What Message Do You Think Every Woman Should Hear?

With kristen Maldonado

Introduce yourself! Who are you?
Hello! I’m Kristen and I’m a jack-of-all-trades from New York. I’m a social media and digital content strategist, writer, content creator, and pop culture host and reviewer. I’ve worked at MTV for over 5 years, helping launch and grow the social and digital footprints of over 40 original MTV and MTV2 shows, and am currently the Manager of Social Media for MTV’s TRL. Outside of work, I run a YouTube channel centered around pop culture where I discuss television, movies, music, books, conduct celebrity interviews, and more in the entertainment space.

What is one thing no one really knows about you?
I would say something that not everyone knows about me is that I love to sing. I used to do tons of musical theatre productions in my community when I was younger and even studied theatre in college for a while. Now I channel my love of performing into karaoke nights with friends!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
When I was graduating college, I would go to panels about getting a job in my field and often got this piece of advice that still sticks with me to this day: the best way to get experience is to do it yourself. Create your own opportunities! I want to be an entertainment journalist and host, but no one will just hand you an on-camera job so I create my YouTube channel as a way to get experience and build my own brand.

Have you ever had anyone doubt you? How did that make you feel?
I’ve definitely had people doubt me. It can be discouraging and make you feel like you don’t have what it takes, but it also makes me even more determined to prove those people wrong.

What message do you think every woman should hear?
A message I think every woman should hear is to not compare yourself to other people and where they are in life. Everyone moves at their own pace and you have to trust that all that hard work you put in will pay off and get you where you need to be in time. You can do it!

What is your favorite thing about where you live?
I live in the suburbs of Long Island about an hour from New York City. My favorite thing about where I live is that I get the best of both worlds! I’m close enough to the city to commute to work and enjoy the restaurants and shows in the area, but I also can go home to the quieter suburbs and the beach. It’s a nice balance.

What do you love most about yourself?
Something I love about myself is my ability to see both sides of a situation and come to people with kindness. I’ve had a few situations on my YouTube channel where I’ve shared my thoughts while discussing a topic and gotten rude comments back. I always take what the person said into consideration and give a kind, thoughtful response back. Nine times out of ten the person will come back to me with a positive comment and I’ve even had people who originally criticized me defend me afterwards because of my positivity towards them.

What is the biggest thing you’ve learned along the way?
I want to share two pieces of advice. The first is to take advantage of internships! They will absolutely help you get a job. College was fun and educational, but the internships I did have stayed with me and helped me get first hand experience in my field. I truly believe if I hadn’t done any internships I would’ve had a much harder time finding a job out of college. The second is that it’s never too late! I changed my major to broadcast journalism my junior year of college and was terrified that I wouldn’t have the same opportunities to do internships and get a job as people who had been studying the major all four years. I pushed myself and ended up with a whopping seven internships under my belt. Even though I graduated a semester later in December 2012, I found a job in my field two months later at MTV.

Why do you love to travel?
Traveling is always such an adventure! Being in a new place, seeing new things, trying new foods…it makes me feel refreshed.

What motivates you most?
What motivates me is my desire to grow and succeed. I want to have a large footprint and be a voice within the entertainment field so that keeps me constantly working to create, build, and stay on top of my work.

How do you manage your work-life balance?
It can be hard! I work a full-time job during the day and then at night and on the weekends I work on my side hustle with my YouTube channel. I can spend hours scheduling social posts, creating content calendars, watching shows, writing scripts, filming, editing — even on my commute. It can be hard to stop because I have so many things I want to do and goals I want to achieve. Recently I’ve been using a planner to try to figure out my days and weeks ahead of time so I can leave space for some downtime.

What is your favorite meal?
I’m really lucky because my boyfriend is an incredible cook! This summer he learned how to shuck oysters and clams himself and created his own baked clams recipe that is out of this world. I would say that — paired with Trader Joe’s Butternut Squash Triangoli (it’s seriously so delicious!) — has been my favorite meal lately.

What do you do on a daily basis to grow and move forward?
At the beginning of every year I make a list of goals I want to achieve. Sometimes I reach them, sometimes new opportunities arise and I’m able to add them to my list as well. Then at the end of the year I look back and see everything I achieved, even things I wasn’t expecting!

What is one thing people would be surprised to hear about you?
Something not everyone knows about me is that I’ve collected comic books my whole life. I have nearly a thousand comics in my collection! My dad has always been a collector, so he got me and my brother into comic books from a very young age. I initially started out with Archies and Simpsons comics and expanded my tastes into Marvel and more. My collection and knowledge grew even more after I spent a summer as an intern at Marvel Comics when I was in college.

If you weren’t doing the job you have now, what would you be doing?
I have so many passions but all of them have a deep root in the entertainment space so I imagine any job I do would have a connection to that. Actress, singer, on-camera host, writer, maybe on Broadway…does professional karaoke queen count as a job?

What is something on your bucket list?
I grew up watching Degrassi. It would be a dream come true to go to Canada and get a tour of that television set!

What are your biggest passions?
Outside of entertainment, I’m really passionate about equality in all forms. I do my best to support important issues like women, diversity, and LGBTQ+ representation in Hollywood.

More About Kristen

Kristen Maldonado is the Manager of Social Media for MTV’s TRL and a pop culture host and content creator.

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