Image of Ariel Lopez c/o Innov8tiv.com
Ariel Lopez is a career coach at General Assembly – and founder of 2020Shift, a social enterprise that is designed to educate black and latino millennials on careers in the technology space. I was most impressed by Ariel’s work with 2020Shift – dedicated to setting students and recent graduates up for success, but most importantly filling the diversity gap with talent by providing resources and professional development. As an avid public speaker, Ariel enjoys sharing her expertise in digital media and technology and loves connecting people to opportunities. Luckily for Ariel, the things she loves the most is reflective of her day job, which allows her the freedom to cultivate her passion into profitable and innovative ideas to inspire others to pursue their career goals.
NEW YORK, NY
“I think it’s just about putting yourself out there. A lot of business connections have happened because of a tweet or a LinkedIn message. You have to find what channels work best for you/your brand and be active in them.”
How does your craft reflect your personal aesthetic?
My craft reflects the things that matter to me the most. I’ve always had a passion for helping people and as a coach I get to do that. 2020Shift is designed to help people elevate in their careers so I’m doing the same in that regard as well. I would also say I fell in love with tech as soon as I started working in the industry. It’s extremely important for me to be a catalyst to help others find success as well.
How have the women in your life been instrumental in your life and career?
I would say my mom has been the most influential person in both my life and my career. My drive and work ethic are a reflection of how I was raised. My mom always said that you can be whatever you want to be and that your current circumstances don’t define your future. I held on to those words and it helped shape the determination that has carried me through my career thus far.
“In terms of finding a mentor, network as much as you can and don’t force any relationships; let them happen naturally. You’ll have a gut feeling on who should be a mentor or not.”
Cultural trends constantly change. What do you do to stay relevant, connected, and ahead of the curve?
I think it’s just about putting yourself out there. A lot of business connections have happened because of a tweet or a LinkedIn message. You have to find what channels work best for you/your brand and be active in them.
How do you keep track of your personal and business goals – and stay creative at the same time (even when you’re exhausted)?
I make a point to have vision boards for every year; you’d be surprised how things magically come into fruition. I also recently went Being Mary Jane-ish in my apartment – hanging up small affirmations. Success is definitely a mental battle; if you can stay positive and on track, you’ll accomplish your goals much easier.
How important are mentors? Who is your mentor?
Mentors are super important and I have a few. I have advisors that are mentors, students and friends. I’m usually giving people advice, but learn the most about myself in those conversations. In terms of finding a mentor, network as much as you can and don’t force any relationships; let them happen naturally. You’ll have a gut feeling on who should be a mentor or not.
“I have a love-hate situation with NYC, but it’s the most inspiring city in the world. When I wake up I automatically think: hustle. It’s becomes a way of life.”
What is your advice for women entering creative fields or starting their own business?
Go after what you want and negotiate what you deserve (for those entering creative fields). For women starting their own business, keep your purpose and mission top of mind; that helps with riding the crazy roller coaster that is entrepreneurship.
Place that inspires me the most…
I have a love-hate situation with NYC, but it’s the most inspiring city in the world. When I wake up I automatically think: hustle. It’s becomes a way of life.
I feel most powerful when…
I’m teaching or speaking in public. I love engaging with people and hearing their feedback; it’s also an amazing feeling to hear, “You inspired me to do XYZ.”
I love what I do because…
I live in my purpose and I make an impact at the same time
Best advice I have ever received…
“You attract what you believe you’re worth.” I make an effort to shift my mindset to things that I want and believe I’m capable of doing.