Making It 101: Seehum Isa

Seehum has a warmth you can feel from miles away. Sitting down with her is like talking to an old friend, and I am beyond lucky to call her one of mine. At only 22, she's already got a wealth of success under her belt, from giving a TED talk to writing a children's book. So like all good conversations start, we sat down over floral lattes and got to chatting.

Almost It Girl: Tell me a little bit about you.

Seehum Isa: I'm Seehum, but everyone calls me Hammy. I went to UT Arlington, and currently,  I'm the Communications Specialist for Sundance Square which is a private shopping development in the heart of downtown Fort Worth. I basically do all of their social media, advertising and help with marketing. Anything external or internal communications wise my eyes and hands are on it.

Almost It Girl: And how did you know that's what you wanted to do?

Seehum Isa: I studied Public Relations, my big dream is to work in the communications department at Pixar. That's always been the end goal. I didn't know this is where I'd be, but I think that's the beauty of being a PR person, or a communications person in general, is you can be a subject matter expert in whatever you choose to be.

Almost It Girl: Would you say you've always called yourself a creative?

Seehum Isa: Yes, because even though I can do a very black and white job, if I don't have a creative outlet I'll go nuts.

Almost It Girl: How did you find your form of creativity?

Seehum Isa: I've always loved to write since I was little, I'd write poems, I'd write stories, But I didn't start getting back into writing until I wrote my children's book. Then I thought I wanted to write a blog about something that mattered. Something that brought really uncomfortable issues to light in a really fun way. Kind of like TheSkimm. I wanted to talk about topics that aren't really talked about. Or the game of comparison, and coming off "perfect" in pictures.

Almost It Girl: Tell me more about your children's book.

Seehum Isa: My children's book is called, "I See You." I knew that I was getting really upset at the things people were saying out loud, and to one another after Trump was elected. And to calm myself down I had to sit down and realize that not everyone has the same upbringing as me. I thought maybe if we got to the root of the problem, our next generation could be different. I really wanted to write a book that told kids in the gentlest way what acceptance was. I wanted to highlight the difference between acceptance, and tolerance. Because tolerance is just another way to say ignore.

Almost It Girl: What are some of the challenges you faced in telling this specific story?

Seehum Isa: Just that no matter how simple you make it, people will always find a way to make it complicated. And they only want to make it complicated to make it ugly.

Almost It Girl: Tell me a little bit about your time in college, specifically the TED talk you gave. 

Seehum Isa: The Ted Talk came about because I have a Mexican-Catholic mother and a Palestinian- Muslim father. So growing up I was very confused as to which religion to follow. Because every time I inched near one, I felt like I was deceiving the other parent. So it was a whole thing of confusion, so my TED talk is about finding your own faith when you're born into two of them. I wish I could sit here and tell you that there is a happy ending, and I follow one or the other but I don't. So overall my TED talk is about just knowing that being a good person is enough.

Almost It Girl: What advice would you give to young creatives?

Seehum Isa: I always tell people in PR you have to follow up. And it's not enough to just send it your resume, your name will get lost in the pile. You have to follow up. The people who want it most will get it, and if they don't get what they want they will eventually get something better. Once you find what drives you, there's no stopping you.

Almost It Girl:W hat does hustle mean to you in 2018?
Seehum Isa: I think hustle in 2018 means always staying ahead, always being one step ahead of yourself. Because in this job market we don't even know who we're competing with. Also make sure that you keep yourself uncomfortable, because it'll make you the bravest human being ever.

You can read Seehum's blog here, and purchase her children's book here.

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