We had the good fortune of connecting with Ivana Vera and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ivana, how do you define success?
To me, success is when you go for that one thing you want the most and pour your heart and soul to get it. But it is essential to understand that real success doesn’t come when others fall while you rise. It comes when you learn from your mistakes, as well as other people’s mistakes, and improve upon the situation. Never undermining others. And try not to let fear dictate your path. It is not easy, but then I find myself saying, “Why not? What’s the worst that could happen?” and then go ahead and do it. For me, it is easier to take it day by day and adjust accordingly to how situations change. Success is happiness. Being happy with your decisions while also understanding that happiness is an emotion, it comes and goes. Success is a state of mind. If you feel like you are successful, then you are. 

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
What I’m most proud of in my professional career is that I don’t let adversities stop me from growing. As an immigrant woman whose English is her second language, many limitations prevent me from following my dreams, but I have learned how to accept the ones I can’t control and keep going. At the end of the day, I will achieve my dreams, it might just take me a bit longer, and that’s okay. It hasn’t been easy, it never is, but I always trust my gut. If it doesn’t feel right because it will damage me somehow, I don’t do it, and I pick another option. One thing I have learned is that there’s always an option. You just need to choose the right one for you. Sometimes it might not be the best one or the one you wanted, but it is important to make the best out of every situation and continue your journey. What I want the world to know about me is that I’m a fighter, and I won’t stop fighting for what I want.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
In NYC, there are so many places to visit, but I would take them to my favorite museum, the American Museum of Natural History. For drinks to Vanguard Wine Bar in Hell’s Kitchen. Brunch in the Meatpacking district and after that a walk in the High Line. Take the ferry to Brooklyn instead of the subway, and enjoy the view of the city. Eat ice-cream at Eataly around the Flatiron building. Eat pizza at Pizza Suprema in midtown. A picnic in the Sheep Meadow at Central Park. And the Alley Cat bar in the Financial District. And many more places!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I definitely didn’t get to where I am by acting alone. My parents are the first people who have guided me in the right direction. Whenever I am in doubt, they are the first people I call. One of my undergrad professors, Alessandro Imperato, told me not to doubt myself and gave me the confidence to finish my senior project. He later helped me get into grad school. My Cross Country coach Mike Caldwell pushed me to be better every day. At my first job, Dustin Gilleland was really supportive and guided me through my shy phase at work, and helped me overcome workplace anxiety. Amanda Brodzik, one of the strongest women I know, was an essential person in my journey to know myself and value myself as a woman. And everyone in the motion graphics department of FCB Health. What an exceptional group of people who have taught me so much in the last two years. Finally, everyone who has been in my life at some point or another definitely helped me grow and become better.

Website: https://www.ivanavera.com
Instagram: @ivavera
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ivana-vera-604a02ba/
Twitter: @ivvera20
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ivana.vera

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