Meet a young brother who has used media to encourage and inspire young adults. After being told by media executives to take a few classes and come back to an interview, Boodie trusted his gut and followed through with those instructions, landing him an amazing job with "O" Magazine, followed by a position at Dreamworks corporation. Now, the LA Account Manager at Intern Sushi, a new start-up intern hiring company, Boodie is living out his dreams, and getting paid well to do so!
EBONY: Explain what you do on a day-to-day basis.
Wow on a day-to-day basis. My day can vary from getting up in the morning and having calls from companies in all the top industries across the US. I’m the LA account manager so we can see anyone from Christian Dior, who I actually had a call with last week. I deal with all the top industries in the country that people want to go after. I manage all of the accounts so everyday its either having calls with different companies that are interested building their online presence and having an opportunity to scout interns across the US.
EBONY: So your job is to basically help media companies understand why they need to be on Intern Sushi and how video screening will be the way they will be hiring their future employees?
Their future hires, exactly. For us it’s all about being picky. This is one of the main things that separate us [from the others]. We want companies [on our site] that are going to enable students, the future candidates, to actually do more than file and wash a wall you know? We want the companies that are going to say hey, we’re going to give you a path. We’re going let you write up a story and then we’re going to have someone edit and give you a review on it. Like that’s a part of my job. So if you get that, then we can partner. If you don’t, then I have to convince you and we’ll have to have meetings until you understand that this is why I’m doing what I’m doing: to get companies that are interested in creatively moving forward with the next generation.
EBONY: Describe the absolute coolest part of your day.
JB: That’s a good one. One of the coolest parts of my day is when people get what Intern Sushi means. I mean one of the coolest parts is when people already know about Intern Sushi. Those people who are passionate before I can even say why I’m passionate about it. Those people that are like “I totally get what this is, what do I have to do to sign up”. I get excited off of that. Because I don’t even need to explain it. That’s one of the coolest parts of my day. I also think it’s cool my job enables me so much flexibility. It's cool that I actually make my own schedule. I don’t hear many people say that my age.
Did you pursue this work while you were in school or is this something that just sort of came alone on your journey?
It was along the journey. I was working at Dreamworks and I heard the CEO of Intern Sushi pitch this idea with Mark Gordon (who is the TV producer). When I was listening to Mark speak to the CEO about Intern Sushi, I was like “oh my gosh, they’re giving kids a platform via video to share their story, with companies that they really want to work for". I was an assistant producer at Dreamworks and I set up a meeting between Dreamworks and Intern Sushi. Dreamworks actually signed on. That was kind of my realization that I can make things happen on a big scale and that was honestly how I got started from there. I used to work for ‘O’ magazine so I reached out to people at Hearst and said “hey maybe you guys need to be a part of this.” I didn’t even work at Intern Sushi [yet]! But if I see something I believe in, I go for it.
That’s the joy I get too as far as building relationships, connecting people to things that I believe in. I could never predict that I would work here. They gave me an opportunity and a position that pays more that allows me to travel wherever I want. This company will give me that pedestal.
EBONY: How did you become what you are today in terms of your success story? Was there any type of discipline that you had to apply to your life on a daily basis?
First as always I would say that God. God is definitely number one in my life. I would also say my mentor. I encourage everyone to have a mentor. Before I graduated college I interned at Hearst Newspaper and that internship and those mentors at Hearst said stuff to me that I had never been told, which really encouraged me to keep moving forward. They were like “Jeff, we see something in you”.
I had two executives at Hearst who basically said if you take these specific classes, they would give me a job when I graduated. Honestly no one thought that this would be true. They were like you can’t trust people. I was like "no, you have to trust someone and someone has to believe you." And that’s the thing. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut. It sounds cliché but go with what your heart is telling you.
I went to this small little private school and no one believed that Hearst, this big media company in New York would hire me. But you know what, when I graduated, my mentors stuck to their word.
I was a fortunate one to have a taste of my dream to know what it feels like to be around “success”. But I’m no different; everyone can do it.
EBONY: Oprah once said at her core that she’s a teacher. What do you consider yourself to be at your core?
I consider myself at my core to be an encourager. I encourage people. I want people to go for it. A friend of mine once said to me: you’re in a canoe and it’s near the river. At some point in your life, you’re going to be in that canoe, too. And you’re going to be in a canoe along other people and at some point in your life you may have to pass them by. That’s the thing. At some point, you’re going to have to keep driving forward and unfortunately other people just aren’t going to be there. People are not going to be where your destiny is calling you and you’re going to pass them and there’s no thought for that. It’s just a part of life. It’s just realizing that you have your own destiny; you’re always going to have your own canoe. And that canoe for me is such a visual. Even though we have so many friends in that canoe, we each have our own destiny.
I encourage people to keep going for what they want.
EBONY: What are some initial reactions that people have when they find out what you do?
A lot of people are more or less like “that exists?” It’s because it’s a new thing. And you know when things are new people are like, “I didn’t realize you could do that.
EBONY: I wonder if people ever think like "yeah right, that’s not a real job."
I haven’t gotten it before yet but people do ask how we make money. We're not charging companies. So everyone wants to know and I’m like well there’s this thing called investors. [Laughs]
What true advice would you give someone going into your line of work?
Pick up the phone. I said this to a friend of mine who was looking for a job and I said you’ve been emailing all of these people. Think about how many other people email these people. Think about how people are actually taking the time to call and say "hey can I talk to HR and can I set up an informational?" And then he did that and he was like “people actually are responsive”. People don’t realize that you actually have the power to pick up the phone and actually connect to people.
Another piece of advice is to be better than the person next to you. That’s something my boss told me and it’s something that always stuck. It’s a hard thing to fathom because you want to be respectful and you want to be a team player. But you always want to recognize that if you get into what your dream job is and you want to stay there, you being better than the person just means going over and beyond to show that this is what you really want.