By Egotist / /
Nola Weinstein is the focus of today’s 32 Under 32 interview. She’s the Head of Executive Engagement at Twitter. Enjoy this one and then check back tomorrow for another young SF star.
Congrats on being chosen as one of the top 32 advertising and marketing professionals under 32. We selected people who really go above and beyond in their work. How do you think you approach your job differently than other people?
I love what I do and always have. Leadership and communication have been my personal strengths—I’ve made a career out of the latter—and love bringing people together to achieve incredible things. I strive to elevate and empower those around me; nothing makes me prouder than when my team thrives. Even on the most stressful days I’m grateful to be where I am. I get to work with some of the smartest people in the world and that enables me to learn on the job; there is nothing better than that. I also don’t require much sleep.
What kind of accounts/projects are you working on these days?
As Twitter’s Head of Executive Engagement I focus on brand storytelling and corporate influencers. I work with business leaders from around the globe to help them better understand the power of the platform and optimize their personal Twitter presence to drive thought leadership and impact. Additionally, I run executive briefings and innovation tours at Twitter’s SF Headquarters for key executives from Fortune 500 companies who are looking for insights and inspiration.
What is it about where you currently work that really pushes you to be better?
Twitter has afforded me the opportunity to be surrounded by thousands of brilliant innovators; despite their collective success they remain helpful and humble. I am constantly learning from my colleagues; they encourage me to think differently—to strategize, ideate, and create in unique ways. A collective bias to impact prevails and that is extremely motivating.
In thinking over your career so far, what work had made you the proudest?
I’m glad I had the foresight to pursue a career in digital media. When I was graduating from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism taking a job in online editorial was an unpopular choice, yet I saw it as an opportunity to get my hands dirty. I knew if I went to a newspaper or magazine I’d be fetching coffee and fact checking. As a reporter for FashionWeekDaily.com, I was among the first online journalists in the room at prestigious fashion and entertainment events, which afforded me access and enabled me to build credibility. I met Glam’s CEO Samir Arora one fashion week and was immediately impressed by his vision. I joined Glam shortly after. The work I did Glam (now Mode Media) was an important and transformative part of my career. Fulfilling, challenging, and constantly changing, I was able to build impactful products that drove business and accelerated our growth. Content marketing was a newly emerging concept and my position but me at the forefront of a fundamental shift in the way brands communicate and connect. I built scaled content programs for brands like Target, P&G, Unilever, L’Oreal, American Express, Ford, Toyota, Dr. Pepper, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Estee Lauder & helped each with their multi-platform content strategies. I was tweeting throughout it all and am thrilled to now be working for a platform that was and remains an integral part of my storytelling.
Tell us about your work with STEM.
Women are hugely underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and math. An aversion to–and fear of–those fields starts young. I personally did significantly better in math than English, yet I chose to pursue an editorial career. I took my success in high school calculus and biology as a license to avoid related subjects in college; placing out of those classes was definitely a mistake. I regret missing out on the opportunity to grow and build my knowledge base and comfort level. Working in the tech space made me realize that you don’t have to code to be a tech innovator and I have been bringing together groups of fearless female founders and innovators to strategize, ideate and embolden one another to thrive in a male dominated space and inspire future leaders.
I am proud to now work at a company that does the same. When I joined Twitter I was introduced to SWAT (“Super Women at Twitter”), a group of men and women that collectively strives to change the ratio through educational programming, networking events, and discussions; they also offer programs for Girls Who Code to encourage the next generation to pursue careers in engineering and computer science through accessible lessons.
Here’s a ridiculously clichéd interview question for you: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
It’s hard to predict. If you asked me this question 10 years ago, Twitter would not yet have existed and now it’s changing the world. Wherever I am, I will hopefully be in the midst of a fulfilling career; leading, learning, creating, and innovating with a team of likeminded people.
This might be tough, but here’s your chance to give a shout out to one person who has helped you get to where you are today. Go.
I am perpetually inspired by my late grandparents. Their humility, work ethic, entrepreneurial spirit, and ability to overcome adversity and build a legacy, motivates and inspires me in all aspects of my personal and professional life. I am also particularly grateful to Dianna Mullins, a founder at Mode Media, who happened to be in the NY office on my first day at the company. She sat me down and greeted me with a mix of advice and permission: “Do your job, and do it well, but don’t think you have to stay in your lane.” That initial encounter opened the door for me to get involved in other facets of the company. That access accelerated my growth and gave me tremendous insight outside of the editorial realm and into business development, operations, sales, and marketing. She broadened my horizons and helped transform me from editor to innovator.