Time to get your advice fix from The Advice Column by Dear Diary. Our first guest is one iconic Boss Betch who is about to give all the post-grads out there career advice as the Social Media Manager at Betches Media (@betches on Instagram).
On a morning like any other this past spring, I never would have expected for one conversation with a friend of my mom's friend's daughter (yup, count those degrees of separation again) to change the rest of my year. When I met @taylajacksonn, I wasn't writing, I wasn't being creative, I just was looking for a job. After only one conversation with her, all of that changed. She inspired me to get writing again, to send over a proposal to her of my idea, and (unknowingly to us both at the time) to start a new platform for post-grads. Taking all of this into consideration, it was a no-brainer to have @taylajacksonn as the first guest on The Advice Column by Dear Diary, because if being hilarious isn't enough, she also knows exactly what it takes to be successful at a young age.
DD: Introduce yourself and what you do for our Dear Diary readers.
TJ: “Hi! My name is Taylor Jackson, I graduated from Temple University in 2018 and I am currently the Social Media Manager at Betches Media! (@betches on Instagram).”
DD: How did Off-Campus come to be?
TJ: “If you’re not familiar with @offcampus it is Betches designated college vertical. Off-Campus was one of the biggest projects and milestones of my career thus far at Betches. It came to fruition when I realized Betches was missing such a key demographic as their content was geared toward their original audience and the content was aging with them. I was about a year out of college at this time and wanted to amplify my college experience through Betches by creating a designated college platform to garner a large, ever-changing college audience for the Betches community. So I created an entire marketing plan for Off-Campus as well as the design and feel of the Off-Campus brand, pitched it to my bosses, and from there, as a company, we came up with a launch plan. The Instagram launched in June of 2019 and the podcast aired for the first time that August right before the new school year started. The Instagram took off because of the college-specific Off-Campus searches we were creating. Here is an example for reference: College Of Charleston. We really garnered an engaged college audience that was coming to us for humorous no bullshit college content that spoke to their own personal college experiences.”
DD: How did you land your first job after college?
TJ: “I graduated from Temple University with a BA in advertising (art direction) in May of 2018 and started working at Betches two weeks after my graduation. Let’s go back a few months when my advertising portfolio professor asked us, 'where do you want to work?' And my immediate response was 'Betches.' Granted, half the class had no idea wtf that even was. As we were building out our personal brands for our portfolios I made sure to cater my tone and feel to the Betches brand. I designed my resume and website in a way that not only expresses who I was but also incorporated the Betches tone. I printed three resumes, hand wrote three cover letters and included a few custom materials, put them in three hot pink Minella folders, and addressed each to the three founders. I had my mom drive me up to NYC to betches HQ (the address I creepily google stalked lol). I knocked on the door and my now coworker, Kay Brown answered the door, took the three packages, and told me she would give them to the girls. I got back in the car and my mom drove me back to school as I incessantly refreshed my email. At 5:30 PM that day I received an email from one of the founders asking me to come in for an interview that Wednesday. And the rest is history (as cliche as that sounds).”
DD: Since so much has changed in the last year, what advice would you give to post-grads trying to make an impact on their interviews in 2020/2021?
TJ: “The advice I would give to post-grads who are currently in the interview process is to go into every interview like you already have the job. No, don’t be overly cocky or come off like you are better than everyone else, but come PREPARED and be confident in yourself and your ability. Being able to talk highly of yourself goes a long way. Also, the job market is extremely competitive right now so don’t be discouraged when you don’t get a certain job, it probably wasn’t the best fit anyway. Also, utilize all of your best skills when looking to apply, don't limit yourself to what your degree says (you have a lot of other talents than that).”
DD: What was the biggest adjustment going from college to full-time employment?
TJ: “Not being able to wake up on Monday morning and say “I’ll just skip class today.” Because you can’t just 'skip' work no matter how hungover you might be.”
DD: Advice for pitching a new idea to your place of work when you are a new hire?
TJ: “Be confident and do the work. Make sure your idea is as fleshed out as possible before pitching it because I promise you it is much more impressive to have an entire pitch deck to show your company rather than just an idea. Really believe in your idea because if you’re not 150% confident in it, how do you expect anyone else to be?”
DD: What are you most excited about for in 2021?
TJ: “For it to not be 2020 ;) No, but for real I think I’m most excited for the uncertainty of what’s to come. I think the beginning of every new year is so exciting no matter the circumstances because you really don’t know what or where you’re going to be 6 months from now. Which is scary but also exciting because you have the opportunity to determine that. ”
DD: Now for our final question of each interview, what now?
TJ: “A great question, especially as we near the end of 2020. What the fuck now? WHO KNOWS! I’m really prioritizing living in the present and not worrying or focusing too much on the future because I find that doing my best and living my life right now will take me to exactly where I want to be in the future.”