What Our First Gigs Taught Us

The mark of an official grown up? Getting our first job. And for us teenage dirtbags, as the internet lingo goes, the extra cash from it was our taste of freedom. Yes, we were in it for the money, but it taught us a life lesson or two—even if we had to learn from trial and a lot of error. So dive into our career origin stories and what we’ve learned.

Fiona Lam, Community Manager 

“I accompanied ballet classes on the piano. Still my side hustle after 11 years.”

Lesson: Don’t stay up all night watching Friends before your shift. 

Jeff McQuarie, Copywriter 

“I sold (and polished) cowboy boots at a store in my hometown that had Ontario’s longest wall of cowboy boots.”

Lesson: Large, mundane tasks are best done with a little music. 

William Ng, Print Production Lead

“I sorted earthworms for my Aunt’s bait shop. Got promoted to plan out the display racks shortly after. I was 8 years old.”

Lessons: People who fish like to tell stories both long and tall.

Andreea Vernescu, Account Director

“Worked as a Pharmacy Technician in highschool.”

Lesson: Telling people you were a lifeguard in high school is way cooler than a pharmacy technician.

Sylvain Beaudry, Jr. Designer

“Worked on the night shift at a 24hr McDonalds for a summer”

Lesson: Organization of your workspace makes the work easier down the road.

Jaime Eisen, Associate Director, PR 

“I made slideshows that played at Bar Mitzvahs, and shot and edited videos of the night.”

Lesson: There are always creative ways to turn something you love into a job or side hustle! 

Darcel Milani, Account Supervisor

“Worked as a party inflatable coordinator, aka a bouncy castle supervisor.”

Lesson: Patience. 10 – 15 kids at once, full of sugar bouncing around. 

Yulia Gavriltseva, Digital Project Manager

“I worked as a census taker going from home to home to gather information about each household.”

Lesson: Not everyone wants to happily share their private information.

Ettienne Nxumalo, Jr. Producer

“I started and ran a chess club at my little brother’s Montessori.”                                                      

Lesson: A queen is nothing without her pawns.

Sebastien Darcel-Sinclair, Account Director

“I was in a Children’s Aid Society training video when I was 12.”

Lesson: That was my first taste of production – almost 20 years later, I’m still at it. 

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