Ariel Lopez

Image of Ariel Lopez c/o Innov8tiv.com

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. 

ARIEL LOPEZ

CAREER COACH AT GENERAL ASSEMBLY & FOUNDER OF 2020SHIFT 

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.

2020Shift

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.

Connect with Ariel Lopez on 2020Shift, General Assembly, Twitter, and LinkedIn!

Rana Campbell

Rana Campbell

RANA CAMPBELL
CONTENT STRATEGIST & FOUNDER OF RANACAMPBELL.COM
ORANGE, NEW JERSEY

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of meeting Rana Campbell, Princeton University alumni and Founder of lifestyle website: RanaCampbell.comRana and I instantly bonded over our passion for bridging the gap between vision and reality – as she shared her website’s mission to help individuals shine in their personal and professional lives. Rana’s work has been featured on FOX 5 Good Day New York, The Huffington Post, Princeton Alumni Weekly, and many more.

I tell this to everyone: be a student of your industry. Understand the space well. Understand your future customer’s pain points and work on building relationships with them. No one can want your dream more than you want your dream. A lot of people talk about this in terms of “passion”, but I think this goes beyond passion. If you want to enter a field and create something that you actually want to see some tangible results from, you need to really be involved in the system and process of figuring out how to see something from ideation to execution. I think that’s where a lot of people have it wrong. They think talent alone will cause success. It may, but I think that having a larger bird’s eye view of the industry and the little intricacies can help insure long-term success.

How does your craft reflect your personal aesthetic?

I’ve always been a storyteller, talker, and question-asker. These parts of my persona have definitely translated into what I do now. For me, my site and brand is all about empowering and sharing the stories of others. That’s always been intriguing to me. I’m the type of person who admires and wonders “Why?” How did things get to be the way they are? At the same time, I’ve always wondered, “What’s the best way to share this and share with others? Perhaps that’s why I love marketing so much.

How have the women in your life been instrumental in your life and career?

The women in my life have shown me resilience and strength. I think one of the most influential women in my life has been my mother. When I think of her I think of sacrifice and resilience. My mother went through alot in her life, and despite almost dying when I was a baby, she is still here with us. All along she has supported me and through her sacrifice I have been able to accomplish so much.

Other important women in my life such as teachers, mentors, and even former bosses have been instrumental in my life because they both believed in me and pushed me. They showed me new possibilities for my dreams and also showed me the ways that I can navigate those open waters as a woman.

Cultural trends constantly change. What do you do to stay relevant, connected, and ahead of the curve?

I’m obsessed with reading. I always try to have a book in tow, if possible. I’m always trying to find new information to consume via blogs, news, film, social media, networking events, music, etc… I am like a sponge and revel at opportunities to learn new things. I think if you’re constantly seeking new knowledge, staying ahead of the curve is easy. This is where my love for asking “why?” comes in.

Rana Campbell

How do you keep track of your personal and business goals – and stay creative at the same time (even when you’re exhausted)?

This one is a bit hard for me. Personally, I try to make sure to write everything down and revisit my goals from time to time. By keeping myself accountable, I’m able to keep track. For me, keeping track of my goals and staying creative don’t always go hand-in-hand. I feel that sometimes I have too many creative ideas which can cause an overload, which may cause me NOT to focus on my goals. There you have it… staying focused is what I find to be the most important thing. At the end of the day, I always try to remain positive. Burnout is real.

How important are mentors? Who is your mentor?

Mentors are everything. Having someone who did it already and can show you the ropes can save you a lot of time and also guide your own journey. Mentors are another part of your support system- which every creative needs. One of my mentors is Gabrielle Simpson, who is a director of Communications at NBC. I’ve known Gabby (as I call her) from when she worked at CBS Corporate and I as an intern. She’s always been a great support to me and has pushed me to pursue new opportunities. She also helped open up alot of doors for me, which I would have a really hard time gaining access to (quite literally.) Gabby sees greatness in me – having someone who sees that in you and wants you to achieve that is the best thing ever.

Rana Campbell

What is your advice for women entering creative fields or starting their own business?

I tell this to everyone: be a student of your industry. Understand the space well. Understand your future customer’s pain points and work on building relationships with them. No one can want your dream more than you want your dream. A lot of people talk about this in terms of “passion”, but I think this goes beyond passion. If you want to enter a field and create something that you actually want to see some tangible results from, you need to really be involved in the system and process of figuring out how to see something from ideation to execution. I think that’s where a lot of people have it wrong. They think talent alone will cause success. It may, but I think that having a larger bird’s eye view of the industry and the little intricacies can help insure long-term success.

My dad once told me, “As long as you’re awake and have the ability to think, you should never be bored.”

Place that inspires me the most:

I get a lot of ideas while driving without the radio on. There’s something about being on the move that gets my mind going. Honestly, I can get inspired from pretty much everywhere. Everything is a story to me. You just have to want to see it. My dad once told me, “As long as you’re awake and have the ability to think, you should never be bored.”

I feel most powerful when:

This may sound crazy, but I love being naked. I think there’s power in loving your body in its rawest form. True power comes from within and I think that moment of nakedness where you have nothing to hide behind is where we can start to build that power.

For the more politically correct answer, I’ll say, I feel most powerful when I’m looking good, feeling good, and am prepared. Those things give me confidence.

I love what I do because:

I get to meet so many different people and hear so many different stories. At the same time, I love inspiring others and helping others accomplish their dreams. This may be because I’m an ENFJ, but I really enjoy seeing other people smile and feel good about themselves. I also like presenting ways that individuals can start challenging themselves to open their eyes to something new.

I read a quote the other day that sums this up perfectly: “If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.

Best advice I have ever received:

Don’t let what others think weigh you down. I say this is the best advice because it’s something I find myself working on every day. Having courage to pursue a journey that others may not fully support or understand is hard, but if you believe in yourself and start to care less about what “others” may say the possibilities are endless. I read a quote the other day that sums this up perfectly: “If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”

Rana Campbell

Connect with Rana Campbell on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram!