How did you get started with the digital media industry? Why do you like working in the industry?
I graduated from college in 2010, and I got a full time job at the ad agency I had been working at as an Receptionist. At that time, all of these social media platforms were still pretty new. No one knew what was going on, and no one knew where these platforms were going. At the time, the agency’s main focus was all about brand ambassadors in the beginning.
After working in the industry for a few years, I grew fed up. I had been laid off three times and I constantly thought: what am I doing wrong? I don’t think it was because of racism, but I do think that people have an unconscious bias. I decided to leave the country and backpack by myself for three months across Central America. I tried to figure out what was wrong with me and heal through the shame. At that point, I didn’t want to go back into the ad agency world. I was done.
When I returned to New York, a friend passed along a job posting to this boutique firm – and when I walked into the interview with the Managing Director who was a strong black woman, I was so pleasantly surprised; I knew right away this place was different.
The agency was very diverse and my second week working there, they sent me to Italy. At that firm, I was respected for my work, which was also a new feeling. That is when I got more into the paid media side of the digital media industry.
I worked with luxury clients, and if you’ve been paying attention to the news in the last couple of years, there’s been a diversity crisis in the industry.
Through my past and current work, I can especially see the power of media and the detriment of it. My approach to digital media is about keying in with a level of understanding that focuses on being careful and mindful about what we post, what we share, and who we reach. Most of it is just psychology — understanding the humans we are trying to reach. I find the digital media so fascinating because it has such a great presence in our lives. We are exposed to so many ads a day, and they do impact us – it is nothing to joke about.