Who runs the world? Well, according to Beyonce, it’s girls. And if that’s true, Invisible Children will soon take over. Invisible Children’s office is packed full of some of the most impactful and talented women in the field today. The women in our offices are truly paving the way for so many other young and bright women. Here is just one among many of the kick a** female talent within these walls.
Meet Ananda. Everyone who has ever worked with Ananda has raved about her. She’s driven, hard working and thorough. It’s a lesser known fact that she is the sassiest gal in the office. It also doesn’t hurt that she has the coolest name. Ananda has been with Invisible Children since our Frontline Tour in 2011 and we couldn’t imagine life without her. If you’ve ever lobbied with Invisible Children, you’re probably just as obsessed with her as we are. But for those haven’t been a part of IC Citizen (read as: who haven’t been as fortunate), here she is.
1.What do you do? Both as a career and in your free time.
Currently I am the Mobilization Coordinator for Invisible Children. It’s a fancy title that basically means that I oversee the booking efforts of our Roadies for our national tours as well as coordinating our local grassroots political advocacy efforts for IC Citizen.
In my free time I absolutely love watching documentaries and independent films. I’m shamelessly addicted to Pinterest and I always have some kind of DIY project going on. Currently, I’m working on leather stamping.
2. How did you end up at Invisible Children?
Well, I graduated from college in 2009 with a degree in electronic media + film and unfortunately I knew nothing about Invisible Children while I was in school. I worked for 2 years as a producer/videographer and then a friend invited me to a free documentary film screening on the local college campus. If there’s one thing I love more than a documentary film it’s a FREE film, so, of course I agreed to go. But before I went to the film screening I went online to do some research about Invisible Children. I was immediately obsessed (literally super fan status). I read everything about it that I could get my hands on and invited my whole family to attend the screening because I knew this was something I wanted to be involved in. My parents came to the film with me and met the roadies… one of which was the one-and-only Alex Naser-Hall. They both agreed that IC would be perfect for me. It was not an easy decision to quit my full-time job to take an unpaid 6 month internship, but with my families support I took a leap of faith and applied to be a Roadie. I got it and so it was only a couple a weeks between first learning about IC and then coming to San Diego for training. Since then I’ve never looked back or regretted my decision for a second. I was a Roadie for the Frontline Tour, a Team Leader for Kony2012, then Tour Booking Assistant, Civic Engagement Assistant and now Mobilization Coordinator. Invisible Children has taught me so much and (as you can see) allowed me to really grow and explore different areas that interest me.
3. What is one piece of advice for young and bright women pursuing careers?
This is a hard question because I’m still figuring things out myself! The main lessons I’ve learned from my short time in the professional workforce is:
Don’t let your degree define you –
Pursue what you’re passionate about and don’t stress if it’s not what you studied in school. Treat your first few years of professional work as a second education (a sort of real-life masters degree) where you explore different avenues of work to figure out what you’d love doing for the rest of your life.
Take advantage of being young, educated and independent! –
Don’t be afraid of taking on challenges that scare or intimidate you.The worst thing that could happen is you fail. I know it might sound scary but in the grand scheme of your life these failures will be a small blip on the radar.
Seek mentors –
I know that sounds like such “typical” advice but I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of people who I consider personal and professional mentors. Luckily I work at an organization bursting with incredible women like Lisa Dougan, Liz Allen, Angela Diange and Hailey Mitsui-Davis. They’ve been friends, confidants, teachers and champions of my professional career.
It’s nearly impossible to be successful by yourself so find other kick-ass people who will coach and support you.