By Tori Oman, Associate Manager, Global Internal Brand Experience and Community Impact
My job at Pizza Hut involves working on employee experience and community impact. If you would have asked me 4 years ago if this is what I thought I would being doing when I was 30, I would have said “eh, probably not.” And if you’d asked 4-year-old me if this is what I would be doing when I was 30, I would have said “no WAY, you crazy, crazy lady/man/manlady, I’m going to be a FAMOUS MOVIE STAR!!!!!!!!!”
Why? Because I grew up a theatre kid (….and a flute-playing kid, and a choir/show choir kid, and a photo-taking kid, and a picture-drawing kid. But NOT a dancer kid. NOT. A dancer.).
So how’d I get my big kid job at the Hut, you ask? My big kid job at Pizza Hut is thanks to the decision I made to go back to graduate school for a more “practical” degree after getting my Bachelor of Fine Arts and chasing the Hollywood dream for a while. But I also really do think that being in this role is equally thanks to my experiences and education from being an “artsy” kid.
Which is why one of our community impact initiatives I work on, the Hut Fund, really tickles me pink. The Hut Fund is a scholarship program that Pizza Hut provides to applicants with financial need at Booker T. Washington Performing Arts High School to help even the playing field for young people pursuing an arts education. These scholarships help kids take private lessons, buy camera equipment and even travel to Spain for fine arts intensive studies on their spring break. The Hut Fund is one of my favorite things about my job because I know that even if these kids never grow up to become major movie star celebrities, they will have a unique edge to their personality and thought process that can’t be replicated through any other type of schooling. And they can do HUGE things when they grow up.
Still not convinced that studying the arts can give you a leg up in the corporate world? Here’s some more proof of “artsy” stuff rocking the workplace. Meet Brian. He’s an analytical dork at the Hut. But he’s also something else- artistic. And in my opinion, he’s probably better at his job because of it.
What is your “artsy” outlet?
I’m a musician, primarily in singing but also in guitar, piano, and (formerly) trumpet. I work with a voice coach every month to keep my voice in shape, and sing and record while I’m at home.
How does said “artsy” thing help you in your current role?
Most definitely confidence and public speaking ability. Being on stage is a really scary thing the first few times you do it. When you get thrown onto a stage in front of people doing [what a lot of people would consider to be] embarrassing things, you start to get used to it. I feel less anxious presenting to the CEO of the biggest brand within a Fortune 200 company than I did the first time I got on stage with my a cappella group in college. It’s second nature at this point.
What is your advice for creative young people?
First, if any part of you gets an urge or an inkling to try something, just do it! You never know when something will just be “your thing,” and you won’t ever find it unless you just say yes and go for it. When you figure out what that thing is, it will change your life, and for the better.
Second, when you do find that thing, always, always, always keep striving to improve. No one is ever perfect at that thing they love, and if you love it, you will always want to keep getting better. Read, find teachers/coaches who can help you, look for communities who love the same things you do (they exist, no matter how “small” that thing is!). Try to be the best at that thing and the best at it you can be.
[Header photo by @robsessed85]