Fraud Free is the Way to Beby Jonathan Gipson
Asif Khan, the Head of Strategy at Carrot, placed a fishing line for “unicorn talent” into the world last year. Prancing and plodding along my career path as a frustrated unicron, I noticed this fishing line, took a bite from the shiny, dazzling carrot at the end, and found myself transported under a bridge to a strange place. A place I far too often ranted and vented to colleagues that i wish existed. A place where people gave a f*ck and actually did their job.
Coming from a cynical career place I actually started scripting out a fictitious office-placed sitcom called “Fraud City” complete with a theme song and story arcs based on my then current and past work experiences. When I get cynical, I get comedic and very creative. The level of detail that I was placing in scripting out “Fraud City” made me realize how frustrated I truly was. A sign that it was time to move on and take my happiness and destiny into my own hands.
I first heard about Carrot through a posting I saw in the MAIP Alumni forum I’m apart of. MAIP stands for “Multicultural Advertising Internship Program” created by the 4A’s in the 1970’s to address the lack of diversity in advertising, media and marketing. The program grooms minority talent for entry into “Adland” a place that can be hard to even crack if you lack connections. As the first person in my family to go to college or even work in this industry, I relied on this program to give my name and talent credibility in order to have a chance to compete.
My first internship proved why MAIP was so critical for career opportunities, as out of 14 interns, 12 landed their positions through personal connections. “My mom does yoga with the CEO” one girl casually noted the first day. “My dad sold the head of strategy a house and got me this gig” another intern noted. I was one of the people there with no personal connection, MAIP acting as my broker into an opportunity that would inevitably springboard my career.
If Asif Khan had never taken the time to recruit from a diverse pool of candidates, I wouldn’t be here typing this welcome blog entry. I had always dreamed of working in a creative, stimulating, challenging environment, but never knew a place like Carrot existed. Now that I’m here, I feel like I did when I switched from a “regular school” after second grade to a “gifted and talented school.” It’s easy to stand out when you think differently and are creative when others aren’t or simply don’t care. It’s even harder to stand out when you are among like minds and everyone is operating more or less on your same creative wavelength.
That was my deciding factor in joining Carrot. Pride and swaddle myself in the comfort of standing out among the mediocre, or challenge myself to shift, mutate, stretch and be uncomfortable among a crop of creative and kickass Carrots.
Fraud free is the way to be.