Lessons in GSG HERstory: Carly Meyerson
In 100 words or less, tell us about your career path.
I majored in international affairs in college and worked at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France my junior year. Senior year I worked at the US State Department’s Foreign Press Center, where I realized I could merge my background in international affairs with my interest in domestic politics. I moved to DC to get my Master’s in Political Communication and got a job doing public opinion research primarily for international campaigns. I recently moved to NYC, looking to expand the scope of my work to a wider range of clients and issues, and now here I am at GSG!
What is the best piece of advice you would give (or have already given) to women starting out in our industry?
Never be afraid to ask questions or admit that you don’t know the answer, but also have a plan to figure it out. Everyone is new at some point, and I’ve found that almost everyone will be happy to take the time to help you learn and will ultimately respect you more for being honest about not knowing the answer than for making mistakes because you were too afraid to ask.
What would your co-workers be surprised to know about you?
I would say my favorite surprising work story is being questioned in rural Western Africa while conducting focus groups a few years ago. Apparently the local police thought we were foreign spies instead of focus group moderators? I know, very confusing. It was very brief and clearly just a huge miscommunication, but now it makes for a great, totally out-of-character story.
What is the biggest career hurdle you have overcome?
Right out of college I worked full time while also doing grad school full time, and it was probably the busiest two years of my life. But I’m really grateful for those two years not only because they brought me to this career, but also because they helped me realize early on that the social pressure we put on ourselves to always be the busiest and the most stressed is really not worth it and not a good way to live our lives. It taught me of the importance of making time for yourself and your friends and family, both for your own health and sanity and to ultimately make you a better colleague and worker!
More about Carly
Name a song on your playlist that no one would believe is there.
I grew up listening pretty much exclusively to country music (I’m from the suburbs of Boston so not sure where that came from), so that’s pretty much the only thing on any playlist I listen to. That was very much not cool when I was younger, so I love to see it growing in popularity now.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be a doctor growing up. In fact, my entire college application essay was about how I would be pre-med and go on to be a doctor after graduation. Joke’s on them I guess, because I sat in on one chemistry class freshman fall and realized it was definitely not for me.
What is your favorite TED talk, podcast, or book?
My current favorite podcast is called Where Should We Begin by Esther Perel. She’s a relationship therapist and each podcast is a recording a couples therapy session that she conducted, with voice over to explain the dynamics at play. Every episode makes me think in a new way about the ways I communicate, interact, and build relationships with the people in my life, which I really appreciate.