Nyla Wissa ’16

Nyla Wissa, 2016

Bio: Nyla Wissa is a Los Angeles-based Social Media Manager. Raised in Boston, Nyla graduated from Emerson College with a bachelor in Theater Education: Acting. Six months after graduating, she moved to Los Angeles to work for the ELA program in Alumni Relations. About 6 months into her career she landed a job with BuzzFeed as a Social Media Strategist where she stayed for a little over a year. She currently works at Shondaland as a Social Media Manager for Shonda Rhimes.

What does a typical day look like for you working at Shondaland?:

Hm. My days vary. Most days, I’m surfing the web for breaking news, watching episodes of shows that haven’t been aired, going to table reads, and building social schedules for Shonda’s personal social media. I’ve also started producing videos for Shondaland.com and editing those videos takes up some of my time as well.

What was the most exciting or memorable event for you when crossing that inevitable bridge from student to professional?:

I had two exciting moments. The first was moving to LA and the other was landing my job with BuzzFeed. Moving to LA was a huge jump for me. My life was Boston, it was home so I really had to start over when I moved. It was scary, but I’ve grown in ways I can’t really articulate. Everyone’s journey is different though. I had no choice but to grow up. Yes. My family and I are extremely close, but they live on the opposite side of the country, I’m too prideful when it comes to asking for things, and they don’t come from money. I didn’t realize how extremely different being an adult in college and being an adult post-college was until moving to LA.

The second was landing my job at BuzzFeed. It was my dream job in school. I remembering watching videos and thinking, “that’s going to be me one day” and then hustling and making it happen was very rewarding. That was the first time I achieved something I set my mind to post-grad and it felt damn good to get it done.

What does representation for womxn mean to you in the fields of art and entertainment?:

I think, given the climate we’re in, representation is more important than ever. I’m so proud to work for Shonda Rhimes because her beliefs align with mine. It’s crazy though that she’s one of the pioneers to be normalizing every day people’s story. You know? Trans people, POC, LGBTQ, women, Muslim folk. etc. should not feel misrepresented or unheard in media because these are people we see in everyday life (unless you live in a box). It’s mind boggling to me that their stories have not been told until now.

But it’s also important to note that not everyone can speak for themselves due to whatever circumstances and It’s important to speak for those that cannot speak for themselves. To share their stories because they are just as important and not because you feel personally connected. We’re in a time and space where we make things about ourselves. We literally have an unstable, dangerous man running this country. We’re in a time where social media platforms coexist with movies and TV shows. You don’t need a million Instagram followers to change ONE person’s perspective.

What advice would you offer a graduating senior interested in relocating to Los Angeles?:

If you’re interested in relocating, relocate. Simple. If you have a dream, wake up and make it a reality. It’s not a fairytale. You’re going to struggle; post-college is not fairytales and cotton candy. You’ll think, “what the hell was I thinking?” But it’s worth it. When you openly claim something into the universe, it automatically becomes yours. You should trust that hardships are only temporary and if things came easy what fun would life be?

Who would you love to collaborate with on a project and why?:

I guess in a way I’m already collaborating with Shonda. But Shonda. She challenges ideas but respects them at the same time. Everything she does, she does with love. She’s a genius. I’ve only been here for a few months and have not felt this motivated to explore different facets of this industry.