OWJ Program

Ready, Set, Shoot!!

So, Wednesday was the big day.  The day of our photo shoot. The studio was sweet, the models were hot, the crew was organized, the agency was happy, and and the photos were fantastic!

The day started at 8am when crew members started arriving.  We had stayed late at the studio the night before, and set up the basics so that we didn't have to worry about it the morning of.  There was a role of white-seamless paper serving as the backdrop, which was then highlighted by 2 sets of strobes, and a huge strobe out in front to highlight the models.  Watch Henrieta and her assistant Zach set it up here:  Shoot Set-Up

The shoot flowed like this: A model would come in, get their hair and makeup done, Henrieta would talk with the Creative Agency about how they wanted the model to pose, and then tweak any lights based on the positioning of the models.  Then there was about 45 minutes to an hour where the actual shooting would happen.

Henrieta was constantly chatting to the models, encouraging them, cracking jokes, and basically setting the tone of the shoot.  That's what amazed me the most, I think - how calm everyone was!!  I've been on film and television sets where people seem almost frantic.  In the end, that's not going to prevent any heart attacks - and Henrieta knew her stuff, so why by worried?!  One of my favorite quotes from her is referring to the set up as (ear muffs!) "Dog Shit Simple."

Even when the clients of the National Canadian chain store arrived to check everything out - Henrieta never wavered.  That really impressed me.  Even when my eyes were starting to bug out a bit from the constant flashing, and I was getting tired - Henrieta was in her element.  When I asked her about this later - she admitted that she would definitely be bagged later, but that in the moment you just do what you have to do!  And Henrieta obviously loves what she does.

I did what I could to help out - clearing dishes, making coffee (with the sweet studio espresso machine!), and learning from the camera assistants and watching the shoot go down.  Everyone was incredibly kind to me - and really interested in the One Week Job program!  I love the team atmosphere of shoots like this...I definitely enjoyed that about television production and can see myself continuing to work in this kind of environment.  Everyone has a job, but they help out where they can.

Some other gems I've learned from Henrieta so far include:

- Pictures with people in them, are much more interesting than those without.  When doing travel photography, Henrieta would often wait until her shot of the beach or garden was free of people.  When she got back she says it looked like there wasn't anyone living in that country...!

- It's all about connections.  If you're a photographer's assistant just starting out, and you're a hard worker and gain the trust of established photographers, you can often access their studio space or equipment - for FREE.

- As a photographer, you're also often a psychologist.  You're dealing with emotion constantly, and have to be able to listen and read people just as well as you direct them.

- Be persistent!  Find the people who can help you get work - and bug the crap out of them until they get you work!!

The day finished an hour or so EARLY! That's how organized this crew was...insane.  I helped Henrieta back to her house with the left over craft services, where we hung out on her patio and snacked on left over sandwiches and drank some delicious beverages...;)

BUT!  I should make a move...I'm meeting her for afternoon tea!!

Tonight, we're headed out to a show where Henrieta's showing off some of her prints - sounds classy.  I'll be back with a full report!

Love love love


Check out Henrieta's website: http://www.henrietahaniskova.com/

Week 1: Photographer

Ah!! I just got home from Day #2 as a professional photographer. Henrieta.is.so.cool! On day #1 I met her at her house, where she promptly started feeding me(!). We chatted for over an hour - everything from her immigration to Canada at 19yrs old, how she started shooting, and how she's "bullied" herself into working for other photographers.

I sat in on a conference call from the creative agency and the client behind the shoot (hello Skype!), as they talked about licensing fees, wardrobe, the shot list, and the shoot schedule for Wednesday.  In this case, Henrieta's job isn't just that of photographer - she's been contracted to organize a huge portion of the shoot.  This includes hiring the hair and makeup artists, the casting agent and 'talent' (models), as well as her own assistants.  She's also in charge of renting the studio space, renting the gear for the shoot, and picking up craft services (the food on-set). I had no idea photography consisted of such organization...

For the entire afternoon, Henrieta was either on the phone or online, planning and organizing everything around the shoot.  What kind of food should we bring to set?  Was the talent available?  In this case, a model had declined the shoot and another had to be found - 2 days before the shoot.  A few phone calls (To the hair stylist: "The agency thinks she looks too young, can we grey her hair a little bit?") and emails later, we had our models and were good to go.

I definitely get the sense that to be a freelance photographer, you have to be willing to hustle.  No one's going to come to you - you have to go to them. And even if you DO manage to get to them ("them," being a photographer, a creative agency, or a client), and force-feed them your portfolio, there's still no guarantee that they'll remember you when the time comes for a shoot.  You have to constantly fight for position in their mind, reminding the photographer/agency/client that you're the best for the job.

This takes an insane amount of self-confidence and persistency - of which Henrieta has in droves.  She told me a story of one photographer who was known throughout the city for not hiring women.  She was a fan of his work, and would call his office every couple months to try and set up a face-to-face meeting. It got so his assistant would flat out tell her, "He doesn't work with women, you know that!"  Every year, this photographer held an "invitation-only" shooting event, and Henrieta was dead-set on shooting it.  During the show for this event one year (which she forked over $45 just to attend), she tried to meet the man behind the lens - and succeeded to have a short conversation close to the end of the nite.  The next Monday, she called him: "Hi!  Remember me?  We met Friday.  I'm 10 minutes away from your studio, and I'm going to stop by."

He agreed, and met with her for a couple minutes - just long enough to casually flip through her portfolio, and just as quickly - dismiss it.  "Why should I hire you?!  I need someone who's going to be able to pack gear!  My studio's on the second floor - and you need to be able to handle it.  I never work with women."

Maybe she was slightly discouraged - but I doubt it.  Henrieta called the photographer back the NEXT DAY.  "Hi, this is Henrieta. We met yesterday? Well, I thought about what you said, and I get your point.  When can I start working for you?"

Henrieta got a call from him 3 days later - and worked with him for the next 5 years!  And as for the "invitation-only" event - she was invited to shoot it last year.

I love this!!  This girl doesn't take "NO" for an answer.  And that's what kind of attitude you HAVE to have, if you're going to make it in the freelance world.  There's a lot of competition out there, and you have to make yourself stand out.

On Day #2, I met her for lunch, shopped for on-set food-stuffs, and then headed to the studio to start setting up.  It is such a gorgeous space: huge windows take up one wall and the ceilings are about 15 feet high - a totally open-concept-loft-type space.  As we set up (I helped a bit with the light stands), Henrieta talked about how she loved the technical side of all this, "It's like Kindergarten - we're building stuff!"

The studio we're using is also used for the TD bank ad campaign, so the famous 'TD Chair' was there - and I got to sit in it! (for those of you in the U.S - it's just a big, comfy, green chair - that is in every ad you see for this bank!)

Tomorrow morning, bright and early, we'll be at the studio to set up the food for the clients and the agency reps who will be there, as well as the 10 models coming in for their close-up.  No doubt it will be a long day, but with Henrieta's hard work, I have no doubt the shots will come out looking fab.

Until then...!



Hot Job: Life as a Coffee Roaster

Week 1 of the One-Week Job Project is underway and I am beyond grateful for today. I am in heaven working alongside head roaster of Jittery Joe's Coffee, Charlie Mustard. Jittery Joe's is a unique coffee company for many reasons:

When I initially found out I got the chance to be in the One Week Job Program, I knew one of my jobs had to center around Coffee! Ever since my freshman year of college in Chicago, I have been captivated by all things coffee. It was absolutely necessary to consume this hot delicacy to make it through my 7:15 AM classes. Not only this, but in working at the on-campus coffee shop, I learned what's most important about coffee: it brings people together.

This may seem weird for my to wax on this topic of coffee but I love it because coffee is so much more than just a good beverage or trendy thing to carry around. Here are a few things to consider:

Coffee and Cafes provide a venue for community to happen-everyday people gathering to share life, eat, drink, and take a breather from the daily rush.

Roasters buy green beans from coffee farmers and this provides wages for people to live on! Also, the coffee industry employs many people from all over the world who thrive because of simple coffee beans and tried and true, brewing methods.

Coffee is both an art and science and inspires creativity. Despite roasting being highly subjective, there is a benefit to this: the roaster has free reign and freedom to experiment to create the best coffee.

To give you a quick recap of my day:

I arrived at the Jittery Joe's at 8 AM sharp after walking 4 minutes from the apartment downtown where I am staying.

Side Note: It pays to let your needs be known friends! On Saturday night, I still did not have lodging for my week in Athens. When my brother returned from work, I whined about my predicament. He then realized his connection to a UGA student who has a sweet apartment that is not occupied for the summer. 1 hour later, I had a key, a free parking place, and the address!

Getting back to my day: After meeting Charlie Mustard, the roast master and my boss for the week, I was given a tour of the roasting facility. It is amazing to see the behind the scenes at a roastery. To see a 360 degree view of where I am working, click here.

Charlie wanted me to get a good overview on coffee and the whole process so most of my morning was spent reading "The Science of Espresso" at the Five Points Jittery Joes Location. I took copious notes to help me learn the most possible about roasting this week.

After a fabulous lunch at Mama's Boy, a local Athens, GA restaurant, it was time to roast.

Charlie walked me through the whole process and taught me what color the beans should be at each stage of the roast. I enjoyed learning how to blend and even got to help bag the coffees in preparation for canning tomorrow!

3.5 Hours later...Charlie and I had roasted over 300 pounds of coffee!

To learn more about my adventures this week, stay tuned! Wednesday, I will post again.  Feel free to leave Comments and questions below. Follow me on twitter & Email me: bestweekjob(at)gmail.com (Still setting up one-week jobs for August!)

Till Next Time,

Kieley B.

Lesson #1, or 'Amanda Needs to be a Better Planner'

Alright! Pop Quiz! Remember when I mentioned that these jobs would morph and grow, and morph again?!  Well, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to OWJ Lesson 1! Lesson #1: Communication

You'd think that a University Grad with a Degree in Communications (me.), would realize the importance of this action!  I guess a little reminder is always a good thing...

As I plan (and keep planning) for these jobs and weeks coming up, I admit that I tend to get a little carried away. The second an idea enters my mind, I instantly start to assume/plan/tweak that idea - even when it's still simply that.  Nothing is concrete or confirmed, but in MY mind, it is.

This recently got me into a bit of a mix-up in regards to my first job.  An employer had given me a positive response, and for some reason, in my mind, I took that to mean 'MONDAY START DATE.'  Of course, when I went to reconfirm, it was definitely late notice, and a complete surprise to the employer!  In the meantime, of course, I'd told all my friends and family that I was going to be working at this job, and was now unsure if I even had a job for Week 1, only three days before the start date!


To make a semi-long story short - if I had been more clear and precise in my words and actions - this mix-up wouldn't have happened. Instead of getting all excited and then forgetting to communicate my desire to start the next week, I should have called the next day to officially set it up. It was my fault for assuming, and should have shown more respect for the time of the business involved - it's not easy to take on a stranger for a week!

In the end, I apologized for putting the employer in a tight spot, and both of us expressed our desire to work together on this OWJ project sometime later this summer (with more notice, of course!).

Now I had to find another job!  Haha!  For starters, I am so lucky to have such an amazing support group of friends all over this country.  I've only lived in Toronto for a short while, but have met some incredible people who I have become close with.  I met Henrieta through one of these friends, and Henrieta is a photographer.

The first time (and come to think of it, the ONLY time) we met, was over a year ago to discuss a joint video and photography project.  The project didn't come to fruition, but we became Facebook friends and I kept tabs on her that way!

She grew up in Socialist Czechoslovakia, where she actually trained and worked as a nurse.  Here's a quote from her website biography:

"And then, unexpectedly, came the Velvet Revolution of 1989. Soon after, I packed a small suitcase and flew across the ocean, to Canada. My first job was as a Nanny, and with my very first paycheck, I bought myself an OM1 Olympus manual SLR."

A few years down the road, Henrieta is a full-time photographer, and winning all sorts of awards for her work.  Lucky me - she has agreed to let me spend my first week with her!!  I'm excited to learn more about her journey, and help her do a job that I've so often dreamed of doing...

I've always felt that photography is a big part of who I am.  I'm definitely a visual person, always trying to find a new angle or way of looking at things.  I actually looked into photography before committing to Television production, but decided that I would rather use a video as my medium, as opposed to still-shooting.

Photography is pivotal.  Whereas in video you have hours of tape at your disposal, in still-photography you have one moment to capture an entire story.  The best photographs make you feel something - disgust, anger, wonder, elation.  A good photograph can make you cry.  Those are the kinds of pictures I want to take - I want to make people FEEL.

"I found that while the camera does not express the soul, perhaps a photograph can!"  - Ansel Adams

This week Henrieta has invited me to help her with an advertising piece she's doing for a national Canadian chain store.  We'll be meeting with clients, gathering props, setting up the studio, and then shooting!!

I want to learn what it takes to be a pro - how to get the clients, how to build a portfolio, what kind of cost is involved, film vs digital work, photo editing, and much, much more.

One more sleep...let the adventure begin!!

Love Love Love


To check out Henrieta's work, visit: www.henrietahaniskova.com

Don't Want to Waste My Life

In 3 days, my life is going to change drastically. I am saying goodbye to my current job in TN

-working at a local bakery, and saying hello to 8 new jobs!

When I found out about the One-Week Job Program thru a tweet, I was struck with the thought: "This is what I've been dreaming about!"

To start off the adventure, I will be heading South to Athens, Georgia to work as a coffee roaster at Jittery Joes Coffee. I am ecstatic to work alongside roastmaster Charlie Mustard for a week. You might have always thought coffee just grew on a tree and the beans were picked and ready to go, but there is so much more to it!

Check out http://www.jitteryjoes.com to see what they're all about and to order coffee!

So you're probably wondering what my 8 jobs are for the summer...

I'm not going to share all, but here's a sneak peak:

I will be traveling to Georgia, Wyoming, Washington, Tennessee, and possibly a few other states. You can look forward to reading about my week as a backpacking guide, a photographer, and as a marketer for a national retail company.

If any readers are located in these states and would be willing to host me or want to meet for coffee, or even invite me to dinner, email me: bestweekjob@gmail.com

How do I feel right now?

I'd like to say I'm confident, prepared, and fearless, but I am definitely the opposite! I feel good about this whole project though because it's already challenged me in huge ways.

Here are some things I'm learning:

1. Don't assume that the answer will be no.

Contacting different employers to set up jobs for this summer has been challenging since fear kicks in and makes me think I will be rejected. I have pushed through though, contacted companies that seem out of reach, and it has paid off!

2. Some people just don't get it and that's okay.

When someone initially hears I will be working 8 different jobs this summer, I am often met with an intense look of confusion. The idea is quite strange: I'm quitting my job to travel around the U.S. in search of my passion. Most of my friends and family "get it" and understand that this program has Kieley Best's name all over it. Some other people I've talked to didn't get the point of this summer adventure and repeatedly asked, "Why?"

Who cares if they don't think this is the most innovative program and that this is a huge opportunity.

To close this post, let me share a quote that I used in my high school graduation post:

"Do not go where the path may lead. Instead, go where there is no path and leave a trail." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

It's ironic that I used that quote 2 years ago and it very eloquently sums up my life right now.

Get ready to follow the most crazy quest for my passion this summer! 10 days and counting...


If you are an employer and interested in having me work for you for a week, email me: bestweekjob@gmail.com

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From Google to Gumption: The Time is Now

This blog post was written on June 13th, 2010: Hi. :)

My name is Michelle, and I'm a 22-year-old college graduate who majored in Psychology. If you watched my application video, you already know a few things about me – that I like dancing, music, green tea, showers, deep discussions, and people. I'm also an avid learner, which is why I have a serious habit of googling everything.

That's how I came upon the One-Week Job Program.


During the Christmas break before my last semester of college, I was having a personal struggle regarding how to move forward with my life. As a psychology major, you're supposedly limited...a belief that many people remind me of daily. It seems to me that when you're a Liberal Arts major, people worry/criticize heavily about your life after undergraduate studies. All arrows point only to postgraduate education.

I chose to study Psychology because aside from the fact that it just “felt right” in comparison to all my other options, I had always been concerned with the mind, behavior, how the two interacted, and how they manifested in different people. So Psychology it was. However, it didn't stay that way all four years. Over the course of my undergraduate career, I constantly analyzed my academic concentration.

I vaguely remember changing my major once and my minor several times, eventually graduating with what I had started. So you see, I experienced much guilt...understandable, given societal standards, external pressure, and everything between. Back to Christmas break and my personal struggle. I was struggling because I felt guilty that I had not made one concrete decision about my future.

I'm the type of person that tries to do what I feel, and I felt that applying to graduate school or applying for just any job was a terrible idea. I didn't know why. I just knew that I didn't want to be lazy, but I didn't want to settle. Still, another thing I knew was that just in case I decided somewhere down the road that I wanted to apply for a job, I needed to be prepared. So, I turned to Google for help.

I felt as if the best way to build the framework for a successful job search was to think as if I were an expert. Most of my expert-centered hunting led me to websites of recruitment technology. After bookmarking many helpful sites for later, I came across CareerWaymark.com, the blog of recruitment technology guru Scott Williamson. I found the posts to be so wonderful that I spent several hours reading each one, stopping to read the reference links as well.

One of the posts made me look twice. It was about a man named Sean Aiken...trying 52 jobs for a year ? Sean sounded like a guy after my own heart. I clicked on through to read the article from which the post came. After that, I did more “Sean-focused” googling out of intense curiosity, but my fatigue won me over minutes later. I concluded that I had found enough resources to aid me in a top-notch job search; I closed my computer and felt at peace.

I had this strong feeling in me that even though I could not define how at the moment, my future was going to be just fine. I felt as if I was meant to be a part of something...something that would enable me to grow and help others...something that not everyone would understand or agree with...something that wouldn't be orthodox, but that would be important to do. I wanted this “something” very badly, so...even though I didn't really know what “it” meant, I went with it.

Come the new year, I went back to the university for my final semester of undergraduate schooling. On a random day, I remembered Sean and fell upon this site. I noticed a heading I hadn't noticed before: “Program.” Per my thorough nature, I read everything I could've possibly read about the Program, and smiled. Everything about the Program resonated in me. I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life, and I was ready to do something about it-just not something that would lock me down in a situation I wasn't indubitably happy with.

I wanted to live every day with fervency, nothing less. I had always been inclined to apply for opportunities for the sole reason that I really wanted to be a part of them, not for prestige or anything of the sort. Yet, my feelings about this Program were different from anything I had ever experienced. Wacky thoughts such as “this was made for me” actually came to my brain. I truly believed that my blind faith that something was out there for me brought me to this chance. Though I could not define what I was feeling at that moment, I wanted to be a One-Week Job Program participant very badly, so I went with it.

"Wanting my want to not leave me wanting. Yearning, needing, craving, thirsting, longing. Working. Proving. And perhaps, pleading."


As I mentioned before, this was the first time I had an overflowing heart for something. Applying felt so right that I was afraid to do it. Surely you know what I'm describing. I was afraid that my passion was so much so that, were I not to succeed, I'd be intensely disappointed. Disappointment ain't painless, friends. Nevertheless, I knew that my old ways were just that, old. This was a possibility to put my passionate ways to work. I needed to jump in the water and be okay with the chance that I might run into a shark. I pressed on, only with my heart, leaving all “what if” thoughts behind.

“What if” is a phrase of fear, and of pride. If you don't go for what you believe in, you can't fail. Yes, life is less frightening that way, and you're technically always right about what is to happen, but life that way is also...lifeless. Take action more often than not. While you will be risking failure, you'll also be “risking” success.

Sounds like a great risk to me.

With regard to my application, I wanted it to be engaging, honest, universal, and totally representative of me. I had to have faith for that too, and wait until the right time to produce a video/written application that I thought satisfied all those criteria. This move of my mine turned out to be a great one. Now, two weeks later, I still have not found sufficient words to express how...how lucky I feel. Lucky to have such wonderful support from such wonderful people, some of whom I've never met. I have received several emails and messages from individuals who have expressed their joy and confidence in me.

Some people have thanked me for saying the words they felt they could not say, and doing the things they felt they could not do. I'm not quite sure I'm deserving of them, but due to the responses, I feel both encouraged and humbled. I feel encouraged because I know now that it is true: Whatever you think about, you bring about. If I believe, it will come. I'm humbled because I know that I need others to evolve. I cannot achieve what I want and live with passion without the grace of another. I fully trust in this truth now.

"...Your time is all you really own in life...extravagant possessions can’t match the satisfaction you get from finding new experiences, meeting new people, and learning new things about yourself...the best experiences in life can be had for the price of showing up."


I appreciate the fact that Amanda, Kieley, and I have to find our own jobs. It hasn't been easy, but it's been invigorating. I've spoken to so many employers (even employers who can't take me on) who are eager to talk about how they love what they do, and how it's important for everyone to find what they love to do and live it. I've learned so much already due to both the voting process and the job search. Self-promotion, optimal information search, and negotiation are valuable skills that we all need to learn. I won't even talk about the ability to possess both confidence and humility. These are great traits to cultivate as well.

As for the "jobs” search, I wanted to be flexible and cater to some of my own skills and interests at the same time. I wanted to travel so I could really force creativity, independence, and awareness. I contacted friends, favorite companies, and sites whose visions aligned with that of the One-Week Job Project as a way to find employers. I also had a desire to do jobs that most people had never heard of, but that search hasn't really been fruitful.

Now when I use the word “flexible,” I mean I searched for occupations that I would never EVER!!! do on a normal day. I won't give it away – you'll see. I always think that it is vital we become exposed to much, to learn and become much, so I must, as they say, “go out of my comfort zone.” Being a participant of the One-Week Job Program demands personal growth, so I'll do all that I can to make that happen. The time is now, otherwise there will never be at time. I know you know what I am talking about!

I expect nothing from this adventure, but I have goals. During the course of each of my eight jobs, I aim to learn loads about myself, others, and what attracts different people to different occupations. I want to gain an appreciation and understanding for the words “work,” “job,” and “career.” People have different definitions for these words. Some people use these words readily, and some people do not. What differentiates these types of people ? I want to find out.

I won't be afraid, but I'll be aware, smart-minded. I won't be too concerned with “finding what I want to do in life” or what I'm going to do after the Program is over. That really isn't how I view the Program's purpose, and I have a suspicion that life cannot be that simple. If it is, it's not that simple for me. I don't think the meaning of life can ever really be found, but the path to it can be. What is simple for me is that I'm in this for the new experiences and new people.

I'm in this to test all the things we're raised to believe. I want to find out for myself what is true and what is not true, what is good and what is not good. I'm in this to come into my own more. If anything, the only thing I think about my future is that I want to continue being exposed to novelty, and keep making mistakes, keep becoming less perfect while doing so. I want to keep learning because it's fun and fueling. I'm in this Program to stay alive, not just to exist. I'm in this. Wherever I am, there I am. Yes, yes, yes.

Okay, so what about You? Well, I consider you my friend, even if I have never met you. Whenever I do something, you are doing it with me. “i means You.” I'm writing for You really, not me. In subsequent blog posts, I hope to exhibit personal growth to you, and I hope to make you think about your own life (and maybe laugh?) through different methods – my personal musings, randomness, reference links, dancing, etc.

I'll be talking about the jobs, of course, but the implications of my involvement in them will transcend the environment I'm in at the time. I want to hear what you have to say. Feel free to respond to/discuss with/question me and others through my blog, be your thoughts negative or positive. If you need it, I hope to give you hope. This journey is about me, but it is also about You. What You do, what You love, what You want. We need each other, so let us be there for each other.

So if you have time, follow me, share with me, help me. I need You. I don't know what the heck I'm doing, but I'm doing it anyway. I think this is more than fine...wonderful even...and I'm just going to assume you agree. Thank You so much for that.


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On My Feet

I've been on my feet for the last 3 days.  Standing in one place.  For 12 hours a day.  I'm pretty sure my legs are gonna start to bleed soon...but no worries, its not like I haven't done this before... I'm shooting a conference in Toronto, and by "shooting" I mean camera operating.  I've been working in television production for the last 5 years, and have held positions such as art assistant, editor, reality TV production coordinator, videographer, and many others in between.

To be honest, it’s been amazing!  I've made some of my best friends and had some great life experiences. I mean, how

many people can say that they’ve shot exotic sports cars while hanging out of a helicopter and flying through the rocky mountains (I have)!  I've met celebrities, made decent money, and traveled (if you count going from southern Alberta to northern British Columbia traveling?).

As a female shooter, I have felt privileged. There are definitely women out there, but just the other day I had a camera guy from the Toronto Sun ask me how it felt to be one of only 5 camera girls in the city... Wow.

I definitely enjoy the team aspect of these jobs - working together with a crew to create a newscast, an episode, a story. At one point in my life I could legitimately say that I didn't know anyone who wasn't involved in television in some way. The bonds created on set are strong, and I would often find myself spending up to 12 hours a day with these people.

But, as much as I've learned and experienced, and as amazing as my “career” has been, I still get the sense that there's something else out there for me.  I have my Bachelor of Communication Studies degree, but have never used it...and I'm curious.  Shouldn't I get a "grown-up job?!"  Ha!

Enter One Week Job.

I was reading the newspaper on the subway one day, and came across an article on Sean Aiken and his 52 jobs in 1 year. I kept it. Literally cut the piece out of the paper, and stored it away. The story mentioned a program (and if you're reading this, you obviously know what I'm talking about!) where contestants would work through a mini-version of Sean's 52-week extravaganza, and come out with a stronger idea as to what their passion is.

Why not?  I’m young.  I’m fearless (except for the occasional Toronto driver and bad smelling deli meat).  I thought that this program could really change things…shake me up in a good way.

When I entered the One Week Job contest, I had NO idea how many people would lend their support! It was overwhelming and hilarious and humbling, to see so many of my friends and family get on board and spread the word! Complete strangers joined my cause on twitter, new friends added me to Facebook, and my Facebook newsfeed was literally taken OVER by posts, urging people to “Vote Amanda!” I even heard stories of family members in rural areas waiting an hour and a half on dial-up internet, just so they could cast their vote!

The last night of voting in particular was social networking at its finest!  It seemed like everyone I knew was sitting at their computers, counting the votes and cheering me on!  A huge thank you to everyone who voted - it's only because of you that I'm here.  The generosity and movement of the fans behind this program is incredible.

Also - a huge congrats to the other OWJ girls!  Michelle and Kieley, I hope you guys have a great time, and get as much out of this program as possible. And thanks for making the voting that much more intense!

Since being voted into the program, these last few weeks have been filled with a massive amount of emails, phone calls and advice-giving. Trying to figure out some kind of schedule for my 8 weeks it's a lot tougher than I thought it would be! It almost seems like too short a time to do everything I want to do! My list of jobs has morphed and grown, and morphed again.

As I write this, I have one week to go before I launch myself into this program.  The jobs are arranging themselves and some great people have stepped up to the plate for me. This summer is going to morph and grow and morph again. And if there's one lesson I need to learn, it’s the patience needed to just let that change happen.

I'm still on my feet, but no longer in the same place.  These next 8 jobs, will be something I've never done before.

Love Love Love

- Amanda

OWJ Program Participants Selected

Thank you so much to everyone who voted - we received close to 11,000 votes over the past week! I'm so inspired by the great response! We hope to continue growing the program in subsequent semesters to make it accessible to many. For now, there are three participants that will take part in the first ever semester of the One-Week Job Program.

They will set up and work 8 different One Week Job's to help further them along the path of deciding what they'd like to do for a career. The best part is that they will be sharing this experience through blog posts on the OneWeekJob.com website; they’ll share stories from the road, all the career and life lessons they’re learning, and provide readers with an insight into the 8 different jobs - Week #1 starts June 28th!

Over the next few weeks, you'll learn more about the three participants, their progress in lining up the jobs, and what they hope to gain from the experience, but for now here are their brief profiles:

    Summer 2010 Program Participants

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Michelle, 22, Irving TX

An unconventional and half-introverted college graduate who has a passion for self-awareness, knowledge, progression, free thought, effective communication, people, truth, and...well, passion.

I am inspired by: “that which I do not know.” I regret: "all the times I feel incapable of doing "amazing things" in the world." Today I am grateful for "my life, and tomorrow I will feel no different."

Amanda, 25, Toronto, ON

Curly-haired girl with a ready laugh who likes to take pictures and explore.

I am inspired by: “people who can challenge themselves and still manage to keep their wits, the Rocky Mountains, and soy lattes." I regret: "closing my eyes on the 'Space Mountain' rollercoaster at Disneyland when I was ten. Apparently it was a really great ride." Today I am grateful for "opportunity. I am so incredibly lucky to have the freedom and confidence to travel, learn, and make new connections."

Kieley, 20, Cleveland, TN

20-year-old dreamer who gets stoked about trying new things, loves coffee, free stuff, and hanging out with authentic people.

I am inspired by: “people who live meaningful lives that are willing to take risks and do crazy cool things that the average person would call absurd or impossible." I regret: "letting a lot of my decisions be based on what society accepts and based on what people the ideal life path is." Today I am grateful for "my hammock-it only cost me $20 and laying in it is so relaxing!"

    Original 60 second video applications

Michelle, 22, Irving TX

Amanda, 25, Toronto, ON

Kieley, 20, Cleveland, TN

It's going to be an exciting summer for Michelle, Amanda, and Kieley - stay in the loop by signing up for updates on the homepage!

Vote now for the One Week Job Program!

Week 47 - Firefighter : Jump shot in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.We’re excited to announce the finalists for the first semester of the One-Week Job Program. It’s now your turn to vote! The two chosen candidates will set up and perform 8 different one week job's this summer. They will blog about their experience on the OneWeekJob.com website; they’ll share stories from the road, all the career and life lessons they’re learning, and provide readers with an insight into the 8 different jobs.

Meet the finalists, and vote for the person that you want to be selected - voting closes next Monday, May 31st at midnight!

Get Your Vote On!