Human Resource Manager (part time) & Co-founder / Director of New Beginnings Fair
Human Resources. Has there ever been a more important role within a modern day organisation? We think not! According to today’s #girlboss the best time for new beginnings is NOW, are you ready to listen?
34 year old Anika Meza, is as hardworking as she audacious. Not only is she the co-founder of New Beginnings Fair, a unique networking event which she cofounded in 2016 with her husband, but she is also a part-time Human Resources Manager in the music industry.
It seems as though HR has always run through this Sydney-siders blood, having worked in the industry her entire life, but it wasn’t until Anika and her husband were on holiday that the idea for New Beginnings Fair materialised. We love that Anika not only had the passion to start something, but the guts to follow it through. The Duo’s first fair had the likes of Lisa Messenger from the Collective Hub, and Jess Hatzis & Bree Johnson from Frank Body and Willow & Blake as panelists. It also facilitated dynamic workshops by Canva, General Assembly, and Blog Society, but the event is just getting BIGGER and BETTER.
In June this year, the Overseas Passenger Terminal in Sydney will play host to the first fair of the year, and we cannot wait to meet and mingle with some of the most inspiring lineup of panelists including Victoria Beattie from The Beach People, and Candice Rose O’Rourke from one of our favourite brands Zulu & Zephyr.
If you are sitting back right now, confused about what 2018 will bring, then you need to dive into this #careerstory. If you live in Sydney, and want to come to this beautifully informative event, make sure you read to the end of this interview, as we have a special discount code for you.
Girl, please meet the amazing Anika Meza.
Hey Anika, So pumped to have you here, sharing your career goodies for our #girlgang. Welcome! Can you tell us where you grew up, and how your experience shaped the person you are?
I grew up in Sydney’s Inner West and currently have 2 roles- I work part time as a HR Manager for Secret Sounds (music industry) and last year my husband and I decided to start a little side project together called New Beginnings Fair which is a one day festival for budding entrepreneurs and small business owners. At this stage, New Beginnings Fair is an annual event run in Sydney and Melbourne.
Life must be extremely busy for you, working two different jobs. So, let’s go back to the very beginning, where did you go to High School and how was that experience for you?
I went to school in Sydney’s Inner West, a small catholic school not far from my house.
Did your high school play an important role in helping you choose your further education and future career?
To be honest I wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted to do when I left school. All my friends were going to University, so it felt pretty natural to continue studying past Year 12. I actually enjoyed studying while I was at school (for the most part).
Did you complete any internships or work experience placements in high school? Tell us about that experience.
I grew up dancing/performing, etc and the entertainment industry always interested me, so I did a work placement at a extras agency in Year 10 which was a lot of fun.
Did you go to College, University, Tafe or another equivalent? Take us through the courses that you studied and why you chose them?
I went straight to Uni after Year 12 and started in a general Business Degree. After my first year of University, I decided to Major in Human Resource Management and a sub-major in Social Psychology. I’ve always found people interesting so it seemed like a natural choice for me.
Tell us about your career journey so far. Who you have worked for, and explain any highlights.
After Uni I started working in recruitment for a few years, eventually moving to London which was one of the best things I have ever done, both personally and for my career. I ended up staying over there for 4 years working for Robert Walters a recruitment agency where I was recruiting into financial services companies. It was such a fast-paced, competitive environment, and taught me so much. I made the move in Human Resource Management a few years ago working for Deloitte where I was for 6 years. Recently I’ve moved into the music industry and work for Secret Sounds based in Sydney. I’ve also been interested in running my own business and combining my skill set with my husband’s (whose background is predominately advertising/marketing). So last year we created an event called New Beginnings Fair and its been a fun journey to date where we have
Recently I’ve moved into the music industry and work for Secret Sounds based in Sydney. I’ve also been interested in running my own business and combining my skill set with my husband’s (whose background is predominately advertising/marketing). So last year we created an event called New Beginnings Fair and its been a fun journey to date where we have learnt so much and met some incredible/inspiring people along the way.
Wow, what a crazy full on career pathway. So let’s jump to present day. How did you get the job that you are in now?
I’ve always tended to get roles through referrals i.e knowing someone that has put in contact with the company – it’s the best way I feel. This really highlights how important it is to ensure you have a wide network. Even as a student.
Yes, we also believe that a wide network is crucial, even as a student in High School. So, what’s the hardest part of working part time and growing New Beginnings Fair?
With the event I run, New Beginnings Fair, I’d say the hardest thing would be when it’s your own business you need to know and be across everything – finance, marketing, legal etc. Especially at the start when you don’t have a huge budget you can spend on outsourcing certain tasks.
What does a day a typical business day look like for you at New Beginnings Fair?
With running New Beginnings Fair every day is super different which is something I love – I have a lot of meetings whether it be connecting with suitable speakers, vendors etc for our event or looking into marketing and advertising etc. Every day is really different, I love it!
Who has been your hero, or greatest inspiration growing up and why?
My dad was a pretty big career inspiration for me – he started his own design agency when I was pretty young and I would go in on school holidays to help with a few bits and pieces which I loved and he instilled the importance of creativity and doing something you’re passionate about.
What advice would you give girls who are interested in your career?
I think it’s important for you to work out what the things you enjoy and how can you incorporate that into a role/career. I also feel its so much more common now to change careers a few times throughout your life so try a few things – things changes / you can outgrow certain things so don’t be scared of adapting/changing/moving.