Wellesley College - Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art + International Relations
In Kim Beylin’s line of work, multitasking is a given – easy even. The real struggle is catching a moment to focus amid a glut of media and competing deadlines.
Kim is the associate creative director of digital design at the LA branch of Weber Shandwick, a global public relations agency with offices in 74 countries. Her day-to-day tasks include everything from developing campaign ideas for a client to art directing a website, working on a new business pitch or meeting with her team. Kim says there are at least two consistent elements to it all: an incredible group of coworkers and a need to explore and keeping moving forward.
Design and technology are still very male-dominated industries. So a few years ago, Kim started an LA chapter of SheSays, which offers educational and networking opportunities for women in digital communications. She tells others interested in her field to hone a skill or nurture a passion even if it has nothing to do with their career. “Invite the unexpected,” Kim writes. “Lean forward. Take a risk.”
Good manners are still important, though increasingly rare.
How did you discover your current job?
I started my career in magazine publishing in NY and, over the years, became involved in various forms of design, including traditional print, digital, branding, packaging and even events. When the opportunity came to join Weber Shandwick four years ago, I was excited to become a part of such a forward-thinking agency that provided a great deal of opportunity for me to do what I love: working in creative across multimedia with great clients.
What is your typical day like? What types of things do you do in your job?
Every day is a challenge, but in a really good way. We work in an environment where we constantly face an influx of creative opportunities. So my day might start out with developing campaign ideas for a client, then quickly move on to things like working on a new business pitch, art directing a website, researching communication technologies, reviewing candidate portfolios, mentoring and meeting with my team.
I thrive on learning and experiencing the new things, so being uncomfortable is oddly in my comfort zone.
What is the most rewarding part of your job? The most challenging?
I am thankful for the incredible of group people I get to work with every day -- to be able to come together, pull from our collective experiences and to imagine all that might be possible for any given assignment. Then we get to roll up our sleeves and come up with the best way to turn some of those ideas into reality.
The most challenging part of the job can be focusing when there’s a plethora of media and other work competing for my attention. It’s actually quite a skill nowadays to not multitask all the time.
What is the biggest personal sacrifice you have to make because of your job?
Fresh air. When I was starting out, so many of my (many) work hours had been spent in windowless spaces.
What is one lesson you've learned in your job that sticks with you?
As Tina Fey says: Go over, under and through! Don’t let ‘no’ stand in your way.
What do you feel is the biggest challenge for women today, particularly females in your industry?
Design and technology are still very male-dominated industries. But there are some great organizations, like SheSays (I started the LA chapter a few years ago), which offers educational and networking opportunities for women in digital communications. Join and participate in these types of groups. It’s inspiring to meet diverse professional women and important to make those personal connections as you develop your career.
Who are your role models?
At the top of my list of role models is my mother, who's a great businesswoman with impeccable taste and style. Other women I admire include Alice Waters and Patti Smith.
What are some of the rules you live by?
Be authentic. Stand for something.
What advice do you have for girls who want to be in your industry?
Go out, travel, try new foods, hone a skill or nurture a passion that might have nothing to do with your career. Invite the unexpected. Lean forward. Take a risk.
Also, good manners are still important, though increasingly rare. Be on time. Write a thoughtful cover letter. Send a thank you note. Follow through.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Creativity and innovation are about making something that doesn’t yet exist. That means there isn’t necessarily a right answer. Be okay with that and continue to explore and keep moving forward.
Find me @verticaltaste.