Multitasking numerous projects while balancing multiple careers, Orlando-born Brianna Weaver effortlessly exhibits excellence on a daily basis. A FAMU (Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University) alumna with an extensive resume under her belt, she embodies the term ‘finesse’ in all facets. From starting as a CNN advertisement sales intern to working consecutive summers at BET Networks, Brianna continuously climbed the corporate ladder, ultimately becoming an account executive at Pandora’s Atlanta office. Seizing as many red carpet opportunities and entrepreneurial platforms as possible for a young, single millennial, Brianna still finds time to speak at entertainment panels, give back to her alma mater, and regularly post to her YouTube channel, As Told by Bri. After consistently hearing about her incredible experience with Pandora and watching countless red carpet interviews through Instagram, I decided to interview my friend and colleague, and provide readers with a window into her professional lifestyle.
As a Pandora employee and entrepreneur, how do you balance both careers? What advice do you have for young professionals working a 9-5 job with a side hustle?
Balancing a full time job and side hustle is never easy, especially if your side hustle is your passion. Time management is something that I’m learning as time goes along. I find myself working on creative endeavors during my lunch break, or taking outside calls on my commutes. I also wake up earlier than normal to get more done before I go to work. I love it though! It keeps me busy and satisfied. My advice to other creative young professionals is to make your 9-5 work for you. Learn the skills necessary, reinvest your money into your creative endeavors, and apply all that you can into your business.
How would you describe your transition from the Falcons to Pandora, and how would you compare both of their sales teams?
It was an interesting transition to say the least. Coming into this role at Pandora, there was a huge learning curve for me. My sales role at the Falcons was a lot more transactional, the sales cycles were shorter and I was working with consumers, our season ticket holders. Whereas, in this role, I’m working directly with businesses, marketing executives to be exact. I had to learn an entirely new sales process and a new way to sell. The great thing about Sports and Entertainment is that they have a lot in common, so there was a lot of overlap in the culture of the companies. Both are definitely exciting environments to work in!
What defines Pandora’s office culture, and how does the streaming mogul compare with its competitors?
Pandora’s office culture is unlike anything I’ve ever seen! We work hard, but we also have a lot of fun on the job. We always have employee happy hours in the office to get to know the other employees in the office and build a strong camaraderie. We also have employee resource groups (Pride, Mixtape and Womxn) to where we can coordinate events for the office and in the Atlanta community to truly enhance the culture. It also adds to the experience that we always have different artists in the office, and we play our favorite albums and soundtracks throughout the Atlanta office every day.
What’s been your favorite Pandora Playback? And which artists should we watch this year?
Pandora Playbacks serve as our Atlanta office events that we host with different artists. We bring them in for live interviews in front of a studio audience; and of course, we open them up to the community. My favorite Playback thus far has been Jagged Edge. Not only do they have a legendary rolodex of music, but they’re also from Atlanta, which definitely added to the experience! As an R&B connoisseur, I have quite a few R&B artists on my radar, such as NDBY, DVSN, Gideon, Savannah Christina, and so many others!
How has Atlanta’s music scene evolved throughout your time there?
The music scene in Atlanta has been on the up-rise for some time now. Not only are more artists moving here, but most major labels have an office here, which is an awesome step in the right direction. We also host a ton of major music conferences and festivals throughout the year, like the Revolt Music Conference, A3C, One Music Fest… the list goes on! There’s a sense of community in Atlanta when it comes to the music industry. People are always looking for innovative ways to create, collaborate and bring information to the masses. I think it’s definitely the place to be if someone wants to get involved in the music industry.
What’s been your favorite red carpet, and how do you land so many media correspondent gigs?
My favorite red carpet so far has been the Tupac All Eyez on Me red carpet. It was my very first red carpet, and I was super proud of myself, because I got there all on my own, and that was the beginning of everything. Looking back at that video coverage, I was so inexperienced; but I took the first step, and that was simply just doing it. It was a life-changing red carpet for me. When it comes to securing red carpets, there are a few factors that come into play. I’ve learned who the gatekeepers are, and most times that’s the publicist. Publicists are responsible for booking media for events and clients. However, it’s also about networking across with other journalists. There are times when I have friends who may hear about events and keep me in the loop, and vice versa. At the end of the day, it’s all about networking, putting myself out there, and capitalizing on the opportunities that are in front of me.
What’s been your favorite industry panel to speak at, and why?
I’ve been a part of so many panels; it’s tough to choose one. My favorite speaking engagement thus far was when I spoke at the Prodygii Social panel on networking hosted at Google’s Venice, Los Angeles HQ. This panel was so special to me, because it finally helped bring my potential into perspective. I also realized that people see something in me that I may not see in myself just yet; and someone thought highly enough of me to ask me to come speak on the other side of the country. That was definitely a surreal moment. Another one of my favorite panels that was a bit more industry related was the at the Sports, Music and Entertainment Summit. I loved speaking at this event, because it merged my two worlds: sports and entertainment. It’s always great to speak at these events, because the people in the audience often remind me of myself and have that hunger and the drive that it takes to get to the next level. Using my experiences and knowledge to inspire people has become one of my favorite things to do!
Describe Brianna Weaver ten years from now. Who is she, and what are her goals?
I have quite a few goals for myself in the next ten years. As a sales and marketing professional, my goal is to be a Sales and Marketing Executive in either the sports or entertainment industry. While building my career as a professional, I also want to continue to pursue my entrepreneurial endeavors as well. A goal of mine is to be have my own entertainment segment on a major network or digital platform. I’m super passionate about professional development, so I plan to be president of the Atlanta chapter of the National Sales Network. Lastly, as the founder of my non-profit and scholarship, Evolution To Excellence, I look forward to seeing it grow and benefit HBCU students nationwide. I’m taking it day by day, but I know that the vision I have for myself is obtainable!
Check out her Elevate the Conversation Instagram LIVE discussion tomorrow night at 7:00pm EST: