Meagan Adele Lopez

Director, Sales Planning & Advertising Operations, The New York Times, Paris

And - Theatre actress; author

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Be aware of how you're spending your time and what you are drawn to. See how that could turn into the perfect career.

What do you do?

I oversee the digital teams that plan and put advertisements on the NYTimes.com site of the global advertising department for the New York Times in Paris, Hong Kong and London.

Why did you choose this field?

I fell into this career. That said, I do strongly believe that each step I made along the way has consciously led to the next step. I was a Theatre and French major at the University of Southern California (now I'm living in Paris and doing theatre on the side).

I moved to Bristol from Los Angeles where I was an actress and casting assistant. I decided to blog about my experience living in England as an American and writing my first novel. During this time, Twitter, Facebook and social media really started to take off. I became fascinated with how people would get to my website, and constantly played around with seeing where my traffic would come from.

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

I studied abroad in Paris from 2004-2005, and I've never been more depressed than the summer I left the city. If that young woman knew that she would be coming back a decade later, I don't think she would have been as depressed. And, if she knew that she would be working for the NYTimes and acting in plays on the side in Paris - there's no way she would have believed me.

Why do you love working in STEM?

I don't love working in STEM. I do love working with people. I do love being a mentor to women. I really am curious about data and how that is used online (and sometimes abused). I don't like spreadsheets. I do love learning about new technologies and how it will change lives.

Best advice for next generation?

The fact that I had an arts background didn't hurt me, but in fact, helped me to see things in other ways.

I can't tell you how many times something I thought was utterly useless came in handy down the road - (like having a Theatre and French degree - knowing how to speak in front of big groups of people and in a different language is actually one of the best skills I ever learned).

Be aware of how you're spending your time and what you are drawn to and see how that could turn into the perfect job or career for you - don't do it the other way around and try to fit into what you think they want you to be. That's a recipe for unhappiness. Never think that any experience is useless.

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

I can say all the United States in alphabetical order. I am related to an ex-President of Cuba. I starred in a really bad horror movie when I was 17.

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Useful things

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