Tell us what you do!
I work at E! News as a reporter in the Breaking News Department. My day changes each day according to the stories we are working on. I’ll interview along the way to help build, shape, and create the stories featured on E! News, and sometimes, E! Online. At night, I’ll also attend events within the entertainment industry, as well as interview on the red carpet. Secondly, I work in a group of 50 creatives from around the world, helping plan — and giving feedback on — better ways to reach our generation for a large international brand. Thirdly, I do social media and community management for Sara Happ — a lip scrub and lip slip (lip gloss) brand sold in Nordstrom, J. Crew, and various boutiques internationally.
Did you go to college? If so, where?
Yes, USC. I majored in Theatre and Business Administration.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?
I always wanted to be an actress. In all of my school papers growing up, I wrote about wanting to be an actress. My childhood room is decorated with a marquee, where I put “Hollywood, Here I come” on it with a little cross.
How did you get to where you are now? Tell us your story!
When I was 17, I decided I wanted to start looking at colleges other than the ones my family had all gone to. By the grace of God, I got into USC’s Theatre School. ￼Before I began my journey at USC, I applied to be a part of a program that Seventeen Magazine had called “Freshman 15.” After a pretty long process they picked me and 14 other girls to follow through their freshman year of college. I would tweet daily, blog weekly, and appear in the magazine monthly with tips, tricks, advice, and stories from college. Following this experience, I realized how much I loved storytelling through the “reporting” platform. So, I asked if I could cover any red carpets for Seventeen in LA. They entrusted me with a few small ones at first, and eventually I was at the Grammys red carpet, and other large award shows, covering for Seventeen. I’d interview celebs, as well as live tweet the evening from Seventeen’s Twitter handle. Also, my sophomore summer of college, I moved to NYC to intern at Seventeen’s headquarters to better learn the brand, and people I’d been emailing for two years. I met E! employees on various carpets along the way, and inquired about working there, or interning (since I was still in school and 19 at the time). Eventually, Ken Baker tweeted, “Tweet me why you should be my intern in 140 characters or less.” I crafted up a tweet, with a collage of my red carpet interviewing photos, and a link to my LinkedIn resume. After an interview, Ken gave me the internship. I interned at E! for a semester, and then freelanced there for the rest of college. When I graduated, I took a reporting job at E!, and here we are today! (Of course, this is a SparksNotes version, but if you want an in-depth view, you can look at my blog, IfYouCanDreamItDoIt.com.)
Any obstacles along the way?
Always. To be honest, this could be a chapter! There will always be obstacles, no matter what you do, so it’s vital to surround yourself with a support system, and to take care of yourself, so you can climb those mountains.
- Disappointing my family. I was meant to go to a school close to my hometown, where my whole family went — Texas A&M. I got into the business school, had my best friend as my roommate, and everything was set. However, a few months later I got into USC. I truly felt like God opened a door for me. They only accepted 80 people into the Theatre program, and I didn’t feel like I could turn it down. It was never in my or my family’s plans, but it was something I dove/leapt out for. It’s hard seeing so many friends be close to home throughout college — and now even after college — with boyfriends, fiancés, etc. My family is supportive, but I know LA is not their ideal place for me. However, I would never have the job I have now if I didn’t make the leap for college.
- LA Culture. It’s difficult sometimes, when you feel like you are going ￼against the grain of the world around you. I have pretty high standards, and it makes circumstances challenging. However, without them, I don’t think I’d be where I am today, or be the person I am.
- Finances. “Living Your Dream” isn’t always the most lucrative. I’ve picked up side jobs along the way, to afford the dresses I need for various events, and just additional disposable income needs. It’s easy to feel jealousy towards friends in other areas, paying half the rent, for twice the apartment, etc. In the end, though, I believe if you do what you love, this eventually will match your passion.
Who is your idol?
- Kelly Ripa. I admire how she is so unabashedly herself, and gets paid to do so. I also love how she is in the Hollywood scene, but not, at the same time. She’s grounded, has a family, and has a dream job.
- Erin Andrews. She’s made a name for herself. When you think of women in sports, you think of Erin Andrews. She really carved a place for herself in a (usually) mens-only world.
- My Dad. He built his own real estate business from the ground up. The projects his company creates are unreal, if you could see what they dealt with as “the before.” He literally dreamt up a lakeside community. So many people would tell you that would be impossible in Texas, and if you looked at the land (before), it was just a huge pile of dirt — no lake in site. However, he kept on with the vision he had, and they literally dug a lake. A huge lake. Now, it’s one of the largest lakes in Texas, and other people’s lives are sincerely impacted by the quality of life they now have. They can boat to their kids’ schools, dinners, etc. I admire his tenacity, sharpness with numbers, and the way he leads.
What are three personal traits/qualities that helped you get to where you are?
Well, I have to add a bit about faith in here. I truly believe God carries us through various situations, and he creates us all so uniquely. Also, being fearless. I feel like I’ve been more “fearful” as I’ve gotten older. But, I’ve been pretty fearless with risks, decisions, and life changes. I moved to LA not knowing anyone, and New York as well, all before I was 21. Another is zest for life. Someone wrote this in a letter to me, using “zest for life” as a part of the way they described me. I love it. I truly hope to live each day with a zest for what it has to offer, and throw at me. And finally, I think joy is something that comes from the inside, and it’s not necessarily being happy, but having a joy; a light about you. I think it’s helped me overlook and overcome obstacles, while being steadfast in joy.
Where would you like to be in five years?
I ultimately would love to tell truthful, inspiring stories. From interviewing them on/off the red carpet, I know that actors, athletes, and entrepreneurs have so many of them. I’d love a platform to tell the story of the dreamers — the ones who dreamt it, did it, and the nuggets of lessons they can share. Also, maybe dating someone who I could see myself ending up with by then, or engaged? I think Girl Bosses who find Men who are Bosses, can create one amazing team.
Define “Girl Boss” in your own words.
Owning what you do and who you are with confidence.
Describe your style/fashion sense:
Free- spirited, sassy and chic. I love old Hollywood curls and bold lips.
Fav clothing item/accessory right now?
Black leather jacket. Love throwing it over my shoulders for nights out, or glamming up a white tee.
What’s your can’t-live-without beauty product?
Benefit “They’re Real” mascara. I have pretty long lashes already, but this mascara is so great, and I’ve tried a lot of them! Your lashes look luxe, lush, and it takes barely any effort or time.
Go-to nail color?
Essie’s Fiji. It’s the perfect shade of pale pink, and bright enough to make a statement.
Sophia Amoruso’s #GIRLBOSS inspired me. What book has inspired you?
Circle Maker by Mark Batterson
No Girl Boss is perfect. What’s your vice?
Diet Coke. I have an awful addiction.
Which artist/band/DJ are you really into right now?
1. I just interviewed Dan + Shay. I already really liked their music, but their personalities and work ethic were so refreshing. They’re talented AND humble — one of my favorite combos.
2. I love Matt Kearny. I love great songwriters who really connect life to their words.
3. This Hozier cover has been on repeat ever since a co-worker sent it to me!
What song makes you feel like a Girl Boss?
“Girl On Fire” by Alicia Keys
What’s a quote that inspires/motivates you?
“If you can dream it, do it.”- Walt Disney
Best advice you’ve ever received? And who gave it to you?
Great question. I truly believe everyone has something to lend you, if you’re willing to observe or listen. Today, for example, the server I had at Burger Lounge was so attentive to every customer. She worked efficiently, with a smile, and was over-the-top on top of it. It’s a lesson in customer service, something we could all take in our business and lives.
My Dad also recently told me, “That’s a great idea — now do something with it. Lots of people have great ideas, but they don’t act on them. Great ideas require action.” It’s so true — fear gets the best of us. We let great ideas fall to the wayside.
Advice to future Girl Bosses:
Stay the path; your path. Don’t compare, keep your head down, and go on with your bad self. No, but seriously. It’s a long and hard path, but you’ve got to stick with it. When it feels like you literally can’t go another step, then call someone, have them help you make it; remind you why you are on the journey. You’re only hurting yourself by comparing your journey to someone else’s — it’s simply sabotage. Everyone is unique, everyone has a story, and everyone has a different path. Stick to your story; your path. Because it’s awesome.
Do YOU know a Girl Boss? Nominate her in the comments! And, HEY — if you share this article, be sure to use #ImAGirlBoss!