Lenie Tsakonas, B.A.J. ’18 (and past IUPUI PRSSA president), works full-time at a boutique video production company; part-time as a lead stylist and showroom and social media manager at a bridal shop; and volunteers as marketing director and spokesperson for Indy GreekFest. As GreekFest draws near, she’s working even harder, securing print, digital media, and TV spots, engaging with local influencers and tourism social media accounts, creating social posts, and more. We asked Tsakonas how she juggles it all:
1. Can you tell us a bit about your current job?
“I am a Creative Project Manager at Luxeve Media, a boutique video production company. This position is truly a dream job that encapsulates all the things I had an interest in dipping my toes into during my college career. I have always had a passion for brands and brand marketing, and I knew my goal one day would be to work for a household name in some capacity.
An impactful internship led me to this role. But it wasn’t linear. My last internship before jumping in to my first job was at Delta Faucet Company, where I held the position of Brand and Public Relations intern. I got to work on different projects with multiple cross functional teams. And when my term came to an end, I made sure to keep up with my new network of peers and mentors. I then went on to work on the marketing for Sigma Nursing, which functioned much like an in-house agency for the organization. And then I made a career shift much sooner than I had expected. I got a LinkedIn message from a mentor at Delta, recommending me for a position at a vendor partner that has been on their team for over a decade, Luxeve. It is the perfect fit. With my knowledge and understanding of brands and corporate organizational communication, I serve as a liaison between the creatives on my team and the cross functional teams that our clients work with to create high caliber brand marketing assets. I currently spend much of my time supporting the Delta Faucet account.”
2. What is a typical day like for you?
“Although a cliche answer, every day is very different, which is one of the best things about my role.
My position is hybrid. There are days that I am in our Indianapolis studio working on a video shoot or preparing for an upcoming shoot, but I also work remotely and occasionally travel to on-location shoots. My day to day is spent keeping the life of our projects on track. I might be managing set designs, talent scouting, script writing, managing inventory of products we’re shooting, editing and final asset delivery, and more.
My favorite part of my job is getting to tell stories for all types of clients. From small businesses to household names, like Delta Faucet and Anthem, our team helps ideate messaging and creative to tell brand stories that tug at the heartstrings, inform, and innovate.”
3. You also have a part-time job and spend a lot of time serving organizations you are passionate about. How do you balance all of your responsibilities?
“Yes, I have a part-time job as a lead stylist and showroom and social media manager at Bella Bridesmaids. This role allows me to stay connected to another one of my favorite things – fashion.
I also teach first through third graders an introduction to the Greek language and Sunday School at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral. I serve on four Young Adult League boards or committees across the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. I am involved in organizations that champion and preserve Hellenism in the diaspora. This summer, I am serving as the Marketing Director and Official Spokesperson of Indy GreekFest, which is coming up on Aug. 25-26.
And as we jump into another election year, things will pick back up again, as I organize for Greek Americans for Joe Biden and Indiana for Joe Biden.
Although this sounds like a lot, I make sure that the things I sign up for can have a fair spot in my schedule. Much of the work I do with this additional involvement is cyclical, so it is a bit easier to budget the time in. I am very passion-driven and the work that I get to do in addition to my main career is fulfilling, brings on new learning experiences, and new friends, so I can confidently justify the time investment I put into them!”
4. How did your IUPUI PR education set you up for career success?
“My time at IUPUI set me up for success in many ways. But I owe much of the credit to the professors I had. The ones who left the greatest impact on me were those who were working in the real world and brought those experiences into the classroom. Not only did their learnings go beyond what any textbook could, but the examples they set of balancing their packed schedules ensured me that I too could have a career, but not have to give up my interests and passions that don’t necessarily find their way into my day to day.”
5. What advice do you have for current PR students and soon-to-be or new PR graduates for breaking into the field?
“Say yes to as many opportunities as you can without compromising your mental health. Join PRSSA, take on a leadership role, and engage yourself on a national level to build a network of peers, mentors, and advocates. Don’t try to fit in to a box of what PR is — it goes far beyond pitching media and writing press releases. Public Relations students are equipped with skills that continue to cross fields more than many other majors.”