How She Got There: Vanessa Schenck, Founder of the Tia Girl Club

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Name: Vanessa Schenck 
Job Title & Description: Founder of the Tia Girl Club
Website: tiagirlclub.com
Twitter Handle: @TIAgirlclub
Instagram Handle: @tiagirlclub

What does your current job entail? Is there such a thing as a typical day?

Vanessa Schenck: As a fast growing start-up, I never know exactly how my day is going to play out, and I love that. It can be any number of things. I’m talking to future Tia Trailblazers, working on marketing or advertising, fulfilling orders or responding to our customers. I also communicate with our Tia Girls through social media. They’ve come to trust us, and reach out when they need help.

What is the best part of your job?

VS: Being able to inspire a Tia Girl and help parents raise confident girls! I’ve had Tia Girls tell me everything from “since becoming a Tia Girl, my self-esteem is now off the charts,” to “Tia Girl Club really makes me feel confident and better about myself.” And from the parents, they’ve told me, “Tia Girl Club is an important tool in helping me share a message with my daughter that girls can be anyone or anything they set their mind to.” There’s really nothing better than knowing you’re making a positive impact on another life.

What was your first entry-level job in your field and how did you get it?

VS: I worked for an advertising and public relations firm in Seattle called Elgin Syferd. I started as the receptionist (answering phones for more than 100 employees with no voicemail!) and working in the mailroom to quickly becoming an assistant public relations manager for a variety of clients (including McDonald’s!). I loved it. I got the job interview through a family friend.

What words of wisdom (well-known quotes, an anecdote from your boss) do you find most valuable?

VS: If I have to pick one, it’s a quote from Oprah Winfrey. She tweeted out, “What you say about yourself becomes your reality. You speak life into being.” And it’s true. Our words have creative power. Not only do we believe what we tell ourselves, we create what we speak. It’s the foundation for Tia Girl Club - we teach girls to first SAY what they want to SEE in their lives with the “Today I Am” statement.

What is one mistake you made along the way and what did you learn from it?

VS: Not using my voice. So many times I had a voice screaming inside my head with things I wanted to say, but I never said any of it because I didn’t have the courage. I was too afraid of being rejected or upsetting those around me. Now I know to use my voice. That what I have to say matters. Hiding your authentic self is never a good idea. You end up living a life not meant to be yours. When you become fearless, say what you want to say and follow your dreams, life becomes what it’s supposed to be: beautifully yours.  

What has been the most surreal moment of your career thus far?

VS: Sitting on set with Tia Trailblazer Gretchen Carlson when she interviewed me on her show on Fox with two of our other Tia Trailblazers, race car driver Collete Davis and dancer Ashley Bouder. We were on live TV, talking all things Tia. Live TV is something else. You have to be ready for anything. That, and having a conversation with Derek Hough about Tia Girl Club and having him say, “Anything I can do to help.”

What do you look for when considering hiring someone?

VS: Authenticity and passion. If someone is being true to who they are and doing what they love, forget it. You’ll never find anyone who will work harder to build the dream with you. Oh, and a sense of humor.  Start-ups are a breed unto themselves. Things happen. You have to be able to laugh.

What advice would you give to a 20-something with similar aspirations?

VS: Follow your passion. Do what you love. Never give up and know that you have no chance but to succeed if you are truly following your dreams.

What's the one thing that's stood out to you the most in a resume?

VS: Spelling errors. As an English major, I cannot help it. Use spell-check!

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About The Author

Isabel is a currently the Evening & Weekend Editor at Her Campus and a student at New York University in the Global Liberal Studies program with a concentration in Contemporary Culture and Creative Production. When she is not watching Gilmore Girls or playing with puppies at the local pet store, she spends her time freelancing for numerous publications about celebrities and life. You can find her work on the websites of Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Seventeen, Elle, and Buzzfeed. Follow her on Instagram at @isabelcalkins.

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