When you ask Iriet Schulman for one of her greatest career accomplishments, she'll tell you in 2016, she made 147 hires for one of the most iconic brands in the world: Condé Nast. Now its director, talent acquisition, working out of New York's One World Trade, you'd likely see her and imagine that this was always the path she was on; that she was practically born talking to some of the greatest talent in the media industry or chatting with Anna Wintour. But it wasn't until her mid-30s that Schulman pursued talent acquisition at all. She started her career in her hometown, Los Angeles, and was running a women's home when she decided to make the switch. The connecting bridge between the two careers? A passion for helping people.
In a Q&A with Fairygodboss, Schulman shared what it means to start a new career in your 30s, who inspires her to make a difference and what it's like to work at Condé Nast. She also shared her best advice for women seeking a fulfilling career — and what she dreams about now that she has a dream job.
Fairygodboss of the Week: Iriet Schulman
Director, Talent Acquisition at Condé Nast
New York, NY
Tell us a little about your career. How did you get to where you are now?
I used to run a women's home in Los Angeles. I loved helping people and wanted to shift gears while still helping those in need. I moved into talent acquisition and helping talent achieve their dream jobs. I started at the bottom at a staffing agency Randstad as an administrative assistant in my mid-30s. I knew I'd have to start at the bottom and be a sponge. From there, I was promoted to a recruiter and moved up in the ranks on the agency side. I moved to New York in 2013 and have been at Condé Nast since — learning with each step, growing and helping my amazing team develop in their careers.
What is an accomplishment that you are proud of?
Closing out 2016 with 147 hires in just one year!
What is a challenge that you've faced and overcome?
Starting a new career in my mid-30s. I started from the bottom and moved my way up from an administrative assistant at Randstad to director, talent acquisition at Condé Nast in under 10 years. I never gave up, learned from outstanding mentors/managers and helped those I manage to succeed and achieve their career goals.
Who is YOUR Fairygodboss? and why?
Honestly, my mom. From when I was a very young age, I watched the way my mom worked so hard in her career in organ and tissue donation and transplantation. She has the strongest work ethic I have ever encountered. The world back then was filled with men in the workplace, and she stood up strong and treated all she encountered with professionalism, kindness and respect. I am her no. 1 fan and she is my greatest mentor!
What do you do when you're not working?
Finding new recipes to cook up a delicious meal.
If you could have dinner with one famous person — dead or alive — who would it be?
Lightning Round: What is your karaoke song?
"What's Up" by 4 Non Blondes.
Lightning Round: What is your favorite movie?
Lightning Round: What book would you bring with you on a desert island?
"Becoming" by Michelle Obama.
Lightning Round: What is your shopping vice? What would you buy if you won the lottery?
If I won the lottery, I would buy a plane so I could fly to my hometown, Los Angeles, and visit my family and friends on a whim whenever I wanted.
What is the no. 1 career tip you'd like to share with other women who want to have successful careers like you?
Never give up on your dreams and it's never too late to shift gears in your career.
Why do you love where you work?
I get to be a part of a global digital media powerhouse where I get to work with amazing talent and iconic brands. And we have an amazing space downtown in One World Trade.