Campaign Manager – National Drive (KIIS Network), Co-Founder ,The Lonely Hearts Club & Owner at Kin Naturals
She may be unlucky in love, but one thing is for sure… Kara Tyndall, Co-Founder of The Lonely Hearts Club is not unlucky in her career.
Not afraid to say it how it is, and tell people where to go if she has to, Kara has morphed from small-town girl to a force to be reckoned with in the Australian Radio Industry – working with heavyweights such as Hamish and Andy and most recently Hughesy and Kate on KIIS Network. Recently Kara, has joined forces with good mate Georgia to build The Lonely Hearts Club, a specialised events company for all the single hearts out there. Together they run fun and educational events that aim to empower and motivate single women in a “non-naff-super-sass way!”
But the ‘good stuff’ is in the juice of how Kara got to this point. And don’t worry, we are delivering the juice today.
Time travel back just a few short years and you will find a young Kara amped up after moving to Melbourne to pursue a career in the music industry. Some might say that Kara wanted to get as far away from the local town stereotype as possible (Does getting married and pregnant before the age of 22 sound familiar?), and you would be right. It didn’t take long for her go-getting nature to take a stranglehold before Kara moved on and hunted down internships and work placements chiseling and building her career as she went.
I am a massive fan of today’s interview. Kara is ‘hands-down’ my new favourite person. Unafraid to take chances, say her peace, dive in head first, but bold enough to realise when something doesn’t suit her.
She follows her gut, is outspoken, creative and highly entrepreneurial. You are going to flippin’ love reading this #careerstory, honestly.
Let’s dive in…
Hey Kara, so extremely excited to have you here. I can’t even imagine how exciting your career must be working in radio. But before we get to that can you please tell us where you grew up and how your experience shaped the person you are today?
I grew up in country NSW in a small town called Griffith where most people end up married and pregnant by the age of 22. I originally wanted to become a hairdresser so I did work experience with a local salon who then offered me an apprenticeship at the end of year 10. I was so excited and was sure that this is the path I wanted to take until one night whilst watching the ARIA awards. I saw the excitement and buzz of the red carpet and I dreamed of what it would be like to be in the entertainment industry and music, in particular, a far cry from my chosen career path in hairdressing.
I didn’t think it would ever be possible, how does one EVER land a job in that so-called glamorous industry. That night, I researched university degrees online and found a course that I knew was perfect for me but it involved moving to the big smoke – Melbourne. I had never been to Melbourne and I would be the first person ever in my whole entire extended family to ever complete a university degree. So, from that moment on…I decided that’s where I wanted to be – and I set out to prove everyone in Griffith wrong…all those people that kept telling me I’d never build up the courage to do so.
In January 2003 I packed my bags and moved to Melbourne and it’s 2017, and I am still here.
Melbourne is the best… I love living here. So, where did you go to High School? Can you summarise your experience?
There were only 3 high schools in Griffith so I didn’t have much choice so I just followed my friends and went to a public school simply called Griffith High School. We weren’t spoilt for choice in terms of subject selection. I did drama, art and cooking as electives knowing full well I hated all of them so I threw myself into school sports and spent most days and nights training. I was on the aerobics team and spent a lot of time travelling around the country competing.
I danced my heart out, played touch footy of all sorts… women’s, rep teams and mixed. I also played basketball and soccer. I loved being part of a team and being good at something. I wasn’t super smart so the feeling of doing something I loved gave me so much more confidence and skills than any English class ever would. I had a very small attention span so sport was something that encouraged me to be focus and achieve a goal.
Unfortunately, I fell quite ill in year 11 and had to give most of it up which was very hard for me. I replaced all my training sessions with doctors’ appointments, massage therapists, and Chinese doctors. It was horrible to tell you the truth…there were times where I thought I would never be able to achieve my dream of being in the music industry. I eventually got well enough, and pushed through to get a score high enough to get me into my dream degree.
Did your high school play an important role in helping you choose your further education and future career?
To tell you the truth, no it didn’t. Being from a small town I had no idea what was out there. I had no inspiration around me in terms of career goals. The internet wasn’t a huge thing back then and I didn’t have the resources that students do today. I just took a chance on myself and backed myself 100% and kept my eyes on the prize. I wanted to get out and shape my own future and set my own path. My parents never pressured me to go to Uni, they would have supported me whatever choice I made.
What amazing parents! Did you complete any internships or work experience placements in high school? Tell us about that experience.
I did my year 10 work experience in a hair salon as I mentioned earlier. They gave me a job where I worked as a salon assistant on Saturdays and during school holidays. In year 11 I got a job waitressing at the local RSL club…and I also did placements in retail and hospitality. I didn’t mind waitressing as it was good money and I was saving for Schoolies (priorities!)
I didn’t even finish my retail and hospitality placements, I made every excuse under the sun NOT to go. I hated doing anything that I wasn’t passionate about. I needed a summer job in between finishing school and moving to uni so I worked at a winery. I lasted 5 days and ended up calling them and lying to them saying I moved to Melbourne earlier than expected.
Did you go to College, University, Tafe or another equivalent? Take us through the courses that you studied and why you chose them?
After making the move to Melbourne I kicked off my studies at the JMC Academy studying Music Business Management where I lasted a year. I wanted more. I felt like it wasn’t challenging enough so I quit and enrolled at Victoria University and spent the next three years there completing my Bachelor of Business (Marketing & Music Industry). I started doing volunteer work wherever I could, at Future Music Festival, raising money as part of a Bendigo Bank program, interning at Freeza (a government body which mentors young people wanting to get in the music industry) and helping out with events for the various charities. I’ve always listened to music and I went to music concerts from a very young age, it made me happy – and one thing was for certain, I needed to be in the industry and I wouldn’t stop until I got there.
That’s on impressive loop Kara, so many great courses Tell us about your career journey so far. Who you have worked for, and explain any highlights.
Well if you haven’t gathered already, I lose interest in things very quickly. I am constantly needing to be challenged and setting and achieving new goals for myself to be fulfilled. I like making myself proud. I have a very lengthy resume….here goes!
My first job out of uni was at the Bendigo Bank where I was a customer relationship officer (I got offered this after doing a charity program with them during uni). Once again, I wasn’t happy…I hated maths (I didn’t even study it in year 12) but I pushed through as I knew I needed to gain corporate experience. I was constantly looking at radio stations career pages, I applied for many jobs and was always unsuccessful until one day I got a phone call from the Fox FM Content Director, Dave Cameron offering me a position as the Fox FM Content Co-ordinator (after 3 interviews!). Little did I know that – that phone call would change my life. I am everything I am today from that one phone call. It’s been the reason for my career and for making lifelong friends.
I didn’t get hired for my experience, I got hired because I had passion and was hungry to be successful in the industry. From there I got experience in every department, I wanted to know a little about a lot. I worked ridiculous hours helping the breakfast team answer phone calls from 6am when they needed help, I worked weekends to gain experience in producing, I learned how to schedule music and help launch a digital radio station. After 3 years in that role I got promoted to a Promotions Co-ordinator life was good. I was working on huge shows such as Hamish & Andy, my hard work paid off, and I lived the life and enjoyed every moment.
After 5 years at Fox FM I moved to Nova FM where I managed all the campaigns and events for the National Drive Show – Meshel, Tim and Marty. I was there for 9 months until I got made redundant as the show moved to Sydney and I didn’t want to leave my home in Melbourne. I was devastated that I gave up everything at Fox and now I had no job. So, I called them begging for my job back. I was luckily enough to go back there to take up a role in a new department as a Campaign Response & Activations Manager which managed all the incoming sales briefs and pulled together huge campaigns for clients such as Nandos, Melbourne Racing Club, Australian Open, Bupa, ANZ and the list goes on. I was there for 1 year 8 months. I had enough of radio. The long hours, the stress, the terrible pay. I was exhausted. I took a month off to recover, regroup and get my mind back to a healthy place before I took a job at the Mamamia Women’s Network as the Strategic Integration Manager for VIC/QLD.
I lasted 4 months. It wasn’t for me. I would wake up not wanting to go work, something I had never experienced in radio. I missed radio, I missed the craziness, the fast pace, the creative and loud people. I got a phone call from ARN (Australian Radio Network) offering me a position as the Campaign Manager for their national Drive show on the KIIS Network – Hughesy & Kate, I handed in my resignation and walked out straight away. I have been here at ARN almost 2 years and loving it.
On top of all this, I am now one half of an events company called The Lonely Hearts Club. We run events for single females to empower and inspire them and remind them that it’s OK to be single. Something I am super passionate about.
In addition to that I am also in the early phases of launching my own perfume range called Kin Naturals…it’s perfume that is free from any nasties and is made from 100% pure essential oils.
How did you get the job that you are in now?
To put it simply hard work. I worked hard to earn my stripes and had a reputation in the radio industry as being a hard worker. It’s a small industry so if you’re good everyone knows…if you’re terrible…then everyone knows that too.
Time management is always a big one, sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming so learning to manage your time effectively is a huge thing in this industry. I work with many big personalities where people expect a lot from you. Working in a live environment with tight deadlines, there’s little to no room for error.
What does a day a typical business day look like for you in your current job?
I always start my day off by walking the dog and getting a coffee, it helps me prepare for the day. In radio, no 2 days are the same so this question is pretty hard to answer! But I am responsible for any client activity that sits within the Hughesy & Kate show. So that involves lots of brainstorming, client meetings, planning meetings with the show, executing all of the activations and on-air contesting for the show.
We do very weird things, just this week we played an epic prank on Hughesy!
Something we only thought of that morning! My job is to be the middleman between the sales department and our content department. I find ways to integrate clients into our show without sounding like one big giant ad! After work and during lunch breaks I work on The Lonely Hearts Club and/or Kin. I generally write and respond to emails, manage social media and plan any events, place orders and get on Pinterest. My day generally involves working until bedtime in some capacity – but I don’t think of my two side businesses as work.
I love what I do and watching my own little things grow!
Ahhh, I love watching things grow as well. Who has been your hero, or greatest inspiration growing up and why?
As you can probably tell. I change my mind and direction ALOT. So, for this reason my inspiration changes as I progress. But someone I have always looked up to is my first boss in radio – Dave Cameron. I learned lifelong skills from his management style and now that I am at a management level the majority of my techniques are stolen from Dave!
What advice would you give girls who are interested in your career?
It’s not a glamorous industry, although it looks that way. Don’t expect your first job in radio to be all parties and long lunches. I get none of those and if I do get invited I’m generally too exhausted to go! You need to be prepared to work hard and put up with a lot of shit. You need a thick skin and not be an emotional person. For anyone wanting to get in the industry, I’d suggest contacting the stations direct and asking to apply for a job on their street team. It’s a great way to ease yourself into the industry to ensure it’s right for you.
List your most valuable resources that you turn to constantly for inspiration in your profession?
- Favourite Websites: Pinterest and our own of course…www.thelonelyheartsclub.com.au
- Name an Instagram Account that you can’t go a day without checking: @elisecook – I am obsessed with her life! But I also spend a lot of time maintaining socials for @thelonelyheartsclub.au and @kinnaturals
- Favourite Podcast: Girl Boss Radio with Sophia Amoruso (listen on my morning walk) and Meditation Minis by Chel Hamiliton (listen before bed)
- Favourite Netflix Series: I am changing this to Stan not Netflix …it’s Power and Younger
- Favourite all time book/s: Not much of a reader! My attention span is way too short!!
- People: My besties and the people that supported me, my family, and of course my business partner Georgia who took a leap of faith with me in starting the Lonely Hearts Club.
- Others: My dog Oreo is the CUTEST and is my main man (you can see the cuteness at @meet_oreo).