Name: Ricki Berger
Job Title and Description: CEO & Founder of The BuzzBug
College Name/Major: The University of Western Ontario, Bachelor of Arts
What does your current job entail? Is there such a thing as a typical day?
Ricki Berger: There’s definitely no such thing as a typical day in the social media world because every day something new is trending. There’s also no such thing as a typical day when you’re running your own business. On top of all the business-y things, like sending e-mails, the more fun part of the job is keeping up with everything celebrities are posting on social media. From the minute I wake up to the minute I go to sleep, I’m constantly on their feeds making sure I’m up-to-date. On top of that, I also get opportunities to go to a lot of cool events like the TCA’s and interview celebrities, which are definitely my favorite days.
What is the best part of your job?
RB: I’m truly passionate about the job so it doesn’t feel like a job to me. I love everything celebrity and social media related, so the fact that I was able to create a job around just that is truly a dream come true. If I had to choose one specific part of The BuzzBug that’s my favorite, it’s definitely the interaction I get to have with all of the celebrities --whether that’s going to red carpet events or having them retweet The BuzzBug. Every time that happens I pretty much cry tears of joy.
What inspired you to start The BuzzBug?
RB: I was working at Seventeen magazine in the photo department and I would do so much research on all of the stars, flipping back and forth from app to app to make sure I was keeping up to date and finding everything we needed. One day, I kind of just thought to myself, ‘Why is there not one spot that has all of the information I need?’ That’s kind of how The BuzzBug was born. When I first came up with the idea, I realized nothing like this existed. I knew from that point on that I had to create it myself and it’s pretty clear today there’s so much emphasis on social media and it’s only going to grow more. I’m just excited to have The BuzzBug grow with it.
What is one mistake you made along the way and what did you learn from it?
RB: One mistake that I still get caught up in occasionally is second-guessing myself. I definitely took a huge leap when I decided to leave my full-time job at Seventeen without knowing how it was going to turn out, but I feel like if anything this whole experience has taught me to listen to my instincts and believing in myself. I heard this Italian phrase ‘L’arte d’arrangiarsi’ that literally means ‘the art of making something out of nothing’ and it also means how hope and confidence can bring out great success. I feel like at the beginning people thought I was crazy for quitting my job and going after this idea, but it’s the people who think they can accomplish unlikely goals are the people who do.
What has been the most surreal moment of your career thus far?
RB: Just seeing how The BuzzBug has grown in the last year and a half, or how I just literally took an idea and actually made something out of it. It’s really cool when I introduce myself to someone and they’re like ‘Oh yeah, the Buzzbug! I use it to stalk Bieber,’ or whatever celebrity. It’s a nice feeling to know that it’s not just me creating the content behind my computer for no one to see, even though it feels that way sometimes.
What advice would you offer to a 20 something with similar aspirations?
RB: The best advice is to find what you’re passionate about in life and just go for it without being afraid. Make as many genuine connections as you can because you never know when you’ll see them again down the line. They could turn out to be your boss or a contact for a job opportunity. There are so many people I’ve met along the way who have know helped me with the BuzzBug, and those relationships mean everything to me.
I also feel like sometimes when someone’s looking for a job, the mentality is ‘well, there must be thousands of other people applying, what’s the point of applying myself?’ I think that’s the worst mentality to have, especially in this industry because it’s not true. The field is much smaller than you think. Secondly, you’ve already failed if you don’t even try, so don’t ever turn down opportunities out of fear. Just go for it.