The transition from college into professional life can be a tricky one. So we asked Nola Weinstein, Head of Executive Engagement at Twitter, and alumni of The Coca-Cola Company's scholarship scheme in North America, what she thinks is important to keep in mind when building a career.
Can you tell us a little bit about your job?
As Twitter’s Head of Executive Engagement I focus on brand storytelling and corporate influencers. I work with business leaders from around the world to help them better understand the power of the platform and optimise their personal Twitter presence. Additionally, I run executive briefings and innovation tours at Twitter Headquarters.
As young professionals are looking ahead at their career life, is there any particular advice you would give them about taking the long view?
Remember that what may seem like the wrong path can ultimately lead you in the right direction. In college and graduate school I aspired to be a magazine editor. After graduation, print roles were limited so I jumped into online journalism, which was relatively new at the time. I’m glad I did. Instead of fact checking and fetching coffee, I was reporting front row at fashion week, going backstage at every awards show in Hollywood and covering the media world from the inside. When I became editor-in-chief of Mode Media — previously Glam Media — I oversaw content creation and curation across multiple platforms. That position brought me to Twitter and I am grateful to have immersed myself in digital media when doing so was an unpopular journalistic move.
You are working in the corporate world. Is there anything you found to be a particular challenge when you first started out?
I tend to prefer the startup culture and spirit. I crave innovation and like being around smart, thoughtful leaders who take strategic risks, embrace new ideas and use technology in creative ways. Some of the more traditional corporations and media entities I worked for early on were a bit too set in their ways, which felt stifling and professionally limiting.
What advice would you give recent graduates to help them make that first job a success?
Regardless of your position take ownership and pride in your work. Seize opportunities that come your way and never utter the words “that’s not my job.” Taking on new challenges and roles will accelerate your career. When I started at Glam six years ago one of the founders, Dianna Mullins, greeted me with a mix of advice and permission: “Do your job, and do it well, but don’t think you have to stay in your lane.” She opened the door for me to get involved in other facets of the company. That access accelerated my growth and gave me tremendous insight outside of the editorial realm and into business development, operations, sales and marketing.