How 5 Community Managers Got Their Start
The role of Community Manager looks a little different everywhere you go.
At some companies, the position involves all things social media: creating and sharing relevant content, optimizing engagement on social media channels, and building relationships with followers. Other places, Community Managers break away from the computer screen and engage local (or global!) audiences in real-life events.
So, it's not surprising that the paths people take to become a Community Manager often look very different, too. We sat down with five professionals at five awesome companies to get the scoop on how they landed their gigs.
Community Manager, Pinterest
Enid Hwang started her career as a freelance writer, blogger, and social media coordinator. Obsessed with all things social media, she was one of the first people to stumble across Pinterest (she's Pinner #367, to be exact!). Enid was instantly hooked and excited by the potential she saw, and decided she wanted to meet the founders to learn more.
So, she arranged a meet-up over coffee to give them feedback on the product and introduce herself—and that turned in to great new job. Now, Enid spends her day interacting with Pinterest’s community: answering users’ questions, helping brands get started on Pinterest, and helping the engineering and design teams create a more user-friendly product.
Community Marketing Director, Kiva
Chelsa Bocci has an unlikely background: She started her career as a recruiter and immigration specialist at Barclays Global Investors. After five years with the company, she wasn't quite sure what to do next, so she took a year and a half off to travel the world.
During that time, she backpacked through Southeast Asia, did tsunami relief work in Thailand, and interned in South Africa, where she was introduced to the concept of microfinance. And that discovery led her to then-nascent microfinance organization Kiva. Chelsa hopped on board as one of Kiva's first employees, and she's been there ever since.
Office & Community Manager, Scopely
When Emily Procek was younger, she wanted to be an anthropologist—she was fascinated by “how people worked." When she realized that wasn't quite the field for her, she "flitted around a lot," pursuing fields that ranged from early childhood education to TV production.
Turns out, this "flitting around" led her to her true passion. When she produced the show TechStars, a reality show about startups in NYC, she fell in love with the startup community. Determined to land a new gig within it, she found an opening at gaming company Scopely on Craigslist, applied, and the rest is history.
Community Management Specialist, Uber
When Brian graduated from journalism school, he was on a quest to find a career that would let him flex his writing muscles, but he also wanted to fuel his interest in marketing. Through a friend’s suggestion, he discovered Uber—and was instantly excited to be part of the black car company. Uber was excited about Brian, too, and offered him a role managing relationships with Uber’s diverse community.
In his position, Brian tackles everything from answering customer support questions to keeping users up-to-date on marketing and PR efforts to working with the Driver Ops Team to make sure Uber is delivering the high-quality service users have come to expect.
Community Manager, Apportable
"I thought about being a TV news achor, a journalist, a lawyer, an international diplomat... " says Christina Kelly about her career journey. "They were all things that were pretty interesting at some point or another, but didn't quite tap into any kind of passion I had."
But that changed during a trip to Korea her senior year of college, which sparked Christina's love for video games. After graduation, she moved to San Francisco and found gaming company Apportable. She landed a gig as Community Manager, though she also handles business development, client relations, and recruiting. "I really don't ever get bored, because I'm doing so many different things."