Meet Nickie Samartino, Newest Member of the FindSpark Team

We are beyond thrilled to welcome Nickie Samartino to the FindSpark family. Nickie is an incredibly talented producer and hard worker. In all her past roles, especially as a NBCUniversal Page and the Graphics Coordinator at Saturday Night Live, she’s consistently shown she has what it takes to go above and beyond her job description to make a meaningful impact on the teams in which she’s involved.

Nickie is actually FindSpark speaker alumni; she moderated a panel about informational interviews at our last Find & Follow Your Passion conference. We noticed she stayed the entire event and was an active participant in all aspects of the program…which is why we were so excited when she expressed an interest in working with us. We knew she had an in depth understanding of what we’re trying to accomplish — as someone who’d been a speaker and also because she has been through many of the struggles our community faces and has come up on top — earning internships and jobs at highly competitive creative companies.

Outside of work, I was blown away by her genuine curiosity in learning new things and after a month of working together, I’ve truly enjoyed her positive attitude, fun demeanor, and passion in making a difference and growing our community.

Learn more about Nickie in our interview below!

Nickie Samartino

What part of joining the FindSpark team are you most excited about?
I’ve spent my entire young adult life at NBCUniversal, from college internships through full time jobs. I’ve learned everything I know from high-profile talent who expected nothing but the best from me. So naturally, when I got the chance flip my career around and become the first employee of a small New York City company, I was delighted to focus all of my knowledge of creative corporate operations onto a growing company that would benefit from my experiences and expertise.

I’m super excited to help FindSpark and its community grow and to use my creative thinking to develop more partnerships with employers and companies, produce more events, and creative even more useful resources like video and e-guide content. To learn how to build a pyramid, one must build a pyramid.

What’s your favorite social media network?
My favorite social media network has to be Instagram! I love its simplicity.

What does your productivity toolkit include?
My productivity toolkit currently includes (but is not limited to) the following apps: Evernote, Mailbox, Clear, Passbook, NYCMate, Mint, and Seamless (for when I’m so busy being productive that I forget I need to eat). I also typically carry around a Moleskine book in case I want to jot something down fast.

What’s your most interesting intern story?
My most interesting story has to be from when I interned at “Late Night with Conan O’Brien.” For one day, I was put in charge of keeping an eye on James Lipton (host of “Inside the Actor’s Studio” on Bravo) because he had a tendency to impatiently wander and the producers needed someone to wrangle him in if he ever went astray. He was a frequent guest on Late Night at the time; the show produced segments that made him look a bit spacey (which isn’t far from his real life personality).

Well, in the midst of “babysitting” Lipton, I got into a conversation with the stage manager, who I learned graduated from my alma mater. And in the moment that I turned away from Lipton, he scurried into the local NBC Live at 5:00 news studio – at 4:55 pm. I panicked. I was sure that I was going to get fired for letting him leave my sight. I grabbed the stage manager and asked him to grab James Lipton from the news studio because I was afraid of getting into trouble if I entered since the “On Air” sign was lit. A few moments later he was pulled out and I kept my eyeballs locked on him until his segment was taped.

Tell us about something cool you’ve made
My favorite creation is probably my Christmas claymation. I am becoming increasingly obsessed with stop motion animation, using clay or any random materials that I think are interesting. I plan on creating enough material to start a YouTube channel.

It’s 3pm on a Tuesday afternoon. What are you doing?
I am probably crashing after lunch and am dreaming about coffee. Although, I avoid it like the devil in the afternoons because I typically find myself staying up all night if I drink coffee past 2:30 pm. So to ensure I am staying productive, I review notes, stay on top of my todo list, and reorganize my workload.

What’s your favorite place to eat in NYC?
Bill’s Bar and Burger on 51st Street between 5th and 6th Aves. (in Rockefeller Plaza) is probably my favorite place to eat in NYC. The burgers and milk shakes are insanely delicious and everything is shockingly cheap, considering their location. The only downside is that it is near impossible to make a reservation or find a table there while the Rock Center tree is up in December. But 1 out of 12 months of tourist chaos ain’t so bad.

Nickie moderates the panel "Coffee or Lunch: The Art of the Informaional Intervew" at the latest #FindPassion Conference.

Nickie moderates the panel “Coffee or Lunch: The Art of the Informational Intervew” at the latest #FindPassion Conference.

What’s the most important thing you learned in college? 
The most important lesson I’ve learned in college was completely self-taught. Fake it ’till you make it. You can’t be a producer of content unless you produce content. You have to be self-proclaimed. No one will ever give you the title before you earn it. So claim it, do it, and then grow from that experience.
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What’s the best career advice you’ve received?
The best career advice I’ve ever received was given to me by tons of people over the course of my career. Your career is a marathon, not a sprint. And it’s so easy to hear that and dismiss it, but when you realize it, when it clicks, it is actually a release of stress. It’s okay if you’re not where you want to be at 24, 27, 32. Go at your pace, do what you feel is right, and never stop learning. You’ll get to where you want to be when the time is right.
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Do you have any questions for Nickie? Ask away in the comments!

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