We sat down with Samara, the right hand woman to our CEO, to learn a little more about her first month at TJA and what she loves most about her new role!
1.) Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Scottsdale, Arizona, but my family roots are back east in Boston. I went to high school at Desert Mountain High School and Arizona State University.
2.) What got you interested in the marketing/advertising industry?
Specifically what sparked my interest was a “marketing & new technologies” course of sorts that I took my senior year at ASU. It created this drive and interest in myself that I hadn’t known before. I thought to myself ‘wow, this is really something I see myself doing’.
3.) What are some challenges you face in your role at TJA?
I overcome challenges everyday in my role. My biggest challenge yet has been developing a new mindset. I am green—newly graduated and new to experience a career outside of the typical college level job. For the past 16 years, I have had it instilled in my mind to “learn the material” or the correct approach to tackling a project, etc. and applying that to each situation that is presented to me—i.e. essay formats, nutrition application, etc. But that is the furthest thing to grant me success in my role. Every situation is unique, and I cannot apply what I learned from one situation to the next. Breaking out of the academic mindset has been one of my biggest challenges.
4.) What success have you had in your role at TJA?
I’ve succeeded in personal growth and developing a stronger work ethic with increased determination. This opportunity has taught me so much in the short amount of time I’ve been here. So far, the success I have had has come directly from learning opportunities, which translates to personal growth. Seeing the day-to-day demands of the company that result in the success of TJA is eye opening, and drives me to become a better version of myself for this position.
5.) What is your favorite part about your job?
How much time do you have? There isn’t anything that I do not like about my job. The culture at TJA is everything that makes this job so great! But if I had to chose my favorite thing that I feel benefits me most, it would be having Veronique as a mentor.
6.) What do you know now that you wish you knew at the start of your career?
This is the start of my career! But what I have learned transitioning from an academic career to an actual career are the benefits of failure and struggle. In school, failure meant that I didn’t understand the material, I wasn’t making progress or growing. But in my position now, if I struggle or fail at something, I learn from each and every opportunity. Now, failing at something doesn’t mean that I’m not going to pass in my job or in life—it means I’m going to excel at the next task.
7.) What kind of work were you doing prior to TJA?
I was a receptionist at a salon called Hydrate Salon and Day Spa, and before that I worked at The Hyatt Regency Gainey Ranch in the spa as a receptionist. Customer Service has been a big part of my skill set. And its interesting now to have a job that isn’t as heavily influenced with those skills. Don’t get me wrong, we certainly aim to deliver the utmost satisfaction to our clients at TJA—But it isn’t as straight forward as my previous jobs were.
8.) What would you tell someone who is starting their career like you?
If someone is just starting out in establishing their career, the best bit of advice I can give them is this: do not be afraid to fail and do not take for granted any opportunity that presents itself to you. If that opportunity is to learn, to develop your skill set, or to realize what you DON’T want to be doing, great. But learn from it; grow from it. Starting out at TJA, I was nervous—I won’t lie. I work side by side with a bad-ass boss lady, and that can be intimidating! It is imperative to my generation, the incoming workforce, to appreciate the tears, sweat and blood that someone has shed in order to give you the opportunity that is in front of you.
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