For our career series “How I Got My Job,” we’ll be talking to real people, working real jobs across a variety of industries. These people are pushing boundaries and have made their mark. They’ve found success on their own terms, and now we’re extracting their advice on how to carve out your own career path.
Emily Ramshaw, the Canadian Lead of Bumble, has had her fair share of jobs; from modelling for Spot 6 Management, to being the Senior Features Editor at The Coveteur, to now working for Bumble, she‘s dipped her toe into a few industries. And now over a year into her position at Bumble, she sat down with us to answer some questions about her career!
A small PSA: if you haven’t seen Bumble’s new advertisement with Serena Williams, watch it right now. Their general themes about uplifting and supporting women — be it through Bumble Date, Bumble BFF, or Bumble Bizz — resonate in a very real way with women across the country and beyond by providing and encouraging a safe space for women to make the first move in their life.
As a woman who has always strived to empower other women throughout her career, Bumble seems like the perfect for Emily. The morals that Bumble stands for are messages that are a big part of her personal identity. Working for a company you can fully stand behind? Sign us up.
Read on to hear Emily’s perspective on what makes her job so fulfilling, her opinion on unpaid work (internships or “pay via exposure”), and how you can also land your dream job!
First thing’s first, what was the first job you ever had? The job after that? And how did it lead you to where you are today?
The first job I ever had was as a summer sailing instructor, where I came to appreciate the joys of working with an amazing team. This is something I’ve prioritized in my career choices ever since.
My first desk job was as fashion news editor at Flare Magazine, following an internship. From there I moved to Coveteur, where I was senior editor for almost four years, two of which I spent in New York. I moved back to Toronto to freelance as a writer, which led me to marketing and content consulting for a range of brands, including Bumble. I loved working with the team so much, the role quickly grew to full-time.
What’s a typical day at work for you?
It sounds cliché, but there really is no typical day. I oversee Canadian marketing and growth strategy, which is highly creative, and allows me to work with a wide range of people and take a variety of approaches. My time is spent in brainstorming meetings with global teams, bringing on new brands and ambassadors as partners, overseeing our local agencies, lots of events with media and Bumble users, and even more emails.
Whatever the tasks at hand might be, there’s always something exciting going on!
What has been the most fulfilling project you’ve worked on so far?
With Bumble’s mission to end misogyny as our North Star and all of our projects driving home values of respect and kindness, all of the work we do is incredibly fulfilling. One recent example of a campaign I love is #BumbleBoldly, which encourages our users to be empowered by their own vulnerability when it comes to relationships and life, and to go after what they want in 2019. The response from users and on social media was really powerful.
In your time working, what do you think has been the most important thing that you’ve learned?
One of the most important things I’ve learned so far is the value of perspective – remembering what is important and what you can let go of. I can easily get bogged down by the details or take things personally, and I’ve come to learn not to dwell but move forward and focus on the work.
Creative industries are notorious for unpaid internships or pay via “exposure.” How do you feel about this? Are you for or against unpaid internships?
On one hand, I benefitted hugely from an unpaid internships. I was interning before payment was the law and had to work part-time to support myself, but the education and the door it opened to fashion and the media industry was invaluable.
That being said, the work done by interns in this industry is incredibly valuable, creates profits for companies, and they should be compensated accordingly. The rhetoric around being “lucky” to have a job in an industry where “a million girls are fighting for a position” is dangerous. It creates a precedent among employers for unfair working conditions and lower salaries all the way up the ladder. At the end of the day, intern or not, everyone should be paid for their work.
How did you turn your dream job into a reality and get paid to do it?
As soon as I started interning at Flare, I knew I wanted to write and made that known to the editors. I jumped at every opportunity to contribute to the website and assist with the fashion news editor. Being proactive and working hard eventually led to a job as a writer. Writing for a living was a dream, for sure.
My current job, which fulfills another dream of dedicating my time to supporting fellow women and fighting misogyny, came to me through my network. Basic kindness and building a reputation as a person who contributes and is easy to work with will take you very far.
What’s your advice to someone looking to get into your line of work?
As media and distribution channels are disrupted, I feel a typical background and education is less important, and a diverse background actually leads to more innovative ideas.
Ultimately, in marketing, the most important thing is to know and understand the brand, as well as you know your best friend. Always put the brand first, and be thinking about what’s right or wrong for the long game. At the end of the day, as a marketer, you are a storyteller. And if you have true passion for the brand it will show through the stories you tell.
What’s the best thing about working for Bumble?
So many things!
I spend my time thinking about new ways to empower women and end misogyny. The need for change in these spaces has always been a big part of my personal identity, so I feel very lucky to be able to focus my energy here and work with a team that is doing their part to make a difference.
I would also have to say the Bumble team — here in Canada and globally. We are 85% women and everyone is equally passionate about our mission and values, which makes the day-to-day so enjoyable.
To keep up with Emily and her work with Bumble, follow @bumble_canada on Instagram.
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