Olivia & the Thirst Project
Olivia Mazurek is the Digital Marketing Coordinator for Thirst Project, the "world's leading youth water activism organization." She helps young people all over the world get excited about ending the global water crisis and boy does she do it well. This girl has got digital impressions in the MILLIONS. When she's not bringing clean drinking water to those who need it most, Olivia is busy making friends with everyone within a ten-foot radius and charming all of LA with her humor and kindness.
LH: Hey girl! How are you?
OM: Really good! How about you?
LH: I'm good! Are you ready to give us all your wisdom?
OM: Haha, me? Wise? I'll try!
LH: LET'S DO THIS!
LH: What's your hustle?
OM: Easy. People!
OM: I love people. My friends are my family. My coworkers are my family. Gosh, I freaking love my family. Sometimes I feel like strangers/new friends can feel like best friends I haven't met yet. As far as work...I'm lucky that what I do helps people. So it makes going to work pretty awesome when I work with amazing people and we are helping others.
LH: That is so accurate. You are the queen of becoming best friends with absolute strangers!
LH: Speaking of jobs, tell me about your day job!
OM: Well, I am the Digital Marketing Coordinator for Thirst Project. That's a fancy term for being the voice of Thirst Project across all of our social and marketing channels. Thirst Project is a family. It is made up of young people who are fighting to see the end of the global water crisis.
OM: I'm lucky enough to tell the stories of young people who are fundraising for Thirst Project and those who are affected by the water crisis–about 663 million people!
LH: That's amazing! How did you get involved with the Thirst Project?
OM: The stars kind of aligned for me. I was working for an apparel company and was looking for an out. I had this fat crush on this guy–he had the height, the hair, and the hipster style that's totally my type. We had been friends for a while and he went to USC too (we both were in the design program there, not at the same time, but had met through mutual friends). And for some reason, he was really helpful with trying to get me a new design job.
One day he sends me an email and is like, "One of my friends is starting an executive position at Thirst Project and is looking to hire a graphic designer. This is totally up your alley, you have to apply soon though!" So he sent me the application. I interviewed on Halloween for the graphic design position. During the interview, I was like, "I am obsessed with these people, but I'm not sure if I'm the person they are looking for, for this position." I left feeling like I had to work there, but also kind of uncertain. I think it was not even an hour later, I was on my way to Santa Monica to meet my brother at his girlfriend's house to pass out candy for trick-or-treaters when I got a call for CEO/Founder, Seth Maxwell. In typical Seth Maxwell fashion he said, "Heyyyyy friend! You left, and we all were like 'We have to hire her.'" And then he says, "But not for the graphic design job. We want to create a position for you to manage all of our social channels, etc."…and the rest is history
LH: That is such a great origin story! Seth is such a gem, and I love how the whole Thirst Project team all genuinely love each other.
LH: So your day job is at the Thirst Project. What does Olivia do by night? Do you have an alter ego?
OM: Yes, some call me "White Beyonce."
LH: I would concur with that. You are incredibly fierce.
OM: Olivia after hours werks [sic] on the newest dance moves to Justin Bieber's "Sorry." I'm seriously trying to perfect it. So that at any given moment, I can bust it out.
LH: ME TOO! It's all in the body rolls.
OM: I'm really into music too. On Monday nights, I often go to this awesome venue in Hollywood that has amazing music – for free. I've seen so many talented artists there...Hozier, Odesza, BØRNS are a few.
LH: That is so sick! What's your favorite that you've seen so far?
OM: Odesza. I rarely go places alone, and I went to see them by myself, when no one was able to go. It was totally worth it.
LH: Oh man, that's when you KNOW they're good.
LH: So you went to USC for design, but what's the most important thing you've learned that wasn't taught in a classroom?
OM: Haha, that's so tough. I feel like the majority of what I learned, or what I remember from college isn't what I learned in the classroom (sorry, Mom and Dad). So I grew up in Wheaton, IL...AKA white suburbia. USC/LA is incredibly diverse.
OM: Growing up, I was so often influenced by people who were exactly like me, looked exactly like me, and were interested in things similar to what I was interested in. I came to LA, and it rocked my world.
OM: LA is incredibly diverse. I became obsessed with its culture, the people, the possibilities, and its creativity. USC mirrors the city. It brings in students from all over the world. I learned so much from my peers and environment that couldn't be taught in a classroom. I was exposed to so much that I just never experienced living in Wheaton. And I think the greatest thing I learned from it was that not only is it important to surround yourself with people who have different ideas or beliefs than you, but that its almost essential for growth.
LH: Love it. College is such a great opportunity to learn how much you just don't know.
LH: Has anyone ever made you feel like you're too young to have the job you have?
OM: I'm lucky to say no. I'm fortunate that Thirst Project is a young organization itself. I actually think that being young is one of my greatest advantages (which makes me fear for the future, haha). But for right, now it's perfect. Because I often work with high school and college students I think I'm able to do my job better because of my age and being able to relate to who we work with. To be relevant and understand the mindset of our audience is crucial for what I do!
LH: Yes! You are all such inspirations. Young people, making a difference for the better.
LH: Since you're hip and social media savvy, do you have and advice for Lady Hustlers trying to increase their digital influence?
OM: Ahh, there is so much about social media, but here are a few takeaways. 1) Be authentic and stick to it. So many people are doing the same thing these days, stick to what makes you, you, and it will be rad. 2) With that, be consistent. Whether that is with frequency or your style, from aesthetics, to the voice in which you present yourself or your brand. Consistency is key! 3) Visuals, visuals, visuals. Everything you do, do it well (especially with visuals)
I feel like VSCO and iPhones have seriously raised the bar for the quality of content. So many users are able to post beautiful content these days, its amazing and frightening all at the same time. But that also has changed the way people consume media. I feel like high quality content is not only expected, but required. 4) I guess this kind of goes along with being authentic, but social media is literally about being social, so make connections. These platforms exist to create community, so foster that! Think of how your channels or platforms can serve as a catalyst to new connections or conversation. People want a platform, so give it to them!
LH: That's so good! Thank you for imparting your wisdom! The internet can be a big scary place, and it's so good to get advice from someone who rocks it on the daily!
LH: You're so good at what you do, what parts of your personality do you feel contribute positively to your hustle and which parts do you feel tend to be a hindrance? How do you focus on the good and get past the bad?
OM: Thanks! I feel like everything I do is influenced by people. I am such a people person that it gives me vision and direction. When I say vision and direction, it almost feels intrinsic. It's in my nature to want to know people, connect with people, and ultimately help people. I think when I feel disconnected from that or lose touch (haha, literally) it can be really discouraging. I think it's super encouraging though when your job is to literally use social media to "scale you," and a huge compliment.
OM: So when there are times when I'm feeling discouraged or lose sight of what I'm passionate about I have to talk about it to people who I love. I seek community. So for example, at work, I need to remind myself that I am one of many who is on the reg [sic] giving people access to clean water. I remember going to Swaziland, and all of the people I met. I love talking about it with friends who went on the trip with me (shout out to Evan!)
LH: I feel that so much! Working in communications can be such a dream for extroverts because your job is literally to connect with other people.
OM: It's also easy for me to feel disconnected with my work because the global water crisis is something that Americans don't deal with.
LH: That's so true. We rarely have to consider the fact that water is something many other people have to work really hard to have access to.
OM: But just because we don't understand it doesn't mean we can't be empathetic or that it doesn't matter. When I go to Swaziland or talk to students who are supporting Thirst Project...it's like, "Oh yeah, this is why I got to work."
LH: That's so wonderful. I'm honestly so glad to know you and the whole Thirst Project team.
LH: What general advice would you give to other Lady Hustlers?
OM: I think for so many women, they see their gender as a hindrance. But I think today, culture's is flipping gender roles, norms, what have you. And as women, we need to be confident. And I think we need to see it as our greatest asset. Like I said earlier, diversity is such a beautiful thing because when you experience different things you can actually experience growth. And I think when we don't think that we can offer things to society, the workplace, relationships etc. We are limiting growth!
LH: Yes! Absolutely! Snaps to that!
LH: Last, totally serious, life changing question: what is your favorite hustle fueling snack?
OM: I have a few! Iced dirty chai, original Trident gum, Sourpatch Watermelon. Life. Changing.
LH: Love it!
LH: Well, I hope this isn't the last time Lady Hustle and Olivia Mazurek meet! Thank you so much for being willing to drop all your knowledge on us!
OM: I hope it isn't either!
OM: Mwah! Besos from LA!
Check out Olivia and Thirst Project online (link to thirst project website www.thirstproject.org and links to Olivia's and the Thirst Project's social accounts.)