Name: Jess Zaino
Job Title: Style Expert
College/Major: Radio, Television & Film Studies at City University of New York at Hunter College
Twitter Handle: @Jess_Zaino
Her Campus: What does your current job entail? Is there such a thing as a typical day?
Jess Zaino: Wake up, take a walk around the Jackie O. reservoir in Central Park to get my thinking juices flowing, start on emails, take fashion previews, PR & development meetings, possibly produce a television show or fashion column, go shopping for hire, dinner with friends, evening event, sleep, and repeat.
HC: What was your first entry-level job in your field and how did you get it?
JZ: As a Production Assistant with Saturday Night Live. I was in my first week at college and saw a job posting on a career board. I called, name dropped the referring professor’s name and got a super cool gig buying cigarettes for Janeane Garofalo, who smelled like vanilla oil, among other things.
HC: What is one thing you wish you knew about your industry when you first started out that you know now?
JZ: Life is a whole lot of up and down and it’s best to be pliable and go with the flow. Sometimes you’re working and sometimes you’re not.
HC: Who is one person who changed your professional life for the better?
JZ: Jill Pollack, host of HGTV Canada’s Consumed. She is a lifelong mentor and close friend.
HC: What words of wisdom do you find most valuable?
JZ: “It’s not about the rock. It’s about the roll.” – Keith Richards
HC: What is one mistake you made along the way and what did you learn from it?
JZ: Sometimes my enthusiasm trumps the details and I make careless mistakes. I need to slow down, breathe through decisions and take an hour or night to think on it and proceed with caution.
HC: What is the best part of your job?
JZ: I do me.
HC: What do you look for when considering hiring someone?
JZ: Passion, focus, responsibility, and style.
HC: What advice would you give to a 20-something with similar aspirations?
JZ: Research the industry. Watch. Read. Listen. Carve out your expertise. Focus and build your brand. Take bold chances. Keep calm and carry on.