I first got to know Kylie when she was the Spokester for Young & Free Maine. For one year, Kylie would blog daily, create weekly videos, manage & use social media and attend various events to raise awareness for Maine's Credit Unions.

I had the pleasure of working with Kylie and all of the either Spokesters in the Young & Free program last year and I wanted to catch up with Kylie because of her amazing summer working with one of the most popular bands in the world and her start up of new ventures. 

Hear what Kylie has to say in this first part of a two part series: 

What did you learn from your experience of working with One Direction?

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My Snacktastic Summer of Squee was one big life lesson. I worked with an international brand and one of the world’s most popular musical groups for four months, and not once did I ever feel like I was working. That was the best part. I loved every single minute of the experience, despite the long hours and challenges I faced on a daily basis. I learned many hard skills that will undoubtedly help me further my career in this industry, but the most important thing that I learned is that there is a perfect job out there for me, and it doesn’t even feel like work. For the entire summer I lived a life that I had only seen in my dreams. Everything I love, from music to videography to storytelling and more, was part of my job description. Working with Nabisco and One Direction taught me what I can achieve with hard work. I learned exactly what I want to do when I grow up (24 isn’t grown up) and I know that by seizing every opportunity that comes, no matter how challenging, I’ll reach that goal. 

Rice or potatoes?

I like to bend the rules so I have to say both. Mashed potatoes with extra gravy are one of my top five favorite foods, but I eat rice every single day because it’s healthy and delicious and versatile. Don’t make me pick!

What's the biggest hurdle so far in starting your business?

Information. I had no idea what paperwork I needed, who I needed to talk to, or how much it would cost. The Internet only overwhelmed me with small business checklists and legal jargon. I studied business administration as a minor in college, but I didn’t learn a single thing about starting a business. I am so thankful I have supportive friends and family who had been through the process before and who were willing to help me get on the right track.

What would you tell your 19 year old self? 

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Ew. I was a different human at 19 years old. My number one flaw was I lacked confidence. I was an excellent student, I had close friends from high school, but I was so scared to branch out and really experience college for all it was worth. I’d tell 19-year old me to talk to new people, make friends, and join a few clubs. I’d tell myself that in order to grow and achieve great things, I have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable for a while. I’d also tell myself to start running. I didn’t start training for road races until I was 20 and I wish I had started sooner. Running has since been one of the greatest sources of confidence in my life.

What’s your most useful app in business so far?

So this isn’t earth shattering and it’s a bit unconventional, but Yelp is my most used app when it comes to business. I use it to find great new spots to work, like local coffee shops and Internet cafes, no matter what city or state I’m in. Working from home or from a hotel on the road is challenging. Staying focused is a minute-by-minute battle and some days I go a full eight hours without talking to another human with my actual voice. I try to switch up my workspace at least once a week so I don’t get too stir crazy and cabin-feverish. I look forward to my out of office day because it always brings fresh ideas and the occasional conversation with another living, breathing human. However, I’m embarrassed to admit how often I use “soy latte” as my search keyword. 

What’s one thing clients already tell you, that gets you frustrated?

“Can you help us make a viral video?” No. No, I can’t. Some businesses and individuals are looking for that one video that will skyrocket them to Internet superstardom. It’s always an awkward conversation when I explain that I can’t dream a viral video into existence and then BOOM everyone is famous. When the “v” word comes up, I assure them that I can produce a video that we’re both proud to share and spread across the Internet, but as far as going viral, that’s no guarantee.

Stay tuned for more of Kylie Keene and find out how many snacks it took her to answer these questions and what her plans are for the future!

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