Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hip + Urban Girl of the Week: Trina Boos

Ad Lounge recently celebrated their 10 year anniversary! A big congratulations to Founder, Trina Boos who I first met a few years ago at one of her popular summer events. When talking to Trina she fills the room with her positive energy, passion for all things entrepreneurial and she's definitely one of the most connected people I know in the young professional community in Toronto. 

What made you want to become Founder of Ad Lounge and President of Boost Agents?
My love for connecting people. With Ad Lounge, it began as an online community with the goal to connect advertising executives with mentors and to educate execs on what’s trendy and interesting in the world of marketing, advertising and communications today. With Boost Agents, that same passion for connecting people within the advertising, marketing and design industry is what drives my recruitment business and has made it so successful so quickly.

What is a typical day in the life of Trina Boos?
A brief 5 minute walk to the office from home. Why live downtown if you can’t be easily accessible to work? Every two weeks, Ad Lounge holds an early morning meeting to plan for an upcoming industry event. The remainder of Ad Lounge-related work happens in the evening and I manage an event team to produce the various events such as Conversuasion and Dinner Series.

The rest of the mornings and days are dedicated solely to Boost Agents. We’re there as early as 7:30am to accommodate for hosting job interviews for candidates who can’t make it here during the day because they can’t get away from the office. My day is broken up into a number of different tasks and functions, sometimes including new business pitches, client meetings, information gathering sessions for new jobs, de-briefing the recruitment team, researching for superstar talent, networking at industry events, attending conferences and / or workshops, writing blog posts, negotiating terms of offers with candidates and clients, managing vendors and suppliers, trouble shooting if a job doesn’t go as planned, and the list goes on.

What are some of the disadvantages of your job? With Boost Agents, only so much is within your control. You could work 100+ hours to find the perfect candidate. The client could love them. The candidate could love the company that you’ve introduced them to. The offer letter comes through. The candidate is ready to sign. And of course, their work counter offers and gives a substantial (and unexpected) raise to the candidate who’s considering a move. The candidate cannot refuse because the offer is simply too good to be true. You’re back to the drawing board after months of work.

This happens on occasion. One thing this has taught me is to never celebrate success until you’ve got the deal signed on the dotted line. It’s also taught me to never put all of your eggs in one basket. While you’re certain something is going to go through, as an entrepreneur you need to dedicate some time to building other aspects of your business just so that you’re not depending too much on one sole client to bring home the bacon. 

Tell us more Ad Lounge and Boost Agents!
Ad Lounge creates unexpected industry events that surprise, and that help marketers and agencies 
stay head of the curve, stay connected, and make us remember why we love the industry that we play in. We are a 5,000+ member-based organization representing executives from all walks of the marketing, communications, technology and design industries. 

Past Ad Lounge Events
Art from the Unexpected -
Marketers Turned Authors -
Conversuasion -
Next Gen Dinner Series - 

Boost Agents is a specialist recruitment provider to the Creative, Digital, Marketing, PR/Communications and Events industries. We work with agencies and brands to assist them in finding talented permanent and temporary staff. 

What did you study in University/College? Would you have done anything differently?
I studied Design in College and then moved on to study Advertising. I loved the idea of being in a creative industry, but being able to exercise both the left and right side of my brain simultaneously. That’s the cool thing about advertising. You’re surrounded by creativity but to produce good work involves a very strategic approach to solving a business problem – but it uses creativity to get the message across. That’s what fascinated me about it. If I were to have done things differently, I would have taken more classes on entrepreneurialism and in financial management. 

Favourite places to shop in the city?
Steve’s Music – because I love miniature instruments. I’m also a big fan of introducing my little 18 month old girl to the world of music.
I’m a self proclaimed Shoppers Drug Mart addict. That’s so nerdy, but so true. I can’t help but walk down every single isle whenever I go inside.
Nadege – Who can resist their macarons? OMG. Amazing. 

Tell us about your neighbourhoods and what you like best about it.
I will always love College Street. It’s got such personality. And – well, I like gelato. I’m now at King / Queen West, and this is becoming my favourite area in the city. My world revolves around food and interesting treats (what can I say? My mom is a Cordon Bleu chef and cake artist.) So, living in an area that has great options for all sorts of food and treats is pretty exciting. Of course, I have learned to look and not taste (at least, not all the time) but it still makes me smile to be surrounded by the colour and beauty of food from around the world. 

What do you wish someone told you when you were younger and just starting out?
Fake it til you make it. 

This is how I’ve succeeded in my career every step of the way. Of course, this doesn’t just mean to nod, agree and pretend you know what others are talking about. I mean, never say no to an opportunity just because you don’t think you have the experience to take it on. 
If you are presented with opportunities that are unique and challenging that you’ve never done before, and if you approach it by taking them on and researching the crap out of how to go about doing it, this will arm you with the confidence to walk into a room and speak intelligently and knowledgeably about almost anything. One of the things I learned at a very young age. Google is your friend. You can learn anything you want to, so long as you have the ability to research, and the drive to dig for difficult to find information. 

What life advice do you have for hip + urban girls out there trying to figure out what they want to do?
Keep a book and document your ideas. See if you see any recurring themes amidst your ideas. For me, I saw a theme around media, creativity and entrepreneurialism. 

Explore those themes by requesting meetings with people in the fields that are related to those topics and themes. From there, you will begin to get closer to what you want by learning more about what’s around you. You’ll also make some incredible contacts, many of which could remain close professional contacts and even mentors well into the future.

Meet more of our past hip + urban girls of the week!

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