background info: Rachel is currently working as Communications Manager at Atlanta Bicycle Coalition (BBC). She graduated from University of Missouri with a degree in Magazine Design & Journalism.
responsibilities for her position as Communications Manager: She does all of BBC's graphic design for events and sponsorships ads. She runs their social media, working with their PR to get media attention for events. Sends out emails for members and alerts. Basically, she manages communication for the company under all medias.
in what way did this type of work interest you & how did you get started: As Rachel gained her degree in Magazine Design & Journalism, she realized her interest in using design as a platform for people to tell their stories. She contacted BikeWalkKC while she was still in school for an internship. Then she was later hired full-time and worked there for a year and a half before getting the job at BBC. She enjoys working for these similar organizations because of her passion for biking and they allow her to use her skills to communicate about biking / benefits of / etc.
what other kinds of work do you feel prepared to do: Some sort of community organizing work. She enjoys working with other people, hearing their stories and what they are passionate about. An example was that she's currently working on making a very busy street in Atlanta safer and organizing college students to come out and walk the street to see what it's like. They then share their experience so that Rachel can find ways to improve the communities experience on that street.
what do you wish you'd know before entering the field: There is nothing wrong with saying no. Because she works with something she's so passionate about, she always wanted to be able to help in some way. But after taking on too much, she got burnt out. She said it's very important to take a step back from your work.
how can I know if I'm prepared for a position such as yours: She said that there isn't really a way to know. You don't know until you go out and do it. People in the field don't always know what they're doing. We're all students, always learning. But then she listed a few pro tips: (1) Be willing to do it and accept criticism. (2) Know what's going on at all times. (3) Keep learning.
special world of warning: Do what's best for you and don't feel embedded to an individual or organization. Starting out you are the youngest person on the job and that can make you feel like you're always suppose to do what you're told and please everyone. But always work hard and express your opinions on things you're passionate about, otherwise you'll end up feeling less satisfied.
background info: Stephanie is currently working as Art Department Coordinator for NBC's The Blacklist. But her work is always changing because she does freelance in the film industry. She attended a one-year film trade school in Manhattan right after high school and is currently working towards a double major in psychology and statistics at Hunter College.
responsibilities for your position as Art Department Coordinator: manager of the crew, making sure everyone is on top of what they are suppose to be doing. Sometimes a set can have a 48 hr turn around and Stephanie's job is to make sure everything is prepared for filming.
how do you get respect from older people working under you: Never discuss your age. It is no one's business and there are people who won't take you seriously. Just work hard and be a little stern. You don't have to be everyone's best friend to gain respect. Just don't make a big deal out of your age, stand your ground because once you lose someone's respect it's hard to gain that back.
how did you get started: After the one-year film program, she had made a lot of connections in the film industry. She was sending out 40 emails a day and even put herself on craigslist. This is how she got her first job as Wardrobe Assistant for the movie Mud. She said that people freelancing in the film industry are all helping each other out. So once she worked with some people on that movie, she got connected to another job in NYC with Comedy Central and then again for her current position.
how did you know who contact / send emails to right out of film trade school: She came to NY with one contact. One person who spread her name to others. She also looked up listings for assistant or intern positions on a specific website available in NY's film world. She said just be egger, honest, and willing. She also totally emerged herself into the film culture. Always searching for clubs and events to be apart of. She even worked at a film theater where they do screenings. Dapple in everything.
how did you get people to trust you for leadership roles at such a young age (22): She said the most important thing is to (1) have a good attitude. Crack a joke and be the one who can make people smile on the 11th hour on a 12 hr day. (2) Be a hard worker and confident. (3) Be honest. If you don't know how to do something say that you don't, but you're gonna try this and if that doesn't work, you're gonna try this instead. She said most people's problem is that they don't realize starting out, that they're job is to serve the people that you are working for, show them that you care. You are there to make this person's life easier. They will start to admire you, care about you and want to help you in your career.