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Conversations with the Inspiring Jannel Ongkingco

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jannel Ongkingco.

Jannel, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I moved to Los Angeles straight out of college when I was 20. At first, it was a struggle since I didn’t know anyone here except for my family and I basically had no idea what I’m supposed to do with my life. After a few weeks of freaking out about adulthood and applying for jobs that I didn’t want, I stumbled upon a listing about a social media internship for a beauty brand. I submitted my application, went on an interview (which I totally tanked), got the position and eventually got promoted to social media coordinator. This job showed me the good, the bad and the ugly in social media and the beauty industry. Even though my time with that company was nowhere near perfect, it gave me life-long friends and vital knowledge and experiences that have helped me move up in this field.

Right after that job, I worked with a start-up beauty brand as a social media manager, but they gave me the freedom to build the brand’s image from scratch. If you know me personally, you could clearly tell that I had something to do with the brand’s voice and personality! Helping to establish a brand from the ground up is definitely difficult, but I was lucky enough to have a fantastic team that understands each other’s strengths, weaknesses, and skills. Plus, it also helped that we’re all friends and we enjoyed each other’s company. Working on that project was both exciting and scary, but it’s definitely one of my proudest achievements in life, and I wouldn’t do anything differently.

Working with a start-up was awesome, but after a while, I decided to move on. It wasn’t easy, but I knew that I needed more structure for me to grow, learn, and succeed. I now work as a Digital Media Manager for another beauty brand, it’s been quite a journey, and I’m very excited to see where it takes me!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Definitely not! Being young in such a fast-paced and competitive industry is not easy because you have to deal with a lot of people that will solely judge you based on your age. It doesn’t really bother me, if anything, it pushes me to do better and go above and beyond in everything that I do.

I’m only 23, so I think that I’m nowhere near qualified to give anyone advice! Based on my experience, you just have to believe in yourself and embrace change. As cheesy as it may sound, life opens up when you do! You’re never too young to do great things, and you don’t have to figure everything out right now- you have time!

What should we know about your business? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I’m the Digital Media Manager of an e-commerce beauty brand based here in Los Angeles. My job is basically to curate, edit, and produce content that will live online. I have to make sure that everything is cohesive and on-brand across all platforms. My day-to-day tasks vary from fun shoots to copywriting.

Do you have any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general? What has worked well for you?
Choose your friends wisely! I really do believe in the saying “Your tribe is your vibe” because I’ve learned that surrounding yourself to with smart, empowering, and supportive people will affect every aspect of your life positively.

The first step to finding a mentor and connections is to work in an industry that you love and understand. If you’re passionate about what you do, it won’t be hard for you to find people with the same goals and aspirations.

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