implemented and they are phenomenal. No other company in Canada has the history, the customer loyalty, and has been able to reinvent themselves so well to meet the needs of the Canadian consumer. These are key in companies that stand out to me when I look at where I want to be employed with in the future… Not to mention they just acquired Lord & Taylor!

What skills are you learning at your internship?

My boss has truly been inspirational in helping me to understand what an individual can achieve for a brand with social media marketing. She has helped me to keep cool and stay authentic to the brand when creating. Another skill I am learning to master is the art of editing. Less is always more in marketing so it’s key to make sure that what is being presented is clean and concise—most importantly COOL.

What has been a highlight so far?Screen Shot 2014-01-26 at 9.58.01 PM

I had the opportunity to implement, monitor and report on a national marketing campaign for TOPMAN during the Christmas season called TOPMAN After Hours. It was exciting to be able to facilitate it with little help and receive the reaction that we did on our social platforms. Another highlight would be on Black Friday. As Black Friday is heavily dependent on social media, a lot of pressure was placed on the interns to deploy the content provided from those above us at the right times and drive sales.

Most challenging part?

Time management. I now go to school full-time, intern, and work in a restaurant so I am always short for time. The challenge doesn’t seem so challenging though when you enjoy working with your team as much as I do!

Could you describe what a typical day is like for you as an intern?

Walk five minutes on Queen St. to the Simpson Tower. Whip my Mac open and start scoping out TOPMAN Generation (TOPMAN’s online magazine/also an app), check their Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to see what the head guys are doing back home in the England and in the US. Next I head downstairs to the store floor to snap a few shots of items, mannequins, and outfits that would be perfect for TOPMAN Canada. I then curate a Content Calendar using photos that other personal shoppers in TOPMAN locations across Canada and I have taken and create texts to accompany the shot. After a lot of editing and prayers, I either email my boss or we sit and go over everything. That is when the real learning happens.

Give us one word to describe your workplace environment:

Dynamic. While it looks like your standard office with no windows, women everywhere dressed in business casual attire and heels of course, the individuals working there are all full of life and truly have the goals of Hudson’s Bay at front of mind.

What advice do you have for someone who is just starting to look for an internship?

Be confident. Know what field you want to get into but don’t feel that you need to know exactly what you want in the future to gain knowledge from the internship. I was not sure about getting in to marketing but now that I have experience with a major corporation, I can see why the jobs are so attractive to business students.

What is your dream job?

I don’t really have a dream job. I just want to be able to do something that makes me happy and allows me to be just as content outside of work. Right now that would be to continue to work in marketing for an amazing company. Somewhere warm year-round would be ideal though!

Nov26

Get Involved On Campus

Amongst the hours you spend in classrooms listening to lectures and in the library buried in books, there is so much going on around campus that you might not be aware of. If you don’t take the time to see what’s out there, you could be missing out on some very cool and exciting opportunities. This goes for interning as well. In addition to searching for off-campus internships, getting involved on campus can be incredibly beneficial. Not only do you get to meet and collaborate with people who share your interests, but you also get the chance to learn valuable skills that you can take with you even after you graduate. We found a few students who are making the most of their time on campus. They shared their experiences with us and gave insight into what they’re learning along the way.

 

1394877_10200916929759878_601871716_nAndreia McLean, Wilfred Laurier University

“I am very actively involved in my campus’s Greek Life. Specifically in my own sorority, Alpha Phi, I serve on our executive board as the Panhellenic Delegate, bringing news from other sororities. I also oversee the recruitment process for all of the sororities on my campus.  I also serve on my campus’s Greek Council; a council of the Fraternities and Sororities on campus that cooperate to put on events to benefit different philanthropic initiatives, as well as socials to help unify us as a collective.

I’ve served in many different positions throughout my four years at Laurier, mostly in the recruitment or event planning departments, but this year has been my most involved. The skills I have learned in each of these roles are invaluable in the real working world. Recruitment has taught me how to sell anything from a product, to a group of people, to a lifestyle. And planning socials for the entire Greek Life community on my campus has taught me how to organize on a large scale, work with many different people, and plan and execute a successful large scale event. The skills I have learned through my leadership roles in Alpha Phi, Panhellenic, and Greek Council will be a great assist in finding, maintaining, and thriving in a working position after university.”

 

Raeniel Holgado, Simon Fraser University1420338_10153459231115328_1100437799_n

“At SFU, I am heavily involved with Enactus SFU. Enactus is a student-run organization that creates several entrepreneurial-driven projects to tackle various social issues within the community. In particular, I project manage a financial literacy program called “Count on Me”, which instills basic financial literacy skills to youth at-risk to inspire them to build a more sustainable future.

As a Project Manager, I learned a lot about managing a team and to hold every single member accountable. Another key take-away from my experience being a project lead is that time is your worst enemy. Hence, it’s pertinent to set S.M.A.R.T. goals to ensure you accomplish tasks in a timely fashion.”

 

Sam RNTS PicSam Sim, Ryerson University

“I’m involved in the Ted Rogers Management Conference (TRMC), Ryerson University Finance Society (RUFS) and the Ryerson Speech & Debate Association (RSDA). This year I’ve really gotten involved in the business community at Ryerson, especially with student groups. I’ve learned so much about marketing, management, team building and strategy from working on these teams. These are all skills you can’t just learn from reading a textbook. It’s much more effective to put them into practice.

There are so many other areas and industries I can take my journalism degree, besides just being a reporter. My interest ultimately lies in business and so being a part of these groups is not only allowing me to pick up useful business skills I can put on my resume, but an opportunity to explore all different industries to see what I’m passionate about.”

Oct22

Startup Tips From Techweek NYC

Aspiring entrepreneurs, digital media specialists, investors and all-around tech lovers gathered at 82 Mercer Street on October 17th for Techweek, the first to launch in New York City (it was originally founded in Chicago in 2011). This NYC edition was full of summits, workshops, the LAUNCH startup competition and fashion tech runway show.

It was great to see so many passionate people following their dreams and who are eager to become their own bosses—many of them students or recent graduates. So this was definitely an event to take notes if you’re thinking of starting your own company, not to mention a great opportunity to network like crazy. Here’s a quick list of some of the key points that I learned from spending the day surrounded by such innovative and inspirational people with contagious entrepreneurial spirits.

1. Collaborate.

A great way to get your company out there is to work with other like-minded businesses. Whether that may be through some special cross-promotions or creative partnerships, there are so many different ways to do this. Think outside the box. This is how you can set yourself apart. An awesome example of a company coming up with cool collaborations is  Warby Parker, the affordable and stylish eyewear company that also helps others (for every pair that is sold, a pair is given to someone in need). One of their most popular collaborations was with the Man of Steel movie franchise, bringing the iconic Clark Kent-style frames to life. They’ve also teamed up with Ghostly, The Standard Hotel, and Pencils of Promise just to name a few. Through these projects, they’ve been able to put themselves on the map and are becoming a go-to eyewear destination, both online and off.

DSC_0666

Tim Riley, Director of Online Experience at Warby Parker

2. Be open.

I think the best way to thrive in such an innovative environment is to have an open mind. Sure, you have this fantastic idea, but always remember that things can change quickly. Zack O’Malley Greenburg of Forbes said it best during his panel on making it in New York City, “Don’t get married to your idea, be open to redesign.” He wrote Empire State of Mind: How Jay-Z Went From Street Corner to Corner Office, a book that takes a look into how the hip hop mogul took the business world by storm. Great ideas take time to develop and sometimes you have to go through quite a journey before reaching the final product—Jay-Z is no exception. Having an open mind makes this process much smoother.

DSC_0670

Kelly Reid (left) interviews Zack O’Malley Greenburg (right)

3. Build up a strong team.

Yes, you want to be independent, but everyone could use a solid support system. When starting up your own company, there’s a lot of planning (and stress) that goes into it, so it’s important to put together a reliable team of people you can depend on to help follow through with your vision. The co-founders of Hukkster, Erica Bell and Katie Finnegan, agree that “when you start your own thing, it’s constant pounding the pavement. When you have a team, it’s nice to have people helping you along the way.” Hukkster is a shopping app that aims to help customers find the best deals. They formed their team from a network they created and got references of people who would be fitting for the company.

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Hukkster co-founders Erica Bell (centre) and Katie Finnegan (right)

For more info on Techweek, be sure to visit www.techweek.com

Oct08

Success Story: Landing The Job

I’m sure all of you have goals of getting hired after completing an internship. For many students in such a competitive industry, it’s hard to do. But this passionate and hardworking graduate managed to go from a Style Guru intern to Social Media Director at CollegeFashionista. Meet Sammy Luterbach and find out how she did it.

 

Sammy1Tell us a bit about yourself.

Growing up, I always knew I wanted to move to New York City and work in fashion. To skip over a lot of blood, sweat and tears and make a long story short, I did just that. Along the way, I discovered my love for cats, leopard print, and legal pads.

How did you first land your internship with CollegeFashionista?

Before I started school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I made a day trip to the city with friends to try to find a job. A boutique I wanted to work at wasn’t hiring, but one of the employees there wrote for CollegeFashionista. She asked to take my friend’s photo for the site, and I was immediately intrigued. I asked her about CollegeFashionista and checked it out the second I was near a computer (pre-iPhone; yikes!).

After finding out this was an online internship I could be a part of, I emailed Amy Levin, founder of CollegeFashionista, directly asking how I could get involved. We set up a phone interview, and the rest is history. I became a Style Guru one month after the site was launched four years ago.

What attracted you to this company?

I love fashion, and I love writing, so the fact that CollegeFashionista combined both initially attracted me to the company. The longer I worked and the more CollegeFashionista expanded though, I loved that I didn’t have to be in New York City to feel connected to the industry. By interning for CollegeFashionista, I could be in college in the middle of Wisconsin, work from my apartment and be a part of a fashion movement with other people like me.

What skills did you learn during your internship?

I always like writing, but CollegeFashionista helped me explore more of a journalistic approach. Although I’m not a strong photographer, I definitely learned more about photography and became better throughout the years. Most importantly for me, I learned all about social media. I specifically remember the conversation years ago where Amy convinced me to sign up for Twitter! On top of that, I improved my leadership skills, developed more of a business mind and even did some event planning. Through everything I did with CollegeFashionista, I gained confidence and a voice.

How long did you intern with CollegeFashionista?

Almost four years! I began in September of 2009 as a Style Guru and worked continuously until I moved to New York and started working for the company this past July.

Sammy3

What was the most valuable thing you took from your internship experience?

Be genuine. There are so many people who will be catty, competitive and show-offy to fight to the top, but that will only get them so far. Hard work and passion will get you to where you need to be. Also, never expect that you think you know it all. Before CollegeFashionista, I thought I wanted to be a designer! This internship helped me learn otherwise.

How did you turn your internship into a job?

Turning my internship into a job at CollegeFashionista wasn’t something I planned for, although I definitely dreamed about it! I was the first employee to be hired by the Levin family, so I didn’t have anyone to emulate. I just fully dedicated myself to CollegeFashionista and always asked for more work. I tried to go above and beyond what was asked of me. I became an important part of the team through my work and passion for the company.

What role do you have within the company now?

I am the Social Media Director and Editorial Assistant. I manage all of CollegeFashionista’s social media platforms, operate the newsletter, help with special features on the website and work with the Head Style Gurus to spread the word about CollegeFashionista on campuses all over. Plus, there are always extra projects that come up on a daily basis depending on what’s happening in the office and on the site!

Give us one word to describe your workplace environment.

Dynamic. Everyday is different in the office, but it’s always fast-paced and full of energy. We work extremely hard but also manage to find the time for candy breaks and fun music.

What advice do you have for other interns?

Be genuine, work really hard and always say yes – you’ll figure out how to get it all done.

Oct03

Sharing Wisdom: Starting Up Your Startup

Many students have dreams of working for the biggest companies in the world, while others hope to become their own bosses and turn their business ideas into companies of their own. And in today’s society, it’s more doable than ever before with the incredible growth of the innovative startup world. There are tons of great ideas floating around out there and the hardest part is often getting them off the ground and up-and-running.

We asked five startup company founders for some words of advice from their own experiences that will hopefully be that extra push you need to bring your ideas to life.

 

Aime-Designer-Monica-MeiMonica Mei, Founder of Aime Luxury, The Shop Society and WhatImWear.In (@AimeLuxury)

“Entrepreneurs have strong spirits. It’s not only about your educational background or your area of expertise; it’s about having a good idea AND the hustle needed to succeed. It’s also about surrounding yourself with the right people – your team, mentors and collaborators will be your support system to see it through. Starting your own company is a rough yet rewarding road to travel on.”

 

Alex Kolodkin, Founder of Set Scouter c23756

(@AlexKolodkin)

“Find your drive and find a mentor. Let their experiences guide you and your passion propel you.”

 

 

 

julieJulie Smithson, COO of SmithsonMartin (@SmithsonMartin)

“Yes! You have something great but don’t think that someone will drop a cheque on the table right there for you.  If accepted into the community, you have to work for your raise and learn the steps to be a start up company. ”

 

 

 

Brennan McEachran, CEO and Founder of HitSend Inc. (@i_am_brennan)Brennan

“Tip 1: Get a great team – Working at a startup is tough. There are good days and there are bad days. Going through all of that alone isn’t something most people can do. Find a team of people to go through the roller coaster with you. When you’re having a bad day they’ll carry you through it. It’s needed.

Tip 2: Focus on Customers – Get your product in the hands of your customers as early as possible. Learn from them where your app falls short and where it’s doing fine. Focus your efforts on solving pain point for your customers — just remember to take feedback with a smile and a grain of salt. Don’t forget to stick with your vision (sometimes early customers can take you off course).

Tip 3: Revenue – As much as the startup world loves to talk about investing, the truth is revenues are far more important. The companies that are able to grow large without revenue are the exception not the rule. The rule is: cash is king. Keep an eye on your cash and you’ll be able to ride through the bumps… then when investors do show up you don’t have to give them your entire company!”

 

0d20992Noura Sakkijha, Co-Founder of Mejuri (@Mejuri)

“Having a great team and knowledgeable mentors make a big difference. You have to make sure that you are looking at things from different perspectives and having a strong support structure makes it ten times easier. There are so many experienced advisers who are willing to help young entrepreneurs so do not be scared to ask for help.”

 

 

Oct01

Intern Spotlight: Taylor Hicks

Taylor HicksName: Taylor Hicks

Intern Position Title: Styling Intern

Company Name: Emily Current and Meritt Elliott (MAUDE)

Location: Los Angeles, California

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

My name is Taylor Hicks. I am currently 18 years old and I live in Los Angeles, California. I attend the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, where I major in Merchandise Marketing. I was also recently chosen to be the Fashion Director of FIDM’s student-run magazine FIDM MODE. Finally, I have had four amazing internships in the past year at companies such as Emily Current and Meritt Elliott, Jimmy Choo, WhoWhatWear, and Teen Vogue.

 

Can you tell us the steps you took to land this internship?

I am currently interning with celebrity stylists and designers Emily Current and Meritt Elliott. I landed this internship by essentially doing my research and frequently following up. I knew I had a deep interest in celebrity styling and therefore, wanted to gain valuable experience by interning for major stylists. I found Emily and Meritt’s official website and after doing a little digging, I came across a contact email for inquiries. I immediately sent an email to the contact, explaining my previous experiences and interest in styling. I had to follow up at least two times before I received a response. Once I heard back, I was given an interview a week later and got the internship on the spot! I have been interning for them ever since.

What attracted you to this company?

I have always had a passion for pop culture and styling for as long as I can remember. Also, I have been a massive fan and admirer of Emily and Meritt’s work with their denim line Current/Elliott and celebrity clients like Emma Roberts and Mandy Moore. That said, it was a no-brainer when it came time to decide which celebrity stylists I was most interested in interning for. Today, Emily and Meritt have a total of six celebrity clients, including Jessica Alba, Emma Roberts, Sophia Bush, Mandy Moore, Ashley Tisdale, and Nikki Reed. Their styling aesthetic greatly represents the young, experimental lady who is seen by many as a true trendsetter, which is exactly where my heart lies when it comes to celebrity styling.

What skills are you learning at this internship?

There are an abundance of skills that I have learned from interning for Emily Current and Meritt Elliott, which include time management, networking, project management, decision-making, etc. The skills that my internship has taught me are invaluable and have helped me grow in my professional career by allowing me to dive head first into the world of styling and maneuver my way through every situation.

What has been a highlight so far?

The highlight of my internship has been all of the individuals who I am fortunate enough to work with on a daily basis. From Emily and Meritt’s team and their celebrity clientele to the employees at the public relations companies; each of them have made my internship more incredible and educational. I pinch myself every single day because I have been given the opportunity to work with people who believe in me and trust me while allowing me to live out my dreams.

Most challenging part?

The most challenging part of my internship has to be accepting the fact that nothing is ever going to be perfect and that obstacles and set-backs are inevitable. I tend to be a perfectionist and I am a tad bit OCD when it comes to organization and execution so it has definitely been a challenge to accept that I will make mistakes and there are always problems. However, I have come to learn that being a stylist is so much more than just creating looks because a large aspect of the career is problem-solving, which is a challenge in its own right.

Could you describe what a typical day is like for you as an intern?

A typical day for me as an intern is insanely busy and unpredictable, which I love. I usually begin my day at the studio, organizing all of the racks of clothes to be set up for a fitting or returned to PR companies. After I have returned all of the clothes and accessories to PR companies, I head back to the studio to get prepared for pick-ups of new clothes and accessories for the next fitting. Then, there are some days when we have fittings or photo shoots and my day is completely spent preparing for those or working at them. The most exciting part of my internship are the fittings and photo shoots because everything is so hands-on and in the moment. These two events are when I am able to learn the most and see how my bosses work their magic.

Give us one word to describe your workplace environment:

Stimulating.

What advice would you give to someone just starting to look for an internship?

The best advice that I can give to someone that is just starting to look for an internship is to have a deep passion for what you’re doing and to never stop trying. You will always have to follow up with people because of their busy schedules and not everyone is going to tell you ‘yes.’ However, this should never stop you from chasing after your dreams because I know so many people who are living proof that ambition and hard work can take you wherever you want to go. Also, kindness is always in style and it will take you far in life because people who are nice are always remembered.

What is your dream job?

My dream job is to be in styling, whether it’s celebrity styling, editorial, or being a fashion director for a major department store. I love merchandise and that is exactly what I want my career to surround itself around. Ultimately, I want a career that allows me to indulge myself in every aspect of fashion and I think working at a magazine like Teen Vogue or a department store like Bloomingdale’s could allow for that.

Aug20

Sharing Wisdom: Finding Career Inspiration

As students who are on your journey towards finding a long-lasting career and landing the jobs of your dreams, it’s always reassuring to see others who are doing exactly what you hope to accomplish someday—or at least something similar. Having something or someone to keep you motivated and driven is beneficial in the long run because you’ll always strive for more and it’s that extra push that can help set yourself apart from the rest. We wanted to see where some students find their own career inspiration and get insight into what keeps them going in the right direction.

 

ErikaGrahamErika Graham, Asbury University

“This is kind of weird, but I find career inspiration through my social media accounts (Instagram especially). I use social media to get a glimpse into the lives of people whose jobs I want to have, and what they do on a day-to-day business. Since I want to get into the magazine industry, I follow all the editors at all of my favorite magazines—not just the famous ones like Nina Garcia or Joe Zee, but the closet assistants and editorial assistants as well. You’d be surprised at how many tips you can pick up from Instagrammed shots of an associate market editor’s visual inspiration board or seeing what news catches their eye on Twitter.”

 

Tere Cortes, University of Texas Pan AmericanTereCortes

“I find career inspiration from a lot of different sources. From my friends, to people who I work with. I try to ask as many questions as possible, to learn different perspectives of something. I also try to read interviews and advice from people who have already the job of their dreams.”

 

 

EricZaworskiEric Zaworski, Ryerson University

“The constant flux of the Internet, and the sheer amount of people online who have started careers with it makes it hard for me to concentrate on much else. I follow so many other writers, photographers and musicians who, thanks to the Internet, have made it possible to do what they love, find others who like what they’re doing and build tangible communities, networks and careers there.

The communicative power and reach of the Internet–the ability to share, post, connect and discover, all from a pocket-sized device–makes it an exciting time to be an artist, in any capacity. And we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of what’s possible! That makes it the most exciting part.

I’m inspired by others online who have shaped their reality with the same tools I have on my desk and in my bedroom. It’s what keeps me motivated to continually push towards what I want to make out of my life.”

 

Jessica Tucker, Memorial University of NewfoundlandJessicaTucker

“I take the industries I have an interest in and learn as much as I can about them, immersing myself if possible. I am particularly inspired by successful people in these fields and read bio pieces about them in newspapers and magazines and follow them on social media platforms to gain a better understanding of what their day-to-day careers are like. I am also inspired by my friends. I think that surrounding yourself with genuine, hardworking individuals is a source of career inspiration in itself.”

 

 

SaraCastillo

Sara Castillo, University of Texas Pan American

“I always find career inspiration by reading the stories of successful people in my field. It is really interesting to hear how those people accomplished their goals by going from having nothing to finding their dream jobs. Makes me feel that I can create my own story as well and gives me motivation to overachieve, to find ways to be more involved in my career and to not settle with little things but to always aim higher. I believe that inspiration comes from your passion and how bad you want it.”

 

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Christina Dawes, The Ohio State University

“I find career inspiration from a variety of different sources. My instructors and favorite bloggers have helped shape and define my career aspirations. My peers have also inspired me with their fresh, innovative perspective on fashion. With the fashion industry forever growing, there are new job positions being created each day. My career path is inspired by the dynamic people who are using passion and originality to create their dream jobs.”

Jun18

Startup Spotlight: RocketHub

RH-BANNER-LARGE

Anyone can be an entrepreneur these days. All you need is a great idea, motivation, and a strong support system. With companies such as RocketHub, Kickstarter and Indiegogo out there providing a platform for crowdsourced funding, any idea can be made into a reality.

Brian Meece, ukulele player

We chatted with RocketHub CEO Brian Meece, who gave insight into the story behind his company, some exciting projects and advice for budding creative entrepreneurs.

About Brian:

He plays a mean ukulele and is the CEO of RocketHub, one of the world’s top crowdfunding platforms. He has lectured on crowdsourced funding at SXSW, TEDxBrooklyn, Columbia University, Makers Faire, among other colleges, conferences and institutions. His goal? To teach entrepreneurs how to leverage the crowd for funding their endeavors.

Where did the idea for RocketHub come from?

My background before RocketHub was in creative media.  I went to undergrad for film and have been playing in bands since high school.  As a creative, I recognized a pattern that was popping up with many of my colleagues using their communities to fund projects.  In the late 1990’s, I heard about Darren Aronofsky using the crowdfunding model to raise $60,000 from his community to make the movie Pi.  That blew my mind.

Crowdfunding was already starting to happen in the world of art, but I wanted to bring it into the mainstream and to new verticals.  So, in 2009 we launched RocketHub, and in the last 3 years we’ve seen massive growth of the crowdfunding movement.  RocketHub is a world leader in the space – and we’re proud of that.

What are some recent exciting developments at RocketHub?

In conjunction with A&E, RocketHub just launched Project Startup in April.  A&E reached out to us last summer – and right away I enjoyed connecting with their team.  A&E’s perspective was all about adding value to the RocketHub community. They did this by addressing the two key needs our project leaders have: the first one being how to raise more money, and the second being how to get the word out for their ideas.  These two components are at the core of the A&E partnership.  This partnership is historic in scope and elevates the RocketHub platform to a whole new level.

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What will Project Startup offer creative entrepreneurs?

Project Startup takes the stories of our project leaders and dials them into A&E’s wide audience.  Our project leader’s now have a chance to be showcased across A&E’s multitude of platforms – over 100 million TV sets, web access, live events, as well as A&E’s magazine.  In addition to exposing project leaders to a wide audience, A&E is also giving funds to crowdfunding projects on RocketHub.

Is there any particular advice you’d give creative grads who are looking to launch their first ever crowdfunding campaign?

Crowdfunding is an online event that harnesses a community for funding, awareness and feedback. This event has a beginning, a middle and end to it. It’s very different from the standard ecommerce play where you open up a store and sell stuff online. And it’s different from a donation play where there’s an online tip jar. Crowdfunding is very much an event that galvanizes communities to participate within a very specific amount of time.

The way our platform works is that a project leader comes to RocketHub, uploads the title of their project and what they’re looking to do. And they’ll typically have a pitch video talking about themselves, their passion for the project, and a detailed project description. Then, they’ll set a goal amount – what they’re looking to raise along with rewards they can give back to funders.

The three core components we find successful projects have are:

  • An awesome mission spearheaded by awesome people;
  • An audience of core supporters
  • Cool “goods” to offer in exchange for the financial contribution

Those three things together are the “secret sauce” for successful campaigns.

To succeed a project needs to sell the experience. This funding model is about the relationship that these funders have with the person spearheading the project. It’s about the relationship that those fuelers have with this person and that they have with each other – their ability to connect and communicate. It’s really about how communities participate with the funding, how they connect with the campaigner and the other funders and what they get back in exchange for the financial contribution. It’s a very different phenomenon from just going to the store and buying something. It’s very impactful when done correctly. I encourage folks to check out the “Success School” on RocketHub to learn more.

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Have you interned before?

While I have not formally interned, I have made a point early on to be around folks I could learn from – and I’ve benefited from their advice. Coming into any organization with an attitude of “how can I add value?” mindset can generate an offering of opportunities.

So take Brian’s advice: get out there and make it happen!

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Tips For Developing Talent

Image credit: flickr

As an employer you want to have quality employees in your company and finding the most qualified person from among a pool of job applicants is not always easy. You should consider hiring an intern – this is a great way to bring in fresh talent that can be molded into a great employee. Here are some tips for developing intern talent:

Find out what motivates your intern?

This will give you ideas of ways you can bring out the best in them. For example, if you learn that your intern is motivated by music allow them to listen while they work.

What are your intern’s goals?

What can you do to help them achieve these goals? Knowing what it is that your intern plans to do in the future is a good way to figure out how they will best be put to use working for you. Maybe you can find a way to combine their goals with the job to make it work to the advantage for you both.

Encourage creativity.

Be open to new ideas that your intern may have. Allow them some freedom to explore new ways of doing the job as long as the end result is the same. This gives the intern the opportunity to use what they know or have learned in school.

Build on skills the intern already has.

Allow your intern to shadow you during meetings so they can see how you perform. This gives them an idea of how they should model themselves. Give detailed instructions on how to do things. This will help eliminate mistakes and give the intern a sense of good guidance.

Measure improvement.

Show your intern how far they have come since they first started. Seeing results gives a sense of accomplishment. If the intern feels like they are doing things right, they will be happy continue to do better. A happy intern will produce good work for you.

Communicate openly with your intern.

Offer them constructive criticism – this will  only help them become better. Give feedback on the work they have completed. If there are areas that need improvement, let them know. The better the work is done, the more your company will benefit.

Having quality employees working for your company is a competitive advantage. Although these employees may not come in at full potential, you can create an environment that helps to develop talent and produce the best results for your business.

Written by Monique Skinner