Through My Eyes

Timing was everything.

Something New

with 2 comments

Almost two weeks ago, I interviewed with CBS Interactive for a production internship in their business and technology sector. Unfortunately, I walked out of the meeting feeling less like, “I nailed it!” and more like, “Wow, that did not go as well as I’d anticipated.” It was not a familiar (nor welcome) feeling for me, but I can always benefit from being humbled.

Granted the responsibilities of this internship would have been heavy on post-production (perhaps spending majority of the time in an editing suite), I would have loved to have had the opportunity to work in the field and meet and learn from some of the Bay’s newest crop of entrepreneurs and change-makers in the industry. Although, at times, I tend to dwell on experiences within my control (those that result in negative outcomes), I know I didn’t get the job because the candidate who did can do it better than I can or at least will require less training and mentoring for the role. I just wasn’t ready (in terms of having the right skill set and previous experience). I’m okay with that. Confidence in being able to do something well comes with time, as I keep learning every day.

A few days later when I met with my school’s department director and another instructor for my midpoint review, one of them mentioned a paid internship opportunity at a start-up called Joyus.

Since starting the Masters program at AAU last fall, it’s presumable that most of my classmates and instructors know exactly what I want to do after graduation. I ramble about making documentaries and working as a correspondent on something like Current’s Vanguard series almost daily. They’re probably sick of hearing it. So, of course, when my instructor told me that Joyus is a very small, new company that aims to produce engaging, creative video content for online shoppers, I was hesitant, but definitely curious. Why not? I thought. I could use some color on my résumé, having solely produced videos for and interned with non-profits over the last year. This could give me the skills I need to improve my portfolio and the chance to connect with some amazing people in the area.

So, I emailed the Director of Productions my most current resume, along with a quick introduction. We set up a time to meet on Friday morning. What further peaked my interest was the question she asked me prior to setting the date of our meeting. She asked what I love about producing.

I took a moment to think about every time I’ve been on a set and in charge of a shoot. I reflected on working as a Team Lead managing two teams at a technology services sales company a few years ago. What I love about both producing and managing is being able to assess what people’s strengths, weaknesses, and needs are. As a producer, you must be aware of who has the ability to do what on a set and who is going to be your best bet proficiently completing that task. It’s not so different from managing people in a corporate environment. As a manager, you must not expect people to adapt to your managing style, work ethic, and personality. You have to recognize how and why people will respond to you and what makes them want to work in their best interest, as well as keeping yours and the company’s in mind.

I’ve found major trait and personality differences in the direct reports that I myself have had and have discovered that the best managers are those who keep calm during a storm and are able to leverage each individuals contributions to benefit the larger whole. Nevertheless, I’m guilty of having been stressed and showing it on a set, as well as in a conference room. Most of us make mistakes, most of us allow ourselves to lose it once in a while. It’s those who keep in mind that if it’s not a matter of life or death, it’s actually going to be okay – at some point.

On Friday, after an hour of chatting, getting to know each other a bit, and learning what it is that we need from each other, I was hired on the spot. I start tomorrow at Joyus working part-time as a production intern doing everything from assisting on shoots to media management to anything else that needs to be done in the office and out. I know this is fairly entry-level, but I’m willing and excited to start somewhere. Not only that, I’ll be working with people who seem to have had very rich, rewarding careers in the production world – especially my direct report, Shirin Etessam. After reading more about the founder and Chairman of Joyus, Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, I also couldn’t be more excited to meet and learn from a woman who seems to have done so much in her life already.

With a new semester of school and a job to look forward, I’m ready to dive right in. Goodbye summer, hello fall.

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Written by winniewongsf

August 21, 2011 at 10:35 am

2 Responses

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  1. Awesome!

    EC (@ecdoesit)

    August 21, 2011 at 12:42 pm

  2. W – Wow, your writing style is really nice and obviously another strength of yours – great flow and a real pleasure reading. And, congrats on the new job! – Mitch

    Mitch Silver

    August 21, 2011 at 2:26 pm


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