Elaina Koros – Content Strategist at Facebook

With a huge appreciation for writing and journalism, Elaina Koros majored in Government and English Studies while attending Georgetown University. Today, Elaina works as a Content Strategist at Facebook. During this chat, Elaina discusses the importance of building relationships and having mentors which helped her tremendously in getting an internship that eventually led to a full-time offer.

Years in Tech2
Grew UpBay Area, CA
Current JobContent Strategist
Date Recorded8/14/2016

Key Points:

  • The key to journalism and content strategy is to be able to communicate in a way that conveys what you’re thinking in a way that people can understand
  • When you’re having a successful relationship with a mentor, it shouldn’t feel like work. You should be giving just as much as you’re receiving. Ask for career advice, but often, it’s offered.
  • Treat your mentorship or internship or job like it’s your first day everyday.
  • Read through different content strategy resources and identify every skill you already have. Highlight it and write out when you specifically used that skill so you can translate the skills you already have.
  • Leveraging relationships is a key element of success but being able to follow through is just as important. People want to invest in you when you show that you’re willing to put in the effort.
  • You don’t have to know everything. Just ask.
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Show Notes (focus on the Stepping Stones):

[2:06] Elaina talks about her love of writing, being mentored by a nun and writing for a high school newspaper and doing internship for the Stanford Daily at Stanford University (her first story was an obituary)

[3:45] The benefits of journalism: Education + Experience

[4:04] Taking a minor in journalism and major in Government; doing internship at a law center advocating for students and eventually getting an internship at Facebook

[6:13] Strategies for her job search: Well-made resume + Prepared questions to ask. How she found a mentor at Facebook who helped her craft a better resume

[9:10] Writing a good resume: Sell yourself + UX Crash Course

[10:35] The key to journalism and content strategy: Articulate self-expression

[12:13] What a content strategist does: Research + Design + Execution

[13:24] Reason Elaina chose Government as her major and how leadership relates to content strategy

[15:35] Teams a content strategist works with: Designers + Engineers + Product Managers + Content Strategist + UX Research

[16:55] Aspects in content strategy that Elaina likes the most: Leadership + Team

[18:00] Elaina’s next steps: Investigative work and creative writing

[19:35] Reaping the benefits of mentorship: Treat it like it’s your first day everyday. Give back and be grateful.

[22:00] Resources Elaina used for content strategy and the importance of translating the skills you already have through audits

[24:37]  The trajectory of a content strategist and the most common backgrounds of content strategist

[27:15] The Lightning Round

Imagine if you had to start all over again, you just moved to a new city, and you only had $100. What steps would you take and how do you spend the money to get yourself off your feet?

  • Look for a story and use the money to pursue that story and publish it somewhere.

What was a piece of music or movie or writing that inspired you or helped you overcome your roadblocks?

  • Elaina turns to her mentors.

What is the one piece of advice to those are looking for that internship or that first job out of college?

  • Be confident in your own talent and ability. And if you’re rejected, it says nothing about your talent or what you can do. Instead, it says everything about how long you’ve been trying and the effort you’re putting in. Just keep trying and leverage those relationships. More importantly, be able to follow through. Frame rejections from a positive mindset.

What is one thing you fundamentally believed before this process that you changed your mind on?

  • Elaina brought the perspective of having a teenage sister, of having been bullied, and of social media being a scary place sometimes.

Articles Mentioned & Resources:

Facebook
UX Crash Course
Girls Leadership Institute
Odd Girl Out by Rachel Simmons
The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick

Contact Information:

Elaina Koros
Email address: elaina@fe.com
www.elainakoros.com

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