Why MSNBCs Daniela Pierre Bravo Is Unstoppable
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I didn't have parents who knew the lay of the land. I didn't have anybody advising me. And so something happens when you're the only person that you can count on, and you're not really waiting for anybody to show you what to do for a long time. A new Danila here Bravo as a producer on MSNBC's morning, Joe. But recently, I learned a full story. She's a dreamer, who made her way through college selling Mary Kay, earned a coveted spot as NBC page and quickly proved herself as a whip smart television producer. And now she's the co author of the new book, earn it a career guide for women in their twenties and beyond. Yellow so fun for me to be the producer and yeah, union. I guess funded the here, thank you so much. Happy to have your born in Chile you move till Hieaux around age eleven. How did you learn that you were undocumented? Well, I was trying to get ready for college. And I didn't really understand. I remember going on an eighth grade trip to Washington and waiting at the bus because I couldn't go to the White House, and it didn't hit me that I didn't have an ID because at the time I had a social security number. So I didn't really pride and really ask. I don't know that was subconscious or not. But it didn't really hit me until I started looking for colleges. And I really tried my best ro- college to not only be a great student, but be in those like advanced classes, and extracurriculars because I really wanted to have a good opportunity to go to a great college. But then it hit me that a it my parents couldn't afford it which I kind of knew. But then when I would try to find loans come to find out then, oh, I'm undocumented. I, I can't qualify for any loans. We ever concerned for your safety after that. I don't know if I was scared or concerned for my safety, but I, I became sort of fearless because I lived in a small town in Ohio. I didn't have any professional mentors. I didn't have a roadmap. I didn't have parents who knew the lay of the land. I didn't have anybody advising me. And so something happens when you're the only person that you can count on, and you're not really waiting for anybody to show you what to do. And you can have to figure it out for yourself. So I just remember being kind of fearless about at all. And it wasn't on your radar that ice could show up at your front door and play your family apart. I was her so trying to get myself into college and keep going forward that I didn't think about it. Dude, your plans for when you grew up change when you learn divider status. I think it definitely limited my possibilities of what could be. So I always wanted to work in TV I had this lofty idea of being part of how cultures told and bringing to the table, different voices and people that reflected my background. And so I wanted. To be part of how that culture was told ironically. That's my job now but at the time I realized that I didn't have a way to do that, that was kind of a nearly impossible plan. So I thought, well, I'm going to go to college. Try to take it one step at a time. And I'll go to law school because that's the only way that I can keep going in my education, and I won't have to find a job. So I was just really trying to take it one step at a time. You know, congratulations, who joined the long list of Latinas Latina guests who either thought they'd go to law school or did cost. You go to college in state in Ohio, most students have a work study job. But you did something very different to get through Miami university while I wish I could have a job at school. Like I wish I had the opportunity to work legally. I would've loved that, but I found out that that wasn't an option for me and I would have to get creative. I mean really creative about my options because I ended up scouring the internet every night. This is like a ritual as soon as I found out, I was undocumented even when I was in college every night, I would scour the internet for private scholarships for writing contests for Craigslist jobs, like, whether it was, you know, bussing tables short time, we're working at bars as far back. And you know, Mary Kay was something that came to the table when I was eighteen years old. I learned that you could be your own boss, and I thought, well, if nobody would hire me all higher myself and. And what's interesting is that I had to take a semester off school to really build that business. Because at the time I had a social security number. So I, I was able to use that and I was hiring women around rural Ohio and learning on YouTube accounting, one, a one and teaching them all these different ways to build their business, and I was in the shadows at the time. So nobody knew what was really going on. You're the first person in your family to go to an American college. What were you expecting when you moved into that dorm? While was not expecting I was just so excited to experience it all, you know, I I my parents were still out of the loop in terms of what college dorm was and the whole process was like I came in. I kid you not with a cardboard box with, like canned food. And no decorations. No, nothing. And I found here that in the US having a dorm is like a pretty big deal when it comes to, like, fighting comfy and cute things to put around. And, you know, I barely brought anything else other than like those canned good products and this ninety nine dollar or forty nine ninety nine I remember WalMart by from Mary, Kay, like this plastic container with a little locked put all my, Mary Kay product. So, honestly, my dorm room is just covered in Mary, Kay products lifeline. That was a lifeline as you unpack your things looked around. What did you think and feel about your surroundings about the other people, you're going to school with I so hopeful, I remember forgetting that I was undocumented and forgetting about all of sort of the difficulties on getting myself to college, and all the, the reasons why when succeed, and I had for the first time hope because I thought, well, if I can make it into college year one it's only uphill from here, but there's a lot of obstacles, I came during those first year and second years of college that really almost impeded me from finishing. But look what well the second year, you know, so excited, I had gotten into all my extracurriculars and I wanted to be an mock trial, which was like a number one nationally recognized organization. I told you I wasn't cool. Love you more and more. And this great business fraternity, and I was so excited, I had made lots of friends like many people do the first year of college and the summer before I came back as a sophomore. I never had enough money to go back to school for the entire semester. So I was always taking it one step at a time. And I remember having a couple of thousands of dollars, I think it was like two thousand dollars or something just to get me by for like the first couple of weeks of college sophomore semester, until I figured it out. I was on a delivery for Mary Kay, and I ended up hitting a parked car and obviously, in no situation to argue with the owner. I said, give me your number and the number was the amount of money that it took to go back to school. And so that was it, and it was a huge roadblock. And think about not having anybody tell you. You can do it. This is going to get better. And even my mom, who is the rock, who's always, like, there's always a way I remember sitting at a raise parking lot and her and I just sobbing and holding each other. Because both of us truly felt that this could be the end of all the hard work, and I just remember crying and pounding the floor when I got home that night because there was no way forward at that point. And how did you make that way forward? It was interesting. So I prayed. And I went to bed and the next morning. It's so crazy. I woke up and I had such clarity a what was going to happen next. So I had six months that I realized, okay, I'm not going to go back to school. These first six months, let that be and work, but off. So I took the Mary Kay, stop that I was doing and build it into a robust business. I hit senior consultant status in six months. That's when I started hiring those women around rural America, forty fifty sixty year old women who were under my team who had no idea they're working for an undocumented immigrant. No idea and just teaching them. The skill sets to build their own business. But I was working, you know, I was getting up at eight a m cold calling people cold emailing people running in two people at malls and asking them, you know, what skin care, they use, and then kind of do my little spiel about Mary Kay. I. I was bussing tables, I was waitressing I was hostessing all short term paying jobs that could pay cash six months later. I was back at it and back in college. Is there something that's getting in the way of your happiness, for just always on your mind? I've found the talking with someone can make a big difference. And sometimes the logistics finding the right person finding the right time to talk makes things complicated. Better help connects you with an online counselor in a safe and private online environment. 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With such limited opportunities that this was the place if any would give me that ability to find something to hold onto your super savvy. And so instead of putting your Ohio address on those resumes. You put the New York City address where you would a stent simply be living in a dorm in New York pretty doing move. We know what I found out in this world, people will always make excuses to do the easy thing and the easy thing would have been for a hiring manager in New York City in an unpaid internship, to not call somebody in the middle of Ohio if it's an unpaid internship, that starts in two weeks. So I decided, I'm not gonna make any excuses to get on whatever I have to get on to get to the interview the next day, if that's what it calls for. So I'm just going to say that I live in New York City. And I always said, if my qualifications on my resume which were all true ended up matching the job description than getting there would be a piece of cake. And so then you get a call from PD's production company. Yeah. And they're like, okay, great. Can you be here tomorrow? Right. Bad way entertainment called me and they did a quick phone screening interview. And they said, yeah. Can you come in tomorrow, and I go are pending? Yes, I can I'll be there tomorrow. I didn't know how it's going to get there. I couldn't obviously, as you know, get on a plane or drive so I got on an eighteen hour. Bus ride nine stops through the night didn't sleep washed up in stinky, smelly port authority. And made it to the internship interview, you realize how wild that all sounds retrospectively. It was all blur. But I feel like I was just so hungry to just get one chance. Yeah. And then you got it. I got it and another internship, an internship. You know what I found out MTV networks, which is the second unpaid internship, that called me back. They asked for a phone interview. And I was like, why didn't I why didn't I just offer to do that? But that's the thing. When you have limited options in Ottawa forward. You just gotta do what you gotta do and not make any excuses for it. Tell me about the first time you met co author of earn it Mika Brzezinski. Oh my gosh. I was I was such a fan girl like a cl- a silent flash fan, girl. Like I didn't I never came out and told her, but it was when I was in NBC page, actually, I didn't know, morning Joe, but I had this assignment to cut clips of pop moments of all of the MS NBC shows, and I would start with. Morning, joe. And I would start the day. And I found out that I would spend the whole day, just watching morning Joe clamps because I loved me and Joe. And I remember none other pages really wanted. This is I make us it's like who's going to wake up at four in the morning, and, like want to get coffees and a half a smile on their face. And that was me because I was just so excited. And I remember coming into gets dressing room because the coordinator at the time was going to introduce me to her while she was in makeup. And I go in and she goes are you getting my coffee every morning? And I'm like, really excited to tell her. Yes. And she's like good. You better. Not f it up. So that was my introduction to me, go our relationship has evolved since then. But I also very good at getting coffee, the way it's meant delete good at getting a hot black-eyed me sto. Yes, yes, yes. But that's really one of the reasons why she noticed me. I mean as silly as that sounds, it hasn't menial as, as getting coffee might be you think about all the people. That are coming through that revolving doors, whether it's interns, whether it's NBC pages, whether it's production assistance, people are constantly coming in, and I was kind of strategic about seen what she had told me in the green room that morning and saying, okay, I'm going to take this opportunity to make like the best black coffee that I could ever make. And that was something that, really you should stop with her. You stood outside Starbucks waiting for them to open and you try to negotiate with them to open it up. So I got a lot of trouble with the managers at Starbucks many times, because they didn't open till like five AM, and they told us that they would open up, like ten minutes early, and Mika would come in the building of five fifty AM. So I was like, okay no, that's not gonna work. And so I would just stand outside of Starbucks, literally pounding on the door every single day when I was supposed to be ready to go print scripts. But I was pounding on, like the Starbucks store like pleading to please open up a few minutes early. So I could time it exactly. To win meek, got out of her car so that she didn't have to wait and make up without her coffee. So I was really serious about my coffee. When to start a family is a really personal decision. Some of us want kids now and some of us are insurable ever want them before I got pregnant with my daughter, my friends, and I would often talk about how we wished we knew more about our own fertility because the not knowing only made decisions and plans, more confusing. I wish at the time I'd had access to modern fertility is at home hormone fertility test a recently took their fertility quiz and explored their timeline tool. 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Some of life's biggest decisions tests are conducted in a C, L, A, certified lab, an affiliate of physicians and clinical advisors work atop fertility clinics, visit modern fertility dot com slash Latina, take their fertility quiz and get twenty dollars off your modern fertility test. That's modern fertility dot com slash Latina to take the fertility quiz. Get twenty dollars off modern fertility dot com slash Latino. You share your story with me, ultimately explained that you wanna create access for women like you women who may not have other people to guide them through this. And not is power earn. It is born. So let's go through your career advice. Well, there's a lot in excited for people at arena, earn it some of the advice. That's in the book sorts out from the moment you walk in the door and getting your foot in the door, and we have great advice in terms of how to build a network, you know, we partnered up with Harvard University, and we found out that seventy percent of young women are not comfortable networking. That's crazy. Because networking is such a way in the door and to gain access and leverage to connections and people that will further your career. There's a part of the book that I really loved, where you compare two different emails to different nodes received on, on Lincoln and explained. Why one of them really worked, and one of them really didn't? Yeah. So one of them, which I, I get these type of emails, often there is personnel linked in the reach out to me and said something like Hello. Hi, daniele. I would like to have a job at NBC universal. Can you point me in the right direction in order to do so? And I got that I understand. I mean I don't know. But because there was so have no guidance if you have how coach on. But that's why I wanna talk about it. That's not the right note descent. Yeah. Yeah. This is why we wrote earn it. So there's so many things going on here. So breaking it down. NBC universal if you did your research, which is so important. That's number one advice that I give when you're reaching out to somebody, and you should absolutely reach out to people that you don't know, but you have to be purposeful concise, and specific, they do not know how they can help you, you have to be able to state it, and you have to be able to navigate it so that it's not like you're asking. Hey, take care of me me me me, but you have to bring value back to the table, and it's hard to do all in one Email. So with this one specific, one of the things I was wrong with it is that NBC universal is huge. So are you looking for something in the business department? Are you looking at something for a specific show? Are you looking at something in the marketing department? So really doing your research is really important, and one of the ways that you can do that goal. Get job descriptions, online and become acquainted with what the company is. And what are the roles and how do they look like? So if she'd sent a better note, what would it if she had said the best note, possum, what would it have sentenced and in the book, I show a note that really ties and everything together, which would sound something like Hello? My name is blah, blah, blah. I noticed that you are a booking producer at morning Joe. My background is in publicity or whatever your background is. And I noticed that you work with tons of different guests every morning I'd love to learn a little bit more about the editorial part that you do. I actually also went to Miami university. You don't have to go to the same college as me just show, some type of relative background or something that could connect us and be flexible don't say I'd like to get on a call tomorrow, or, you know, do you have time for Coffey, because some people to higher up, you go the less time that they have to meet people. In person, you shouldn't not ask for it. But just be kind of mindful of who you're talking to one of the things that drives me bananas nights his happens way, more than than you'd imagine is that I have someone reach out to me for vice which I'm really happy to give. And I really also tried to, you know, follow up with to do is how I have no say. We'll check in with me in three months. Check in with me in six months, keep on me because I have a lot going on. And I don't want to drop the ball and I'll never hear from the person again. Absolutely. And actually, I'm budge set up because I love mentoring young women. And if people reach out to me, I absolutely want to respond back if they make it easy for me to do that. And one of the things it's like when people are so busy, especially if you're reaching out to somebody in a bigger innovation or that has a lot of job responsibilities. Don't feel bad about I don't wanna say nagging, but keep at it follow up because there's so many times that I'll think of somebody that idea. Get a chance to respond to in real time and can't find their Email because they never did the follow up. We wanna tell you about a podcast, we think you'll like Ted in Hispaniola in each episode thought leaders from across the Spanish speaking world, take the Ted or teddy, staged explore the big ideas and questions of our time. Like what is the connection between math and love? Can we apply the rules from the games of chess to winning in our lives, but can entre preneurs lead us to improving education and health for the entire world? The weekly podcast features talks exclusively in Spanish, and is hosted by the curator of Ted any spongy, Jerry Gerbeau ski find it on apple podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen, Ted in Hispaniola, you, they us enormous through the, the Oman. All right. Let's talk about money salary negotiations more challenging than we act like it is this is what was hard for me, because I had the impostor syndrome from the moment, I walked in the door, and I really had to fight it from day one. So going into the negotiating table. That's like the one thing you need to make sure that you completely clear yourself because what I've learned is that when you're gonna go sheeting for money. It has nothing to do with you personally. And it has everything to do with the labor that you bring to the table. And once you can differentiate that and take every personal thing about you outside of the equation in stop thinking about like, oh, well, my boss, you know, maybe he won't like me because I'm asking for too much, or maybe he thinks I shouldn't be asking this like take that out of your brain. Think about the labor thing about all the hard work that you've been doing the long hours, which by the way, women are always told to do and they do it. Take all those things consideration, because those are going to be a real leverage is, and it's going to empower you to find the words don't take it personal, though, because it never works. It stood out to me on the page, that while letting us are no stranger to hard work. We have a different relationship to the word ambition and a lot of numbers. Yes. It's a site, DEA culturally, my mother and grandmother are great examples, working women have taught me the value of a dollar all that good stuff yet, culturally. They've told me. Oh, don't worry. You know, your turn will come even the word. If you say it out loud. I'm Bruce Llosa. It's got the sort of like negative Luna merge two or you're thinking about yourself, and not other people and like what other culture is more about people than our own. Right. And so I think that being ambitious is not about alien. Dating yourself and being this sort of like I Kana class at only cares about themselves. But it's all the things that constitute getting to the top, and ambition, and it's not only just working hard and putting yourself out there, but it's being able to turn the corner and asking for advancement because, you know, one of the things that I've noticed with the woman that we interviewed for the book, is that women get into these roles where two and three years into the job, they're stuck with, like administrative work and they're stuck with all the things that men don't have to do that. All of a sudden, they're climbing up the ladder, because women have always been told that they need to work, the long hours and do all the work, but they don't know when the raise our hand and that is when ambition is really important so powers through, do you think though for Latinos, in particular that some of it has to do with the patriarchal societies? We come from, I mean, and this idea that. Ambitiona somehow unfini-. Why think like if we look at them Bishen, I can say, all of the women in my life are hard working, and they really put their families. I but they don't embrace ambition the way that Arjun ration- does. And I think that we do come from an environment, where much e- small is a real thing and generational, that's changing. We did the Harvard research and we found out that seventy six percent of young women Caucasian women are actually embracing the word ambition, but that number is a lot lower for women in the Latino community. So I think it has to do with, of course, this idea of Matisse, that has been so ingrained in our cultures. But I think our generation is getting a lot better of calling Bs. So I love career advice. I'm careerist. I've always wanted. To know how to navigate my career. So I I've read a lot of these books. I love them. Also worry that career advice writ large, as a form of gas lighting, and that, it, it leans a little too heavily on this idea that you can change all of your circumstances, or that, if women just approach things differently that somehow that will compensate for all of the structural issues that underlie this like equal pay right? Like I would never want someone to walk away from your book thinking wolf, I just negotiated harder than I could close the pay gap. Right. And there are certain things that are left up to corporations and institutions to fix because equal pay is much broader than just one person. But I do think that there are parts of the equations that women can control. And I think that the beauty of this book is that we don't just talk about negotiating and asking you for what you're worth when you're at the negotiating table. We talk about. All of the things that need to happen before, then to build that advocating power, because that's really what's going to set the tone of difference when you get to the negotiating table, because it's really if you haven't done certain things like consistently, raise your hand or consistently asked for more from the beginning of your careers. It's kinda too late. When you get to the negotiating table, you've gotta build real raw data twenty twelve day Obama made his dock announcement where were you? Well, yeah, I was in my internship, that was unpaid bad boy, entertainment. I was sitting at my desk, and we didn't have TV's because I was stuck in a cubicle. But I remember getting a text message from a family member and telling me to turn on the TV and I remember just being aghast with, like so much emotion because I, you know, obviously scrolled through the internet and there it was President Obama executive action on deferred. Action. And it was so life changing, I felt like I needed to get out of there and like a happy to, but, I couldn't tell anybody I was still in the shadows until DACA came out. And so it was just a moment of complete complete gratitude above everything else, and so much emotion, and so much like looking at the future and saying, there are so many possibilities, no matter how many difficulties, I had no matter how many obstacles are closed doors. Not only at the moment that I had, but could be I was so filled with optimism of the day, it was revoked. I was in Chile. Yeah. I'd have very sick family member. And I had advanced parole. And I was taking care of somebody that was really sick. And I didn't know what I was going to do. I didn't know if I could go back into the country. Can you imagine had built this career up? I was in the middle of book writing, and I ended up consulting with the lawyer while I was away. I think all of us were in kind of a frenzy, whether you were out of the country, you're in the country, we didn't know of can happen. And I ended up being one of the first offer Scipion to come back to JFK and they didn't know what to do with me. Meaning what Tia sake say, TES was, you know, you, you go through they the immigration line. And because I'm Dr sipping you get brought into it room where you have to wait a little bit because it's kind of an extra inspection and they didn't know what to do with me. One TSA agent told me, not don't think this is gonna work. They, they has done. And what are you going to do in this situation? So you're gonna sit down and kind of, you know, make them go through everything. And, and, and you have to know your rights rights consulted with a lawyer, and, and actually said, well, you know what I was given advance parole, since x and x time and I'm here in the country before then. And so it took them a little bit of time, but they let me back in, which, you know, legally they had to do. What's the number one thing you want other letting us to take away from earn it? If you're a Latina that doesn't. Have a way in the door or that doesn't have parents who paid the path forward embrace the fact that you are, you know, the first one at the table that looks like you or that has your background because there's so much complexity that comes with knowing a different part of culture that many people here, don't necessarily know as we do, and it's such an opportunity to be able to not only just add that extra value to any company organization, but we really need to be able to embrace that for ourselves and make it part of our narrative, and own it. Thank you so much. Thank you so much. This is so fun. Thanks for joining us today. Latina to Latino is owned and executive produced by Jill Lake Olympic while Williams and meet Maria Murielle was the sound designer on this episode. We want to hear from you tell us who you want to hear from and how you're making the show a part of your life. Email us at Ola at Latina to Latina dot com. Remember to subscribe, or follow us on radio public Spotify, apple podcasts or wherever you're listening.