Mel has been blogging since she was about 14 years old. She has worked under different blogs/publications, but has been blogging under the brand “Mel Inspired” for two years. Blogging has always been her creative outlet to connect with people and express/find herself. She went to school for political science where she studied in both French and English. Since graduating she has worked in the tech industry and is currently working at Facebook, where she gets the joy of connecting people and brands together in a meaningful way. She resides in Toronto with her loving partner in crime (fellow blogger and photographer/videographer for just about everything she does) and dog.

headshot_sqTwitter: melhwang
Instagram:  melhwang

Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon?
I definitely knew I wanted to do something that connected and inspired people. There’s nothing in life that’s more gratifying than that. I definitely didn’t always know this would be my career path though. I actually went to school thinking I would go on to law school and become a lawyer. Life has a funny way of bringing us exactly where we’re supposed to be, doesn’t it?

Where would you like to be five years from now?
I’d love to still be doing what I’m doing – with my hand in a couple cookie jars, but with a common goal – inspiring and connecting people. Whatever that ends up looking like, I’m totally on board with. I think the “why” you do what you do is a lot more important than the “what” you do.

Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
For sure – whether it’s tech, blogging, or just media in general, I think there’s a couple things that drive success: 1) passion, 2) determination, and 3) openness. If you don’t have passion, you won’t love what you do (that’s a nightmare in itself). If you’re not determined, you won’t force open doors and make opportunities for yourself. And if you’re not open, you won’t learn – and learning is the best way to constantly succeed.

What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own?
My favourite outlet is “Social”. I don’t know if this is cheating but I find the best and most relevant content through my social feeds – Instagram and Facebook mostly. Their algorithms get “me” and what I’m interested in more than any specific outlet. It’s where I start and then I tend to get lost in the Internet like everyone else.

Best interview you’ve ever had?
By a follower in high school who reached out to me to interview me for her senior media project. She knew my entire life story and said her and her friends loved my blog and videos. It was touching and they inspired me with their words, love, and support more than I think I inspire them.

Worst?
A job interview where a senior leader told me that I’d have to wait till I was “older” to climb the ranks and make an impact. Success should know no age limit, sex, race, religion, or any bias.

Best advice you’ve ever been given?
Your path is your journey. No one else’s. That’s what makes it beautiful. Make it your own and don’t let negativity or judgment get you down.

What rule(s) do you live your life by?
Be the best version of yourself you can be.

What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
Be awesome at emails. They come in like wildfire and prioritizing everything while still getting back to everyone is like being real-life Super Woman.

Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about wins.
I think my best experience has to be with a PR rep that really believed in what I stood for from the beginning. I only had about 5,000 followers at that time, but they believed in my vision and work ethic. We’ve since worked together on a ton of campaigns and everything has been handled meticulously. I think the mark of a great PR pro is when they can spot growth/talent/trends before they even happen. They certainly did this.

I hate?
Judgment or gossip.

I love?
My followers and audience. They’re who I have to thank for my career… and my mini direwolf Simba (@friendsofsimba on IG).

Reading?
For the fourth time, Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg and Think Like A Freak by Steven D. Levitt J Dubner. I can never just stick to one at a time.

Best place on earth?
Tokyo (for now, I’m still working through my bucket list).

Dinner guest?
Sheryl Sandberg (I’d love to pick her brain), or my friends (whose company and brains are just as inspiring).

Hero?
Every person in the world who is struggling just to live.

Favourite app?
Instagram every day.

Pool or ocean?
Ocean because it makes me face my fears.

Voicemail or email?
Email, but definitely call me if it’s important.