Sarissa Thrower worked her way up the digital ranks to land herself a VERY dynamic role at the largest social media company in the world and we want to know more than just what we see when we scroll...
LA: What is one interesting thing people may not know about your role at Instagram?
S: That, depending on who you are, working at Instagram can really be a job like any other job, and many of us use Instagram just like people who don’t work there – which to say is sometimes not much, at all (except to test the occasional new feature!).
LA: As the Entertainment, Music and Creator Comms Lead at Instagram, what is one bit of advice you can share with our readers if they want to pursue this particular career?
S: I love the internet, and I have always loved media and media culture. Magazines were a huge part of my experience as a pre-teen and teen, and when that became the internet, I jumped into that world with both feet. “Pursue your passion” is vague career advice, but what it really means is think about what you like to do, or what you’re interested in. Then, think about where what you like to do overlaps with what you’re good at – for me that was reading, writing and being curious about or learning new data and facts. I’m curious by nature about the world of media. This is how you determine what you can potentially get paid for. This does not mean it won’t ever be hard, or that it won’t feel like work, or that you won’t dislike doing it sometimes.
But it will hopefully always be something that you’re driven to do subconsciously because there’s always something new to uncover as your field evolves and grows. The other thing I can say is that, if you’re interested in anything media or technology-related, there’s a pretty good chance your job might not exist yet – when I left college, my current job did not exist; my current COMPANY did not exist! So market test it, and then make it up as you go. Sometimes the road rises to meet you. And if it doesn’t? Don’t be scared – adapt!
LA: What is one mistake you made in your career that you learned the most from?
S: Generally speaking, I try to abide by two rules in my life and career: give credit where credit is due (and conversely, don’t be afraid to take credit where it’s appropriate), and remain adaptable. Never forget that, really, the only thing you can always count on is change, and when it comes to change, adaptability and giving people their proper due – being gracious and honest – are extremely important.
LA: What are you most proud of at this moment?
S: The amazing relationships, connections and friendships I’ve made in and outside of my career, and how those, along with my own work and my family support has allowed me to live a very blessed life I am grateful for.
LA: Your go-to beverage after a long week (specifics please!)?
S: Make it blood orange, jalapeno and tequila, please!
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