Meet Andrea Gamboa


ANDREA GAMBOA

ANDREA HOLDS HER BA IN COMMUNICATION STUDIES FROM CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY OF LONG BEACH. SHE HAS PRODUCED EVENTS FOR COMPANIES SUCH AS LITTLE TIKES TO PRODUCING THE FAMOUS REVOLVE FESTIVAL. 

SHE OPENS UP WITH THE READERS AND SHARES HOW SHE STUMBLED UPON THE MOMENT THAT LED TO HER SELECTING HER CAREER AND HER ADVICE FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN DOING EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING.

 WHAT IS THE BEST AND WORST DECISION YOU'VE EVER MADE? 

BEST DECISION I HAVE EVER MADE IS GENUINELY LOVING WHO I AM. THIS APPLIES IN BOTH MY PROFESSIONAL AND PERSONAL LIFE. IT’S NOT AN EASY PROCESS, ACCEPTING YOURSELF. IT’S ALWAYS GOING TO BE AN ONGOING JOURNEY, AND BEING CONFIDENT IN WHAT YOU DO AND WHO ARE VERY MUCH AFFECTS YOU. PEOPLE NATURALLY GRAVITATE TOWARDS CONFIDENT PEOPLE, YOU WANT TO COME ACROSS AS CONFIDENT IN YOUR WORK AND WHO YOU ARE AS A PERSON. 


WORST DECISION, I TRY TO NOT HAVE REGRETS AND LOOK AT THINGS MORE AS LESSONS OR TURNING POINTS IN LIFE THAT LED YOU TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW. BUT WE DO ALL HAVE SOME REGRETS AND MINE IS ONE THAT I THINK WE CAN ALL RELATE TO AND IT COMES FROM A RELATIONSHIP AND NOT VALUING MYSELF ENOUGH TO WALK AWAY WHEN IT WAS TIME.

WHAT IS YOUR FAMILY’S BACKGROUND?

MY MOTHER WAS BORN IN TIJUANA, MEXICO BUT WAS RAISED IN CALIFORNIA SINCE THE AGE OF 3 MONTHS. MY FATHER WAS BORN AND RAISED IN DURANGO, MEXICO UNTIL THE AGE OF 18 WHEN HE CAME TO CALIFORNIA TO WORK. MY FATHER DID NOT GRADUATE HIGH SCHOOL AND MY MOTHER GOT HER AA DEGREE IN ACCOUNTING FROM LBCC.

WHO INSPIRES YOU AND WHY? 

I HAVE TWO! FIRST MY MOTHER, SHE IS THE MOST SELFLESS AND STRONGEST PERSON IN MY LIFE. SELFLESS IN THE WAY THAT THERE ISN’T ONE THING IN THIS WORLD SHE WOULDN’T DO FOR MY BROTHERS AND I AND HAS PROVED IT TIME AND TIME AGAIN. STRONG...I WISH THERE WAS A BETTER WORD THAT COULD DESCRIBE HOW STRONG SHE REALLY IS. SHE WAS DIAGNOSED WITH BREAST CANCER WHEN I WAS 18 AND OVERCAME IT, GOING ON 7 YEARS CANCER FREE, UP UNTIL THIS PAST WEEK WHEN SHE WAS DIAGNOSED WITH BREAST CANCER FOR THE SECOND TIME. 

THE FIRST TIME YOU WOULD HAVE NEVER KNOWN SHE WAS FIGHTING FOR HER LIFE. SHE ALWAYS ALWAYS STAYED SO STRONG, I NEVER ONCE SAW HER BREAKDOWN OR COMPLAIN ABOUT ANYTHING. SHE CONTINUED TO WORK AND TAKE CARE OF MY BROTHERS AS BEST AS SHE COULD ON HER OWN. HER WILLPOWER, STRENGTH AND SELFLESSNESS INSPIRE ME EVERY SINGLE DAY. 

TO BE A BETTER PERSON, TO NOT STRESS THE SMALL THINGS THAT DON’T MATTER, AND TO ALWAYS APPRECIATE WHAT YOU HAVE.

SECOND PERSON IS MY PRODUCER. SHE IS TRULY IS THE DEFINITION OF A BOSS. I AM GRATEFUL TO WORK UNDER SOMEONE LIKE HER WHO I CAN LOOK UP TO AND LEARN FROM ON THE DAILY!

HAVE YOU ALWAYS WORKED IN THE FIELD YOU ARE IN NOW?

PROFESSIONALLY YES. IT IS MY FIRST JOB OUT OF COLLEGE AND I HAVE BEEN HERE SINCE. THIS MONTH OF MAY MARKS MY 3 YEARS!

WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING?

I WORK IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY AS A COORDINATOR FOR AN EXPERIENTIAL EVENT AND MARKETING AGENCY CALLED THE VISIONARY GROUP. I BASICALLY PRODUCE PARTIES, TOURS, LAUNCHES, AND I CAN NOW SAY FESTIVALS!

WHEN DID YOU FIGURE OUT WHAT YOUR PASSION IN LIFE WAS? HOW? WHAT EVENT LED TO THE DISCOVERY?

I REMEMBER THIS DAY LIKE IT WAS YESTERDAY. IT WAS MY JUNIOR YEAR IN COLLEGE AND I HAD CHANGED MY MAJOR AT LEAST TWICE BY THEN. 

I WAS SITTING IN ONE OF MY COMMUNICATION CLASSES AND WE HAD A GUEST SPEAKER COME IN TO TALK ABOUT HER CAREER. THIS WOMAN WORKED AT THE STAPLES CENTER AND MANAGED ALL OF THE EVENTS THAT TAKE PLACE AT THAT VENUE. SHE GAVE US THE RUNDOWN OF A NORMAL DAY IN HER SHOES AND HOW SHE GOT THERE AS WELL AS TIPS AND POINTERS FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN WORKING IN THE INDUSTRY. I REMEMBER LISTENING TO HER AND THINKING TO MYSELF “THAT’S WHAT I WANT TO DO, HER JOB SEEMS SO COOL!” 

AFTER THE CLASS WAS OVER I MET HER OUTSIDE THE LECTURE HALL AND ASKED A COUPLE QUESTIONS AS WELL AS GOT HER EMAIL. 

THIS WAS THE START OF BE DECIDING I WANTED TO WORK IN EVENTS. I CHANGED MY MAJOR TO COMMUNICATION STUDIES GOT AN INTERNSHIP IN EVENTS AND THE REST IS HISTORY!

WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN GETTING TO WHERE YOU ARE TODAY?

I FEEL LIKE MY BIGGEST CHALLENGES ARE YET TO COME BECAUSE I AM SO FAR FROM WHERE I WANT TO BE. BUT I THINK, SO FAR, MY BIGGEST CHALLENGE HAS BEEN SPEAKING UP FOR MYSELF AND VOCALIZING WHAT I WANT AND WHAT I DESERVE.

WHAT SKILLS DID YOU HAVE TO LEARN AND GAIN THAT YOU DIDN’T KNOW YOU NEEDED?

CONFIDENCE. BEING A WOMAN OF COLOR IN A PREDOMINANTLY WHITE MALE BASED INDUSTRY CAN BE A BIT INTIMIDATING. IN THE PRODUCTION INDUSTRY, THE MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE I WORK WITH ONSITE ARE MEN. AS A COORDINATOR I AM THE ONE WHO GIVES ORDERS AND TELLS THEM WHAT TO DO, WHAT GOES WHERE ETC. I REALIZED I NEEDED TO LEARN FAST AND MOST IMPORTANTLY I NEEDED TO BE SURE OF MYSELF AND CONFIDENT IN ORDER FOR THEM TO RESPECT AND TAKE ME SERIOUS. I ALSO FELT LIKE I HAD LITTLE ROOM FOR MISTAKES BECAUSE IF I MADE A MISTAKE IT WOULD TAINT HOW THEY SAW ME AND NOT TAKE ME SERIOUSLY. I LEARNED HOW TO NEGOTIATE! SOMETHING I WOULD NEVER DO BEFORE THIS JOB. DESPITE THE FACT THAT I TOOK A NEGOTIATION & BARGAINING CLASS ABROAD IN FLORENCE WHEN I WAS IN COLLEGE. REAL LIFE TRULY DOES TEACH YOU THINGS THAT YOU DON’T LEARN IN SCHOOL. I LEARNED THAT YOU WILL NEVER GET SOMETHING IF YOU ARE TOO AFRAID TO ASK. I LEARNED TO BE MORE VOCAL OF WHAT I WANT.

WAS NAVIGATING COLLEGE (AS A FIRST-GENERATION STUDENT) DIFFICULT?

YES AND NO. I ALWAYS KNEW I WAS GOING TO COLLEGE, IT WAS SOMETHING THAT WAS INSTILLED IN ME AT A YOUNG AGE. I WAS RAISED WITH THE EXPECTATION OF GRADUATING FROM A FOUR YEAR UNIVERSITY. THROUGHOUT MIDDLE SCHOOL AND HIGH SCHOOL, COLLEGE WAS ALWAYS SOMETHING IN MY HEAD. HOMEWORK WAS NEVER AN ISSUE. I ALWAYS KNEW WHAT HAD TO GET DONE AND THE NEXT STEPS I NEEDED TO TAKE IN ORDER TO GET ME TO THE NEXT LEVEL. ALL OF MY COUSINS ATTENDED A FOUR YEAR UNIVERSITY SO I WANTED TO KEEP UP WITH THEM. I THINK WHAT WAS DIFFICULT WAS KNOWING WHAT TO DO ONCE I GOT TO COLLEGE AND NAILING DOWN THE CAREER PATH TO TAKE. I STARTED COLLEGE WHEN I WAS 17 AND REALLY HAD NO IDEA WHAT I WANTED TO DO IN LIFE, SO FINDING A CAREER THROUGHOUT THIS I THINK WAS THE MOST DIFFICULT.

DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS ON WHAT RESOURCES TO TAKE A LOOK AT IF THE PERSON IS INTERESTED IN DOING SOMETHING SIMILAR TO WHAT YOU DO? 

YES. EXPERIENCE IS THE MAIN KEY TO GETTING A JOB IN THE EVENT INDUSTRY. YOU LEARN EVERYTHING THROUGH EXPERIENCE. I ENCOURAGE YOU TO GET AN INTERNSHIP SO YOU CAN GET A FEEL FOR WHAT IT IS REALLY LIKE. THIS INDUSTRY IS HARD AND REQUIRES A LOT OF SACRIFICE. IF IT IS SOMETHING THAT IS WORTH IT TO YOU THEN DO IT. BECAUSE IF IT’S NOT AND YOU DON’T LOVE IT IT WON’T BE WORTH IT. IT REQUIRES LONG HOURS, AND A LOT OF TRAVELING AT TIMES SO IT CAN BE LONELY AND A LOT OF STRESS (EMPHASIS ON THE STRESS). 

THE BEST TIP I HAVE IS GET AS MUCH EXPERIENCE AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN, PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE AND DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE WORDS “NO”.