The Surprising Way I Started My Media Career | Lucie Fink Vlogs | Refinery29
November 9, 2019
Hi guys! It’s Lucie. I’ve received a ton of questions on Instagram and YouTube and Twitter about my career path and how I got to do what I’m doing today for Refinery29. So I’m hoping to answer all of your questions right now. In order to tell the story of how I got to where I am, I have to go back in time and take you back to Childhood Lucie. I was never shy in front of the camera. I always loved performing. In high school, I did theater. In college, I was an in a capella group. And performing was always a really big part of who I was. The other side of me was able to stomach really gory open heart surgery on TV. So for a while, as a young child, I thought maybe I’m meant to be a doctor. But when it came time to go to college and I ended up getting into Johns Hopkins and deciding to go there, I figured this much be a sign. If I want to be a doctor, Johns Hopkins University is one of the best medical institutions in the entire world. I had a couple of conversations with some friends of mine who are also pre-med and it just didn’t seem that we had the same reason for wanting to be a doctor. Which made me think: maybe I made the wrong decision. When I decided to switch my major away from neuroscience, I needed to figure out what I was actually going to major in. I’ve always loved writing. So when I discovered that the writing seminars department at Johns Hopkins was one of the strongest writing programs in the whole country, I knew that that needed to be my new major. A lot of people asked where I got my production experience and what classes I took to learn these skills. The truth is: I did not take any classes on video production. I learned every single thing that I know about production from making videos for YouTube. So as a freshman at Hopkins, I decided to pitch a YouTube series to the Admissions Office. That was essentially a Travel Channel show about the city of Baltimore. Now let me just say, I had no production experience when I pitched this show. Truly I was going in blind, but I had an idea and I thought I could do it. And I pitched it. And the Admissions Office loved it. Once I had been in college for a couple of years and I had been producing all of this video content, I kept sending it over to the Today Show because I wanted to show them that if they ever needed a teen to come onto the show, I was a comfortable teen on camera. Then one day, my junior year, I guess I sent enough videos over, that a producer from the Today Show reached out and invited me to come on the show. They were doing a segment about parents and teens and they wanted to talk to teens directly. Over the course of the year, I was on the Today Show six or seven times. Then it came time to graduate from college and I remember really thinking that I was heading towards a career of being on-camera in a TV environment. But unfortunately the only on-camera opportunity that I got was a bootcamp program to be a news reporter. And that really didn’t seem to align with the exact type of on-camera work that I wanted to do. So instead of taking that, I wound up going the complete opposite route and going into the production side. I started at a giant ad agency as a PA, a production assistant. And I worked my way up over the course of the year to being an AP, an associate producer. The environment at this ad agency really fostered creativity and being a maker. And I remember them telling us to just pick up a camera and do something. And so I really have this ad agency to thank for my current stop motion love. I didn’t know anyone else that made stop motions. I didn’t ever take a class on it. I didn’t use any apps to make stop motions. I learned it just through doing it and through practicing it. And over time, I was able to really perfect the art of the craft. My love for stop motion ended up turning into a side hustle and I had brands coming to me asking me to create stop motions for their social media channels, for their websites. And at the time when I was working at that ad agency, the stop motion videos on my Instagram were paying for my rent in New York City. So how did I get to Refinery29? I was at this ad agency and I really still had my on-camera dream. Somebody who I met at my ad agency actually gave me a connection to the video team at Refinery29. Now this was in 2015 when the video team at Refinery was tiny and was just getting started. And I remember showing them all of my video reels, everything I did at school, on the Today Show, all of my stop motion videos. And it was absolutely right place, right time. So I whipped out my notebook which had a whole bunch of shows that I had wanted to produce since high school. One of them being the 5 Day Challenge format, Try Living With Lucie. And thankfully Refinery was looking for just that. They needed content. They needed producers. They needed editors. And we were a match made in heaven. And now I’m still here today. So if you’re looking for a career in media or something creative and you want a similar career path to me, here are my three main takeaways: 1. Constantly create. You don’t need a fancy website. If you want to put your work out into the world, just put it on social media. And you don’t need a lot of money. 2. Do not be afraid to take internships or low entry positions when you’re starting in this field. This field is totally DIY. You just got to go in, start at the bottom, work your way up, and really, really bust your @$#. And 3. Never ever stop learning and growing. Even when you think that you’ve learned all there is to know, there is so much more knowledge and so many people all around you at all times that can teach you something new that can just advance your career to the next level. So never think that you’ve hit the top. The most important thing to keep in mind is that everyone’s career path is different and the timing is different for everyone so you cannot compare yourself to people around you. I hope that was helpful and I hope you learned a lot about my career path. But as always, if you have any questions that I didn’t answer comment below and I’ll try to answer them now. See ya next time! Thanks so much for watching. Click here to watch another video on Refinery. Here to subscribe to us on YouTube. And right here for my personal YouTube channel.