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Community Highlights: Meet Aria Collins of Colored Lens Podcast & Lifestlye

Today we’d like to introduce you to Aria Collins.

Hi Aria, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
My childhood was spent in a place known for its beauty, culture, and spice. My first decade of my life was in Grenada. I clearly remember telling my 4th grade teacher that I would move to Hollywood and be a star. I had no idea that this would actually become a reality (well not the star part as yet) and that my time in LA would truly affect who I am today. Fast forward, my first stop was New York where I went to high school in Brooklyn, N.Y. and college at Ithaca, N.Y. Throughout high school, I majored in multimedia where I thought I was going to be the next Mark Zuckerberg. What I didn’t realize back then is that I had a love for digital platforms and knew that someday I’d create my own content. I took my interests for media and communications with me at Ithaca College where I studied Television-Radio with a concentration in Media Production and a minor in Communication Management and Design. Whew! That’s a long title. However, I knew I wasn’t ready to commit towards a specific goal – I wanted to learn as much as I can in the world of media and communications.

In 2017, my dream of going to Hollywood became my reality. I spent my junior year studying and working in LA. I got to intern in Production for The Bold and Beautiful and Oxygen at NBCUniversal. I had the best time working on the Universal lot. I was surrounded by so many talented and passionate people. I was surrounded by people who not only love the work they do but the company they worked for. I knew that I wasn’t ready to give this up so right after college, I was a part of the NBCUniversal Page Program. I felt thrilled to have landed a role for a company that I loved but something still felt missing – more people that looked like me. I knew that I wanted a platform and a community that would encourage future professionals. I created Colored Lens Podcast & Lifestyle as a self-growth and professional development platform. It’s a space where everyone can learn something new but it’s a safe space to my BIPOC community to feel represented and heard. What am I up to right now? Well, I still spend 9am to 5pm working for the Digital Sales and Partnership team at NBC but I spend my 6pm to 11pm creating original content through podcasts, blogs, and social media all centered around creating a community that encourages professional growth to the BIPOC community.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It certainly has not been a smooth road. I’m in a position where if I had to define myself, I would be someone who’s working towards both an entrepreneurial and corporate path. Giving them both my 100% has been a journey. However, despite the hardships of managing time while having a social life, I continue to remind myself to reward myself for all your accomplishments no matter how big or how small.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
Colored Lens is a podcast and lifestyle platform created to share and amplify diverse stories and create a seat at the table in the workplace. I launched this platform in 2019. I’m the creator and host of Colored Lens Podcast and Lifestyle. I do it all! From hosting episodes, booking guests, writing blogs, marketing, editing, social media content, sponsorship pitches, and more. I am a one band team. I specialize in career development and multicultural marketing. This combination is what really sets me apart. I take the knowledge I have in multicultural marketing to help others (career professionals, brands, small business owners) market themselves. If you’re interested in learning more about my career and professional development services. You can always book a free consultation. I value what I share and how I help others so it’s only right that I get to know you a bit first.

Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
I know when you hear the term ‘networking’ you’d think we’re stuck in a room sharing awkward conversations and swapping business cards but networking isn’t just that! You find your network and your mentor by being genuine and not being shy to ask the right questions. Start by greeting someone with more than just “How Are You?” an organic relationship may just unfold. Once that relationship is built, you’ll both know when it’s time to form a mentor-mentee relationship.


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