Today we are shining a spotlight on Allana Blumberg! Allana is a fourth-year Business Management student who transferred into Ryerson. I should also mention that she has over 20,000 followers on Instagram where she creates lifestyle and wellness content, she vlogs her life on YouTube and more recently, she launched her podcast this year. I know what you’re thinking, how does she have time to do it all? Well, I got to chat with her and she shared everything from her transfer experience to her favourite courses in the Business Management program. Here’s what she had to say…
S: Tell us about who you are, your hobbies and interests
A: I’m Allana, I’m 21 years old. I’m just out of the Toronto area, I work part-time at Lululemon as an educator, which is their fancy word for sales associate. I grew up dancing competitively, I did every sort of dancing, jazz, tap, you name it. I went to Laurier for two years, and I was in the business program there when I decided in June 2019 that I was going to transfer into Ryerson. I started here last fall, and now I’m majoring in marketing and minoring in retail. I guess I’m also a microblogger… I guess that’s the title you could put on it, and I just started my own podcast, Morning Rae.
S: How would you describe your experience at Ryerson so far?
A: Definitely different from what I experienced from Laurier; it was different having to commute to school and also being with students that are younger than me. Overall it’s been really great, I’ve enjoyed almost all of my courses since transferring. I’ve really fallen back in love with school which is great-it’s been a really great experience (at Ryerson) and one that I’m really happy to have taken on.
S: If you are comfortable sharing what made you decide to transfer to Ryerson?
A: I chose Ryerson because I was struggling with the social scene and the social hierarchy and cliques. I was kind of sick of it and I passed that stage in my life. I really wanted to do fashion for the longest time, and I realized I liked the business side of things like buying, merchandising and marketing for a retail company, as well as customer relationship management. I liked how I could do that as my electives at Ryerson, as opposed to doing traditional business. I spoke to some people from my high school who I knew were at Ryerson from the start, and in the program. I got their opinions and they really liked it.
S: Do you have a specific career goal that you have after graduating or anything you are looking forward to?
A: I would love to work for the social media team at Lululemon, or even the community outreach team. If I understand that job correctly, it’s working with their global and regional ambassadors and people in the community. For example, a run club leader, or someone that owns a yoga or fitness studio. Working with them to host events that connect the Lululemon community with their surrounding geographic community. Or ideally, to work for myself, that would be fun, creating a business for myself.
S: I think that would be cool, so I did a little LinkedIn stalking and I saw you worked as a social media and partnerships manager for Flourish Pancakes. What was that experience like?
A: I worked remotely and it was part-time. Come May, I went into the office and it became a full-time job. It was a very unique experience, it was a start-up. It wasn’t even one year old when I joined, I probably was the third employee. I had a lot of freedom, I could do anything as long as I didn’t bring the company down. It was a lot of self-learning and I applied a lot of things I learned from courses. It was a lot of learning from my team, and I hadn’t realized how much I learned until I left. I didn’t love every single part of it and I think it’s important to notice. You’re not always going to love every single part of your job, just like you don’t love every part of school-it’s about overcoming that and using your strengths to help pull you through.
S: Are you planning on doing any internships after this school year, or is your goal to finish school and then seek out career opportunities?
A: This wouldn’t really be an internship, but I just started working for Natalie Barbu (YouTuber). I’m her social media manager for her podcast’s Instagram. It’s part-time, around three to five hours a week. It’s just to explore that career path and see what it’s like to work for someone else. I want to finish my degree and potentially apply for a corporate position at Lululemon.
S: Was there any course that stood out to you at Ryerson?
A: Definitely the social media marketing course (RMG 922). It is under the retail management section I’m taking it right now and I absolutely love it. I think it’s fun taking a course that I can immediately apply to my life and social media.
S: Do you have any advice to people who are applying to this program?
A: There are so many people to connect with, which is great for networking. I wouldn’t “sleep on it” (referring to Ryerson), I wish I came here from the beginning. Be prepared to work.
S: As a wellness and lifestyle blogger on Instagram, how have you managed to balance school, your personal life? You play a lot of roles, and you’re in school full time.
A: I think it’s important to know what your priorities are. Just as someone may enjoy coding or sitting in front of Netflix for hours, we all have the same 24 hours in the day, it’s really about how you take your priorities and schedule it in. I love my planners, I use Google Calendar and I use my passion planner. Definitely planners are my best friend, they really help me visualize and see what my week is going to look like so I can schedule accordingly. Also, knowing when I need to step back, being aware of signs that you’re starting to burn out. For me, losing inspiration or ideas to post on my Instagram page or vlog for YouTube. I don’t pressure myself to post on my feed every day. Also knowing that it’s okay to do self-care. I saw this quote on Pinterest that said “self-care is being productive”. If you aren’t feeling your best you cannot perform your best.
S: Going back to how you create content for Instagram, have any of the skills you learned at Ryerson helped you?
A: Marketing really helped me with metrics like marketing metrics, I understand the analytic parts behind it. Also the psychology behind connecting with my followers or target demographic. Focusing on needs and wants, and I do that through adding value in my posts. I’ll do that through A/B testing (user experience research methodology), which I learned in school. Now with the social media marketing course, I’m getting an even greater understanding of how to best utilize my platforms for growth.
S: What is the podcast about and your reason for starting it?
A: Morning Rae is a health and wellness and self-improvement podcast. I plan on interviewing influencers to entrepreneurs that are local to Toronto and also really well-known influencers. I asked Kenzie Elizabeth (YouTuber), basically just getting different perspectives on what it means to live a healthy lifestyle, being your own boss, productivity tips. Even breaking the stigma of mental health and I have a series called “What my therapist said” which brings conversations about normalizing therapy, because I think a lot of people don’t really know what actually goes on in the sessions.
S: How would you describe Ryerson in three words?
A: Open, modern and unique.
S: Is there anything that you would like to share with future students of Ryerson?
A: It’s never too late to start and to stop waiting and just start now.
And there you have it! I hope that you got to know more about Ryerson, the Business Management program and Allana a little better!
See you soon,