Black leather chairs lined with gold legs. Addictive healthy snacks organized next to tote bags filled with magazines. Paintings that are somewhere between Basquiat and Close, positioned on opposite walls. This is no place for the traditionalist. It is a home for the future. It is also a conference room.
Conference rooms, traditionally, are known to symbolize what they were made for: business. However, at VICE Media in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the conference room is where great minds convene to keep not only a business running, but a living, breathing brand.
Attendees at NYWICI’s Behind the Scenes tour @ Vice Media on Jan. 12, 2017, met a wide range of creative, who are responsible for making sure that VICE and all of its entities continue to evolve from being “just a skateboard company” to the diverse media conglomerate it is today. Among these talented people were Liz, Madison and Holly, each giving unique advice on how to build a successful career by embracing individualism. Here’s what we learned:
“When it came to applying to jobs, I initially wanted to get into television,” Holly says. She also recalls wanting to be in the Advertising department at different companies after falling in love with AMC’s Mad Men series.
Like Holly, many of us are still going through the process — figuring out if our career interests align with our career path. In Holly’s experiences, each interview and rejection before VICE seemed to only remind her that she was “overqualified” and settling for less. However, she says that getting your foot in the door comes with dedication and never giving up. Instead of taking “No” for an answer, she says, “it was sort of rewarding to know there was something else out there.”
EMBRACE A LEARNING CURVE
Office lingo is no joke. EOD, EOW and OOO, are not the same as LOL, BRB or TBH.
Madison shares her experiences with reading emails and memos during her first days at VICE, and recalls not knowing what terms meant. She credits VICE with giving her, and other young people like her, a chance to shine as well as to learn. However, those efforts have to be mutual. “No one’s going to know the answers all the time,” Madison says. But it’s YOUR job to ask the questions! Be humble, be eager and come hungry.
FIND YOUR FIT
We live in a generation that struggles between following passions and following security. We think we know what we want as soon as it happens, but sometimes the best and most life-changing decisions are spur of the moment.
Madison tells us that despite her current role as Program Manager, she would have probably shied away from the role if she were applying upfront. The position found her, instead of the other way around, after she gave an impressive presentation for a department outside of her own Marketing internship at the time. To some, this may seem impulsive, but to Madison, it was instinct all along.
This mentality reflects the rest of VICE staff, too. Following the presentation, Liz reiterates that at VICE, “there’s a responsibility to be on the pulse with culture.” And I think that’s valuable advice for any situation: be in the know, because life is too short not to know.
Maybe not every job will fit how you expect, but it’s always better to jump in and test the waters than miss the opportunity completely.