Vanessa Rivera is the A/V Project Coordinator for the Store Design’s Tech Services team. With a background in theater, Vanessa’s talents revolve around A/V and tech services for our new stores and the Global Home Office.
Vanessa is also the incoming Co-Chair for the BIPOC & Allies Associate Resource Group, beginning this fall.
Read more below, then follow along on a day in Vanessa’s @LifeatANF.
- Tell us about your role and what you are responsible for at A&F Co.
I primarily help manage vendors and maintain a series of trackers to ensure new stores’ A/V and lighting equipment orders are on schedule. I also help manage the Teams rooms and provide the occasional tech support for events on campus, so you’ll probably catch me running around every so often with equipment in one hand and coffee in the other.
- What has been your career path so far?
People would probably never guess that my background is in theater! I started my theater tech journey in high school, and when I realized that college was not the thing for me, I jumped into the Houston theater scene as a full-time stage manager/stagehand in 2016. I freelanced for a variety of theaters, including one of Houston’s up-and-coming Latinx companies, and I ran a non-profit touring children’s theater company for a couple of years. From there I moved up to a production/project coordinator role for multimillion dollar conferences and roadshows for companies like Twitter and AWS. And now here we are!
- What does success look like in your job?
Learning and growing = success. Whether the road was smooth, or I hit a few bumps here and there, if I’ve learned something then it’s a win in my book! I know we often feel like if we aren’t hitting major milestones, we’re just kind of stuck waiting for the next big thing to happen, but I think it’s important to acknowledge and appreciate the smalls steps that take you from one milestone to the next.
- If you weren’t doing this, what other job or role would you love to pursue?
Probably something in agriculture, but really anything that would allow me to get my hands dirty and enjoy the outdoors. I love animals, I raised chickens when I lived in Texas and they were probably the best pets I’ve ever had – they’re incredibly smart, curious, and their quirks were the gifts that kept on giving. And I have a love for plants that started when I was a kid as both of my parents are avid gardeners.
- What is your favorite thing to do outside of work?
Running! It’s been such a fun way to get to know the city and its many parks, take in the scenery, as well as make new friends and grow my support system. I grew up playing soccer and running track, sports that required more explosiveness than anything else, but I set my mind on really working on the endurance and appreciating the process this year. I’ve signed up for my first half marathon in October (the Nationwide Children’s Hospital ½ Marathon) and have been training with Fleet Feet’s Marathoners in Training (MIT) this summer, I honestly can’t remember the last time I’ve had this much fun running.