New York – February Member of the Month, Harper Yi, Vidmob
By She Runs It
Hometown? Fairfax, Virginia.
New job title and company? Sales Marketing Lead at Vidmob.
Describe your career journey thus far. My career has been relatively short thus far, but filled with wonderful people and interesting experiences. Before I graduated from William & Mary, I did 3 internships at companies like Gannett, served as a trendspotter for MTV, and was awarded a prize for amateur playwriting. After getting my degree, I got a Disney internship that progressed into a permanent role working in sales development with a focus on branded entertainment and digital content creators. It was my dream job, managing projects at the intersection of entertainment and advertising. In 2017, I was affected in a mass lay-off. It’s strange attaining and then losing your dream job by 24— You feel lost and directionless. From there it’s been a lot of experimentation and exploration. I moved on to do integrated marketing, social media, and digital strategy work with a variety of great companies and clients. Entertainment and media are constantly changing, and that results in a lot of instability. I try to focus on what I want to work on, who I want to work with, and what I hope to learn. That keeps me centered even when the industry seems to quake beneath my feet. Now I’m starting a new role at Vidmob where I will lead their sales marketing efforts, and I’m excited for the road ahead!
How has She Runs It helped you personally and/or professionally? She Runs It has been a wonderful way for me to meet new people in the industry whom I would not normally get to know. The industry changes so quickly. Oftentimes we get so focused on developing our own specialties that it can be hard to see the ways the landscape is growing and changing, so connecting with people who have a different role or perspective is important in understanding what’s going on. I’ve also made some good friends through the organization and some inspiring role models like my mentor, Maria Hernandez.
Name a woman who inspires you and why. Mindy Kaling is one of my personal heroes because she believes in liking herself even though she’s not perfect. Lots of women, especially if they are marginalized, feel the need to humble themselves to everyone, justify their presence in the room, and maybe even hate themselves for fear of being seen as self-obsessed or arrogant. She really pushes that you can make mistakes and be imperfect and have stuff you need to work on and STILL be allowed to like yourself. When you put all that energy toward growing and fixing your mistakes, rather than hating yourself or obsessing over your shortcomings, you are a much better person. Mindy built a career by believing in her hard work and ability, and then refusing to be told she didn’t belong at the table. I aspire to be like her. Some people feel threatened by women who don’t hate themselves. Like Mindy, I aim to make those people uncomfortable.
Which three words would you use to describe your personality? Bold, Creative, Off-beat.
What was it like participating on your first She Runs It panel, at the recent corporate alliance partner activation? The most exciting thing about being in this organization is working to build the sense of community in our industries. I think jumping into any big organization can be intimidating and overwhelming, so sharing how flexible and fulfilling membership is felt really important. Having a member explain that to me was one of the key reasons I got involved. I enjoyed being able to talk about how She Runs It works to make the industry more inclusive. The more people get involved with that mission, the better.
As a member of the Multicultural Alliance, what are some exciting things you are currently working on? I’m currently leading the Hospitality Subcommittee which aims to make sure people of marginalized backgrounds are welcomed and included in our events, and also works to facilitate communication between other parts of the organization. We are a very small committee, but I’m hopeful that more folks will get involved.