THAT GIRL: Maggie Poulos
Each summer Maggie Poulos takes a break from running her successful music PR firm, Mixtape Media, to do one of the things that lured her into the business: make and share music with a group of talented, passionate teens at a summer camp that is near and dear to Maggie’s heart. She describes being a mentor for these teens—creatively and personally—as one of the most rewarding aspects to working in the music business, especially when it comes to being a strong role model for young girls. “I believe there is power in not putting women in competition with one another,” says Maggie. “Let’s lift each other up, let’s all help each other.” Maggie’s positivity and strong sense of self are keys to growing her business in a highly competitive, male-dominated field. She credits her passion for making music—Maggie is currently recording her own work with a new band—as well as listening to and consuming music that helps her tune into and tell an artist’s unique story: “It’s hard work, but I can’t imagine doing anything else. And when you land something an artist really wants, that can be the best part of my day!”
If you could describe yourself in one hashtag, what would it be?
Tell us about a girl in your life who rocks.
There are so many! My friend Dr. Meredith Dank who is a Senior Research Associate at The Urban Institute rocks hard! This year she published a paper on LGBTQ Youth and "survival sex" - youth who are often misunderstood and marginalized out there doing sex work as their sole option for survival. She's giving a voice to so many voiceless people and I greatly admire her for bringing such an important issue to light. Additionally, she's one of the most hilarious people I know and we have great fun together.
What are you most proud of?
My friendships. I have so many wonderful people in my life. Some dating all the way back to birth and elementary school. Some I met as an adult in New York City. And so many in between. Good friendships feed the soul in the best way possible.
What piece of advice changed your life?
My father always says, "There is a solution to every problem," and I use that advice day in and day out. When I start to get anxious or stressed about issues that crop up, I remember that there *is* a solution, I just need to stay clear, find it and execute it.
What is one thing you love about yourself?
My empathy. It's so important to be able to empathize with the people around you (and even the people you don't know). We are all human and we all need to recognize that in one another and, most importantly, we should always err on the side of kindness.
What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken and what did you learn from it?
Moving to NYC at 23. I got a job in the music business and couch surfed for a while before I ended up in an apartment with some college friends. I learned that I can take those kinds of risks, do something no one else in my world was doing and become a part of a world that I was drawn to... all while making amazing friends and having incredible experiences along the way.
Why are you THAT GIRL?
I am THAT GIRL because I ascribe to the Shine Theory. That women should lift each other up and support one another and in doing so we all benefit. That we are not competitors, but allies. I was extremely fortunate to go to an all-girls school where that was taught, encouraged and practiced. I have a very strong sense of community and I apply that in everything I do.
*Interview conducted and compiled by Sheila Moeschen, IATG Senior Editor