Name: Tina Wells
Job Title and Description: CEO, Buzz Marketing Group
College/Major: Hood College/Journalism
What does your current job entail? Is there such a thing as a typical day?
Tina Wells: A typical day is simply not that typical. One day, I could be in back-to-back meetings and then, the next day, I could be flying across the country for an influencer event. It’s very exciting! As the CEO of Buzz Marketing Group, I manage a team of seven individuals who launch events, develop and produce various campaigns within the youth marketing industry, collect market research through various platforms and – every now and then – go on a couple of adventures across the world to see these trends take life in different cultures!
What is the best part of your job?
TW: The best part is seeing ideas grow and develop into successful campaigns that have a lasting impact on consumers and, particularly, on youth trends. It is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day duties and obligations as a part of such a busy agency, so stepping back and catching sight of the actual impact of our work is incredibly gratifying!
As many know, you started your own company when you were only sixteen. What hurdles did you experience during the beginning of your career and how did you overcome them?
TW: When I first started Buzz Marketing Group, the industry and business itself was very different. Entrepreneurship was not as much of a focus then as it has become now, and there were not as many resources available to entrepreneurs and start-ups as there are today. Luckily, I had the invaluable support of friends, family, professors and mentors along the way who truly understood my vision and did everything they could to help me get to the top. As a result, I always had resources for any obstacle I faced.
Not only are you a marketing mogul, you’re also the author of a tween book series. Why did you decide to write?
TW: I wanted to write a book that my younger cousins and nieces could enjoy and feel empowered by. So often we forget that tweens are at a crucial turning point in their lives – especially girls. It’s the period of growing pains, crushes, new schools, transforming social environments and increased exposure to media that distorts their image of who they are and what they can do. Mackenzie Blue is a steady role model for tweens to look to during that insane time in their lives. She is a relatable girl who enjoys life, music, school and has the occasional crush. She has a good head on her shoulders.
What is one thing you wish you knew about your industry when you first started out that you know now?
TW: Even the most important executives are normal people at the end of the day. They may live in extraordinary circumstances, but they have families and personal lives too! We're more alike than we are different.
Who is one person who changed your professional life for the better?
TW: Oprah. Being featured in O Magazine in 2005 was personally and professionally life changing. I really cannot put into words how much I appreciate what Oprah has done for women, African-Americans, media personalities and the television and media industries in general. She really paved the way, so to be selected by her magazine was truly an honor.
What words of wisdom do you find most valuable?
TW: My dad always said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” This is a quote that I live by. Of course, there are going to be many elements of your path that are unpredictable or just constantly up in the air; but I truly believe that it is up to you to sit down and make a plan, whether it’s for your career, your education, your company or your personal life. Planning forces you to examine and analyze your strategy and your overall goals, which are both incredibly important in whatever you want to accomplish.
What is one mistake you made along the way and what did you learn from it?
TW: I used to think I had to always be right and have all the answers. It's ok to not always know what to do!
What do you look for when considering hiring someone?
TW: I look for someone who is constantly on their game, organized, motivated and is interested to constantly learn in different situations. Aside from those traits (and more I haven’t listed), I look to see if he or she fits the culture of Buzz Marketing Group. We take our work and our vacations seriously!
What advice would you give to a 20-something with similar aspirations?
TW: Take the time to be a 20-something. Make mistakes, learn from them and see the world.