It may or may not surprise you, but Anna Amelija Selecka, our third-year student of Business Administration from Latvia, has never properly applied for a job. Nevertheless, Anna works as a social media marketing manager at the Estonian startup Click & Grow, and manages a few side jobs with the online designer store Creative Latvia and the email marketing company Mailigen.
All of Anna’s jobs have come from knowing someone and showing what she had been doing in the past. As a genuine social media person who not only blogs and posts for her employers but also finds time for her personal blog and Instagram, Anna knows how important contacts are: “The more you interact with people, tell them what you are doing, the more things are gonna come your way”. Although not everyone is a social media kind of person, it is really useful for networking.
She heard about the opening at Click & Grow from another Latvian student, Arnis, who knew that Anna was doing social media. So, she got a chance at a job interview with the company’s owner, Mattias Lepp, and it obviously went well. What started as a summer internship developed into a full-time job.
Anna’s job title at Click & Grow refers to social media marketing, but as she says: “In a startup, you end up doing so many things”. She is also copywriting, working on newsletters and visual identity, and helping with whatever else is needed. This means constant change, no routine, and — what Anna values above all — learning something new every single day. She praises startups — her side jobs are also at startups — for the great teamwork and the sense of accomplishment. “In a startup, you see what other people are doing, so it is easier to figure out what you like to do most yourself and what you are talented in”.
Although Anna’s working hours at Click & Grow are flexible and she can work from home, she finds it really helpful to have an office. When she didn’t have one, she would go to the library or try to create a workspace elsewhere, because working from one’s bedroom — or bed — isn’t that motivating.
If there is something that Anna does not like about her job at Click & Grow that much, then it is not really about the job itself, but rather her feeling that she cannot give it hundred per cent because studies take time and effort, too.
Besides her studies and work, Anna volunteers in the International Ambassadors Programme, where she helps prospective students and spreads the word about the University of Tartu. She joined the programme because it sounded cool and she wanted to belong to a community. Moreover, Anna is sure that “everything you do brings you opportunities”.
If you are still reading this, you may be wondering that perhaps Anna’s days last longer than 24 hours. Is it even possible to study, work more than full-time, volunteer, and enjoy the company of your friends and family? Oh, Anna also goes to the gym, although this part does not seem that consistent. Well, in her own words, “Organisation is really, really the key”. Tech-savvy Anna has a real, not a virtual planner, and spends an hour or so every Sunday evening to plan her next week. Anna’s normal week also includes one day to recharge, when she does absolutely nothing, not even cleaning.
Is there anything that Anna was aiming for and didn’t get? “Nothing that I regret”, is the straightforward answer. Most of Anna’s friends study at the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga. She didn’t get in despite studying math that she is “rubbish at” from morning till night every single day for one or two months. In the beginning Anna felt very devastated, but she now admits that it wouldn’t have been the school for her. What she learned is that “everything that happens in your life is for good”.
It may also comfort you that Anna hates writing papers, and really needs to discipline herself to do this: “I’ve always been more a working kind of a girl than a studying kind of a girl”. In fact, this may be how her career path started: in high school, instead of a research paper on the Art Deco fashion style, she presented her own fashion collection.
A few years ago Anna would say that her dream was to open a fashion house. Those things have changed. Now she is not sure exactly where she wants to be in a matter of time, but her dream job still means doing what she loves, feeling that she is accomplishing something, and that what she does really matters. She adds: “I definitely have to be in charge. I’ve always been super bossy and I have always liked to manage things”. Anna concludes that she will be “somewhere good doing what I really like, learning every single day”.
Listen to the podcast interview with Anna: