Moderated by Doreen Naor, manager of Brands and Organizations and director of the Academy, the Lifestyle and Entertainment panel proved to be a successful session with inspirational insights from women in the industry. To start, Doreen asked the panelists about their early careers and any advice they wanted to give. Chief of Staff and Director of Fly Blade, Christina Gibson, said, “it can help if you get your foot in the door, but you got to show what you can do once you are there.” Gia Peppers, associate editor at ESSENCEFest.com, stated that during her first job at BadBoy Entertainment, she had to be sure to follow directions and pay attention. She offered the advice to “never give up and don’t be afraid to do intern work.”
When talking about networking, Amy Andrieux, global editor and communications project manager at Red Bull Studios, said that you need to be “strategic about networking when you go to events.” She offered the advice to not talk about work during the entire duration of the event. In fact, most industry professionals prefer to not talk about work. Amy suggested to “be real” at an event and to not be afraid to “just come up to me and talk. It doesn’t have to be about the industry, make it natural and organic. Follow-up and be persistent.”
Laura Lane, correspondent, writer for People and People.com, and author of This is Why You’re Single, pointed out that this industry is all about who you know. From her experience, she has only gotten jobs from people she networked with or knew. When connecting with people, Laura suggested to “be proud of what you do because acquaintances might connect you with others.” So, go ahead and talk about the things you do and how much you love what you do because your passion will make you memorable. When going into the workforce, it’s important to be confident, to keep moving forward, and to maintain a productive and positive attitude. Often to move forward it’s a good idea to think ahead and look for potential areas of improvement. “When someone can outthink me, that impresses me. Spot the holes before I can,” Amy said.
Similarly, Laura said that she respects people who “can take initiative.” Sometimes as a woman, she finds it hard to be direct and not come across as “bitchy,” however she maintained that it’s imperative for us to feel confident and proud of what we do.
Therefore, “if you’re not loving what you’re doing, you’re not in the right job,” said Laura. All the panelists agreed that you should love your work, however this doesn’t mean that you’ll never get overwhelmed. When feeling burned out, Gia suggested, “know when you need to take a break and relax and get your mind off of business.”