Hi PI Girls! I get a lot of questions about career advice, and I figured who better to ask than some of the successful women in my life I call friends? And when I use the term “successful,” I’m not just talking about money—I’m talking about overall fulfillment in a career. I will be highlighting different women of all different backgrounds, with various careers and aspirations. I’m hoping by doing this, you can take away their useful advice and apply it to your own life! —Nicole
Spotlight on Kelly Edwards
Q: What was your original career aspiration?
A: To work in the entertainment industry, wear a suit, sit behind a desk and boss people around. (And at 15, I would honestly say that out loud to anyone who would ask.)
Q: Are you currently working in that field? Why or why not?
A: Yes. As soon as I got out of college, I got a job working for a talent manager who handled some pretty big names. One connection led to another, and here I am, working at HBO, heading up diversity.
Q: What would your best advice be to an 18-year-old who is looking to be a successful working woman?
A: Don’t look at what opportunities are out there now as an indication of what you will be doing in the future. The career you are going to carve out for yourself doesn’t exist yet. But if you follow your passion, by the time you are out of school and have honed your skills, it will be there. When I was in high school, I wanted to be a dancer in films or TV, but the days of the musical were long over, so I gave it up. After I got into college, a new network was launched: MTV. Had I stuck with my passion, my skills and the universe would have aligned perfectly for me to achieve my dream. So never give up what you love. Your dream just might take a different form than what you originally envisioned.
Q: What cause are you passionate about?
A: Making sure that women and people of color get a level playing field on which to compete. We are only 60 years from the civil rights movement and 100 years from women getting the right to vote. We’ve come a long way in a short time, but there is still so much to do to make sure that all people get the chance to be seen, heard, respected and acknowledged. Our ideas are more innovative, our content is more compelling and our world is more vibrant when different viewpoints collide and the unexpected happens.
To read more about Kelly, check out this great article here!