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Conversations with the Inspiring Veronika Maldonado

Today we’d like to introduce you to Veronika Maldonado.

Veronika, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
For as long as I can remember, there was never a doubt in my mind that I would go to college and try to make something of myself someday. I graduated high school with honors and got accepted into Long Beach State University. I started off as a nutrition and dietetics major and within my first semester, I quickly realized it wasn’t for me. at all. I changed my major to journalism even though I had no idea what I could do with it or what I wanted to do with my life at all. I just knew I didn’t mind writing and I was interested in the social media aspect of news. While in the journalism program at CSULB, I took an intro to public relations course and instantly fell in love. I knew PR was something I could see myself doing but I didn’t know what part interested me the most. I quickly changed my major to journalism with an emphasis in PR and started looking for internships to apply to during the summer. I stumbled across an advertisement on Indeed for a social media intern with a start-up hair tool company. I grew a passion for all things beauty and hair back in high school and have always been social media savvy so the position sounded perfect for me. I applied, went in for an interview and got the position right away! I began as an intern but just a few months in, I was given a part-time position. I’ve now been with the company for almost a year and a half! I’ve learned so much from my coworkers about the social media/influencer world as well as get an inside look into the beauty industry. I’m now about to start my senior year of college with the title of social media Manager and I couldn’t feel more blessed.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Ha! It’s been a crazy ride ever since I started college but taking on an internship made it a little tougher. I struggled during my first summer as an intern because it was also my first summer living in my own apartment and having to pay rent and other bills. I would commute an hour in the mornings to my internship, work 10 am to 5 pm and then commute back and work a 7 pm to 12 am shift at an ice cream shop. That summer, kicked my butt. I felt overworked most days but I had a good feeling that it would all pay off in the end and guess what? It truly has. I quit my ice cream job because I no longer needed it and now, I’d say things are a lot easier to juggle. My advice would be to work extra hard now, take on as much as you can handle and then watch as the most amazing rewards and opportunities get thrown your way without you even having to ask for them!

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into your business story. Tell us more about the business.
I am currently a social media manager which means that I oversee all social media platforms for our brand. I do a lot of scheduling posts, taking flatly photos of our products, monitoring analytics and also micromanaging influencers. I take our aesthetic very seriously in order to keep our feed looking pleasing to the eye. I adore what I do because I feel that social media has allowed me to show my creative side as well as challenging my analytical side. It’s quite addicting to look at numbers and try to figure out why some posts do better than others. It takes me a while to schedule just a week’s worth of posts because I’m extremely picky about how the feed is going to look. It’s tedious work but a pretty feed makes it worthwhile!

Looking back on your childhood, what experiences do you feel played an important role in shaping the person you grew up to be?
My mom has always been my biggest inspiration. Not because she knows ANYTHING about social media but because she showed me the value of hard work at such a young age. I’ve seen her work every day for the past 21 years to provide for me and my younger siblings. She was somehow able to give us everything we asked for and I respect her so much for that. She’s always told me to give everything 110%. That mentality has gotten me to where I am today and I owe it all to her for pushing me to do more and be more every day.

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