Shay Fu – Co-Founder of Creativeinterns.com

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As an entrepreneur, you must be willing to take calculated risks. You have to be open to not succeeding the first time or second because each time you fail, the next version just gets better.

Shay Fu is Co-Founder of Creativeinterns.com and Vice President, Director of Talent Operations and Creative Services at RAPP New York.

She has a diverse background with over fifteen years of experience in creative services, creative operations and talent management.

Her career in advertising started at Grey Entertainment as a Studio Artist and Junior Art Director for clients such as ABC Television and Warner Brothers Television Network. She served over eight years at Saatchi & Saatchi New York, managing studio services for brands including but not limited to Delta Airlines, Olay, Old Spice, Yoplait, International Olympics Committee, Tylenol, Cheerios and Toyota.

In 2006, she departed S&S and founded Fume Relations, a Creative Services Consultancy. Fume Relations provided production, procurement, resource management and project management services to JWT, Lehman Brothers, Neuberger Berman and CreativeFeed. In 2009, Shay became VP, Director of Integrated Services at RAPP New York. She accepted an addition role of managing RAPP’s talent operations as VP, Director of Talent Operations and Creative Services in 2011. Shay is currently responsible for talent planning, talent management and creative operations across all brands and departments at RAPP New York.

Shay holds a B.F.A. in Computer Art from the School of Visual Arts.

What are you working on right now?

I’m currently working on CreativeInterns.com 2.0. Be on the lookout for our redesign in early 2013.

Where did the idea for Creativeinterns.com come from?

When Marc Scoleri and I met, we realized we could help close that gap between young creatives looking for entry-level experience and companies looking for entry-level talent. With over 15 years experience at marketing agencies and a graduate of School of Visual Arts, I related to the young creative seeking opportunity and the hiring employer seeking young talent. Marc offers immense knowledge and experience in creative recruiting, career development and talent management. We both used our expertise to build a platform to bridge the gap in entry-level employment within the creative industry.

How do you make money?

Creativeinterns.com is free for young talent looking for entry-level experience. They can create a profile, upload portfolio pieces and search and apply for entry-level positions on our site. Our revenue comes from employer subscriptions, job postings, workshops and sales from our Products & Services section on our website. In early 2013, our updated site will have Products and Services that range from helping companies create a quality internship program to webinars and workshops to improve career and business skills.

What does your typical day look like?

My typical day always starts with having breakfast with my husband before I start my walk through the morning rush of Time Square towards Madison Avenue. Once I arrive at RAPP, my days are usually packed with meetings and herding the cats to keep moving everyone forward. We often gather to play a little ping-pong, grab a beer at our Town Hall to share news and practice yoga every Tuesday evening. Yes, it’s all true – being a MAD woman is fun and worth all the hype. I’m lucky to wake up everyday and go to a day job that’s never boring. My nights and weekends are packed with duties of running Creativenterns.com. It ranges from balancing the books to Skype calls with developers and designers.

How do you bring ideas to life?

The best way to bring ideas to life is to lose the fear of failure and accept that it’s never going to be perfect. I always keep in mind that a business is always in beta mode; you will always want to tweak, debug, revise and upgrade. The three questions you should have answers to bring your ideas to life are: (1) What is your goal? (2) How and when are you going to execute? (3) What does success look like?

What’s one trend that really excites you?

One trend that’s really exciting is the free education you can get online these days. Top professors from Ivy League universities are starting to provide free distance learning on sites like Uopeople.org, Coursera.org, Udacity.com and Venture-Lab.org. I’m planning to take Professor Tina Seelig’s “A Crash Course on Creativity” from Stanford University via venture-lab.org. Very exciting times we live in these days. You don’t need money to get education; you just need TIME.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

My worst job was working for this bouquet shop in Soho, New York, during my freshman year of art school. The duties of the job wasn’t bad, it was the employers I didn’t enjoy working for. One day during lunch, I went down the block and interviewed with another store and resigned once I returned. I learned that day that employees had the upper hand; hard-working people don’t have to settle for employers that don’t value those that are growing their businesses. I never felt stuck again in any company I worked for after that and I learned to value those that work for me. Unless you are a one-person shop, those that work for you contribute hugely to the success of your business — they can be your natural word-of-mouth campaign – this can kill your business or help you succeed.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

I don’t think I would do anything differently in my life. I’m one of the many lucky immigrants in this country that’s living the American dream. My father dropped me off in New York City with relatives and enrolled me in school when I was 7 years old. I didn’t see my parents again until I turned 14. There were definitely hard times but each moment taught me something and created who I am today.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

As an entrepreneur, you must be willing to take calculated risks. You have to be open to not succeeding the first time or second because each time you fail, the next version just gets better.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

It was the early 90s and I was still in high school when I was recruited to be an IBO (Independent Business Owner). I was young and eager with vision of anything was possible. I was just accepted into a special city program call Academy of Finance that allowed me to study college level economics and interned at a well-known Wall Street firm. I loved meeting passionate and positive people – Amway members were exactly that. They had this amazing sparkle of excitement in their eyes. It didn’t take much for me to sign up and join. I bought boxes of the supplies and started to sell the products; I drove my parents nuts by trying to get them to get their friends to buy it from me. To this day, I laugh about the experience because I learned so much from it at a young age. I realized I was not successful at it because I didn’t put enough energy and passion into it. I didn’t have that same sparkle of excitement in my eyes to convince someone else it was right for them. That experience not only taught me basics of running a business like cash flow, recruiting, and getting clients; it made me realize I sucked at selling things that didn’t excite me.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?

If I could change one thing in the world, it would be eliminating hunger in the world. I would have food companies donate 1 food product for every 3 purchased.

Tell us a secret.

The only class I failed in my life was Chinese class. I never told my parents because they would’ve smacked me on the head since I was born in China!

What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?

Google – it answers 99.9% of my questions
Facebook – I love seeing updates from my friends, family and co-workers
Linkedin – it helps me track my professional friends and a great source for recruiting

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

You may laugh but I highly recommend Suze Orman’s Young, Fabulous and Broke. It helped me get of out debt after college.

Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?

@guykawasaki – keeps me posted on what silicon valley guys are thinking
@nytimes – trust worthy news and topics
@mashsocialmedia – keeps me updated on what’s happening in social media

When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?

The last time I laughed out loud was when my husband said he wanted to enroll me in a Skillshare classes on how to organize our closets. Men are so funny at times ☺

Who is your hero?

My parents are my heroes. They came to NYC from a small island called Hainan Island in China. My father was in his mid-50s when he started at a Chinatown fish market and my mother learned how to sew at a Brooklyn sweatshop. They were willing to start over just to give their children and the next generations a better life. I will forever be grateful for their courage and adventurous nature.

What is it that you absolutely couldn’t live without?

One thing I can’t live without is my iphone!

Connect:

Creativeinterns’ Website: https://www.creativeinterns.com/
Shay Fu on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/shayfu
Shay Fu on Twitter: @shayfu
Creativeinterns on Twitter: @creativeinterns.

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