As part of our new series, ”How I Got My Job” we will be bringing you inspiring stories of men and women who have excelled in their careers (plus the inside scoop on how they landed their dream gig).
This week we caught up with Michaela O’Shaughnessy, an Irish expat and blogger who is making a name for herself in New York as Teen Vogue’s social media producer.
We spoke to Michaela to find out about her career journey to date and to get the low-down on what it’s really like to work at Teen Vogue (*Spoiler* it sounds pretty amazing).
What did you want to be when you were younger?
When I was younger all I wanted to be was a Doctor!
Has social media/fashion always been a passion of yours?
Yes definitely. I’ve always loved social media, particularly Instagram and the visual platforms.
What did you study at college?
I studied Biomedical Science with the hopes of going on to study Medicine but along the way decided that a career in business was something I wanted to pursue instead of doing Graduate Medicine.
Talk us through your career to date.
When I first moved to New York I landed a job at MTV as their social producer running their Instagram and Snapchat accounts. I worked there for nearly a year before moving to my current position at Teen Vogue.
How did you end up at Teen Vogue?
I applied for the job on the Conde Nast website. Teen Vogue is a brand that I’ve always loved from a young age so it felt like a natural fit.
Was the application process complicated?
It was quite a complicated process with a heavy 20-page edit test and interviews with about 10 people.
What qualities does Teen Vogue look for in new hires?
I think Teen vogue values hard working people with a different perspective on things. We cover a lot of news and politics so having an understanding and opinion on current events is definitely important.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about your job?
People probably think that my job is very glamorous, which it is from time to time like when I get to work with talented celebrities or cover red carpet events. But for the most part it’s a lot of hard work at a desk every day.
What is a typical day like?
A typical day starts at 7am with a pilates class or a walk in Central Park. Then I’m in the office by 9 where I usually have a couple of meetings or a talent shoot every day. The day usually ends around 8 when I go home to cook some dinner and hit the hay by 10.
Is your job 9-5 or always on?
The only downside to my job is that it really never stops. There’s no such thing as a 9-5 when you work in social media for a media company because the internet never sleeps! But it’s just part of the job and once you accept that it’s really not as bad as one would think.
How do you get a good work-life balance?
With great difficulty! In New York, I feel like everyone is almost married to their jobs. That said, I try to make sure that I schedule fun things to do at the weekends and try to see something different in the city whenever I can.
Do you think it’s important to have a side hustle?
Personally, my blog has been an integral part of my career journey. Without my blog, I definitely would not have landed my first job at MTV and then I obviously wouldn’t be where I am today. It’s great to have something that prospective employers can look at and get a feel for your personality and work ethic. Besides that, it provides me with a fun exciting outlet that gives great opportunities to meet like-minded people!
Who has been your biggest role model?
I think my current boss is my biggest role model. She’s the first boss that I’ve had since moving to New York that empowers me to be the best version of myself. She also proves to me that working hard and being kind to people will get you places.
What’s the biggest career lesson you have learned to date?
I think a big lesson for me was learning not to always be so nice. In a city as competitive as New York, sometimes being the nice girl can mean that you get taken advantage of from time to time! It’s important to be confident in your opinions and speak up for yourself.
What advice would you give someone looking to work in social media?
Being active on your own social platforms is an absolute must if you want to work in the social media industry. I also think it’s really important to think outside the box and not to follow what everyone else is doing on their social media. In an overly saturated industry, creativity truly stands out.
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