Soaring High
17 Aug
6:50

By Madiha Yameen

I am 17 years old and I will soon be going to university. I know where I’m going and what I will be doing. I am aware of the pros and cons and have gained a lot of experience. Have you?

Most of you will answer with a ‘no’. That is why Smash has compiled valuable advice from professionals, just to help you out. We will focus on entrepreneurship and a career in media this month.

Juliette Brindak

One of the youngest and most successful entrepreneurs of the world, Juliette Brindak, is only 25 but already runs a website which is worth $30million. Her story is both inspiring and amazing. Do note she was not easy to reach out to, but we managed and here is what she has to say.

“Miss O & Friends (.com) was inspired by drawings that I did when I was ten. I was with my family coming back from vacation when I started drawing these girls that I called ‘Cool Girls.’ My mom, Hermine, is a graphic designer so she took my drawings and transferred them onto the computer. My younger sister, Olivia (who is the real ‘Miss O’) also got involved and for a while it was pretty much just a hobby for us. When Olivia turned eight, my parents had a birthday party for her where I made ‘Miss O-like’ characters for my sisters friends (the girls on the header of MissOandFriends.com are real girls). When Olivia’s friends saw the photos, they couldn’t stop talking about them. I was thirteen at the time and still in middle school, while Olivia was eight and was going to be entering middle school in a few years. Middle school is a really difficult time for young girls with so many new things going on; their bodies changing, cliques, boys, bullying, school work, parents, etc., and I wanted to create something for my sister and her friends to help them through these difficult years since there wasn’t anything like Miss O that existed. With the help of my parents, my mom being a graphic designer and my dad, Paul, having a background in business, I was able to start the company in April 2005.

I was still in high school when I started this company, so there wasn’t a specific subject that I had studied before. In university, I was an Anthropology Major and Public Health minor, specifically focusing on women’s issues around the world. Self-esteem is a worldwide issue, and my studies in university helped me to see the larger picture. However, I will say that I don’t think entrepreneurship can be taught. You either have it in you, or you don’t. Being an entrepreneur means being very resilient and continuing to persevere when things don’t go as planned. You have to be strong-willed and not give up, but try things differently.

I think it was the internships and job experience that I had before that made me want to be an entrepreneur even more. I found it extremely difficult to do tasks and duties for companies or people that I wasn’t passionate about and didn’t believe in. And to be totally honest, I hated taking orders from people. It was these job experiences that made me realize how much I wanted to be my own boss and do something that I loved and cared about. I love going to work now, and I know a lot of people cannot say the same.

I think if you have an idea that you’re really passionate about and have figured out how to make it happen, absolutely! I don’t think people should be entrepreneurs to get rich because that doesn’t always happen and if it does, it’s typically years and years of a lot of hard work and sacrifices. One quote that I really love is, “Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.”

The pros are that you have freedom to make your own decisions and be your own boss. You are doing what you love and what you care about everyday and have the chance to make a positive impact on the world by creating something new and different that has yet to be done. But those pros can easily be cons because at the end of the day, your company is on your shoulders and you are responsible for everything. Because you love it so much and care about it, you are never ‘not’ thinking about your company. You can’t turn it off and you are always working even when you try not to. Being an entrepreneur is very stressful and the highs will be really high and the lows will be really low. You just have to be prepared for this and know that going into it. Don’t expect it to be rainbows and butterflies.”

Afrah Masood

The CEO of PakMediaRevolution (www.pakmediarevoltuion.net), Pak Media Blog (www.pakmediablog.com), and Reflektionzz Afrah Masood is also a software engineer and brand marketer by degree. She is a publicist/PR Manager at Soch www.thebandsoch.com, Asst-2-Director Nescafe Basement, Content Developer and Social Media Strategist, Government of the Punjab as well as Project Manager – Tameer.

“Pursuing anything as your career does not necessarily mean you need to follow only the paths that your degrees lead to. Your career is your responsibility and it gives you more control over how much you enjoy your work life. I have degrees in two diversified subjects, from two entirely different continents. One being in software engineering from London Metropolitan University, London and second in Brand Management from Kinnaird College for Women, Lahore Pakistan.

I have had my fair share of internships in my student life. Top notch software houses as my internship hubs for my software engineering degree, cooperate livability department of a multinational bank as my internship destination for brand management and marketing degree. Everything I pursued and did as a student has only been a learning lesson for me. It has given me insight in some key issues of how the real world works.

But what I now pursue as a full time career is totally and completely irrelevant to the degrees I posses. I have formerly been appointed as the social media strategist for Chief Minister Punjab Mian Mohammad Shahabz Sharif and His Anti Dengue campaign along with being content creator for all the websites of Punjab for all the projects run by Government of the Punjab. I resigned after almost two years.

Now by the day I run PMR Studio Works, with my husband where we deal with audio/video productions. Bagging productions of names like Nescafe Basement 1 & 2 and Awari in Bollywood for Mohit Suri’s Ek Villain. I am also the publicist and marketing director for the band Soch. By night I sort of become a talent manager where I with my team take care of launching underground/raw talent on the two available platforms that I control namely PMR (pakmediarevolution.net) and PMB (pakmediablog.com)

Having a degree in medical, engineering etc is an excellent investment, but considering the lack of job opportunities and the unemployment issues, landing on a job that is totally unrelated to your major is not the end of the world. Trust me; it is indeed, the most common outcome by far. For education and career, be bold, be brave, trust your instincts, and with the right amount of confidence and attitude nothing in this world can beat you and keep you away from achieving your dreams and goals.”

Aleem Zafar

He currently has the coolest job in the world, being the manager of Pakistani singing sensation Ali Zafar, Asim Azhar, rapper Billy X, PR at Upstreet Magazine, he also manages the career of actress Humaima Malick. He tells Smash! what really goes behind the scenes of the shimmery world of showbiz!

“Honestly speaking if you want to be a part of showbiz all you have to do is speak fluent English and make contacts. You don’t require any specific degree or level of education to be a part of showbiz. There are even 12-year-olds and 50-year-olds in the world of showbiz. However, some specific jobs do require some basic education requirement depending on the nature of the work. That being said, working actively and succeeding in showbiz is quite difficult. You have to make sure you’re available 24×7. You have to work really hard and the result you get is out of the world. Pros depend on your job: you become famous, people recognize you; you make contacts with people who’ll become major assets for you over time. One of the biggest cons is that your privacy gets invaded a lot. Simple and regular in fact rather mundane happenings in your life may result in regular pieces in newspapers, websites and magazines. You’re misquoted and your words are twisted to make news.

My advice would be: Once you start working in the world of showbiz don’t let your hopes down because many people will try to undermine you just to make sure you achieve your goals, because maybe one day the people who will are trying to bring you down will be working for you.

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