Interviewed by Cait Emma Burke
Interviewed by Cait Emma Burke
Mia Besorio Q&A
14.04.19

Q&A: Mia Besorio

Mia Besorio is a media and marketing authority, and an internet aficionado who builds brands and communicates their stories in authentic ways. She’s a multi-hyphenate creative, adaptable and always ready to take risks. Currently working on business development for the innovative Pitch Studios and project management for youth engagement agency Andpeople, Mia also contributes to various publications—Acclaim, Gusher, Sniffers, Filter, The FADER and Dummy, to name a few. I first met Mia when I was an editorial intern at Acclaim Magazine. Fellow former interns will be familiar with the nervy awkwardness that envelops you during your first few weeks in the role. Trying to complete tasks quickly, but not so quickly that you’re having to ask your boss for something new to do every ten minutes; being friendly and personable but not annoying. Being a good intern is a delicate, uncomfortable balancing act. Luckily for me, Mia showed me that I was right where I needed to be.

She took me to after work drinks and events, introducing me to everyone we met as an equal, not just some intern. She helped me network and introduced me to other creative women doing great work. Most importantly, she led by example. I saw how Mia backed herself. I saw how, even if she wasn’t feeling her best, she projected a confident, assured demeanour in the workplace. We stayed in touch after I completed my internship, and she became a mentor to me, plying me with the best kind of career and life advice. Recently, when I was facing a daunting meeting, the first person I messaged was Mia. Her advice was practical, to the point and reassuring. As always, she reminded me to prioritise myself. To know my worth and to not be afraid of asking for what I want. And that’s what Mia does best. She helps other women believe that they can do the thing, manage the project, land that job, and nail that pitch. Mia reminds women that it’s all possible, if only they back themselves first.

Hi Mia! We’re looking forward to your Go Your Own Way workshop. Firstly, how do you maintain a calm mindset in high-pressure work environments?

Maintaining calm doesn’t come naturally to me. As a Sagittarius woman it’s something that I constantly have to check myself on. Being naturally “calm” is a privilege, and for me it is was a skill I had to learn. Thankfully there are tools that I use to help maintain calm, such as: planning in detail, writing on post-it notes, guided meditation apps, fitness, retail therapy, actual therapy, and a very sturdy stress ball.

You’ve worked in marketing, editorial, music, events, artist management, business development, and more. Of the skills that you’ve developed throughout your career, which have proven themselves to be most helpful across the board, in all these varying industries?

Being adaptable is the core competency that has helped me to succeed, to survive, and to identify when it’s time to leave a role. Here’s the real truth: creative teams are lean, and job titles are a farce—we’re all “slashies” whether we like it or not. It’s super rare that your responsibilities exactly match your JD, so having the tenacity to just roll with the punches is crucial.
 

You’ve been an incredible mentor to me and many other women I know. Is this something that comes naturally to you? Why do you think mentorship is important?

Thank you so much, that means a lot! There is a maternal instinct that comes with being a woman that will inevitably surface in any title I take on. I have my younger siblings Jae and RJ to thank for that—they keep me in check by simply existing. I just want to be a good role model for them now as I was an absolute terror in my teenage years. I’ve also been blessed to have a big family full of fierce women to look up to. Professionally, I was lucky to work with the Queen trailblazer Alexandra Weiland, who was the lifeblood of Acclaim, and now is an absolute force in the Creative Direction team at adidas Originals HQ. You could liken mentorship to a warm hug after being lost in a debilitating sea of self-doubt.

What piece of advice do you wish you’d received when you were starting out?

We live in a world where nothing is ever good enough; where there is always more to be achieved. Nobody will ever criticise us, the way we criticise ourselves. I recently took some time off professionally to take a breather and find myself. In this time, I realised that I needed to take a step back from roles that involve managing individuals. It became clear to me that I prefer to manage projects, not people. Identifying this about myself has really helped subside my imposter syndrome. Just know that it is okay to feel this way at times.

What personal mantras or affirmations do you always revisit?

“Be your brand; be your biggest fan” is a mantra I swear by, and will always come back to. I’ve seen good friends find great success by adopting this mantra, so I can advocate that it works. When I’m in, I’m all the way in—it becomes my brand and my lifestyle. Being passionate about the here and now is something that I’ll always stand by.

SO HOT RIGHT NOW

Book?  My favourite book of all time is ‘Please Kill Me’ by Gillian McCain and Legs McNeil. It documents the birth of punk music and reading it literally changed my life. A career highlight of mine was interviewing Legs McNeil for Acclaim's 'Explorer' Issue in 2014.
Song/playlist? Lost in the Supermarket —The Clash. The lyricism speaks on my entire life trajectory: growing up feeling alienated and bored in the suburbs, struggling to accept capitalism and consumerism, and then being led into the machine as a means of survival.
Podcast?
The Business of Hype with Jeff Staple on Hypebeast Radio is the mentorship I’d always been searching for. Every episode is a must-listen.
Film clip? Crazy – Aerosmith. Alicia Silverstone and Liv Tyler living my 90’s rebel girl dreams. The opening scene of Alicia jumping out of the bathroom window in her saddle shoes was a re-enactment of me through most of high-school. 
 Snack?  I am weak for a carton of custard. I don't do things halfway.
 Drink? Matcha green tea with pearls, however, I’m hoping they introduce a sustainable boba cup and straw option. I’ll wait.
 Insta account? @mytherapistsays. Memes as therapy is my kink.
 Scent?Mario Badescu Rose Water Spray all up in my aura, please.

Follow Mia Besorio: @miabesorio
Cait: @caitemmaburke

Buy tickets to Mia's workshop at LOL Space HERE!