In her current role as TikTok’s Director of Artist Partnerships, Isabel Quinteros is able to bring together two of her passion points—creativity and championing diversity. She’s been involved in rolling out TikTok viral campaigns for songs like “Savage” and “Blinding Lights” while also co-leading creator growth opportunities. For instance, TikTok’s Make Black History Creator Summit brought together 150 creators for a 3-day summit to both celebrate Black History and provide creators with mentorship and opportunities.
“It’s important to prioritize diversity because it brings different ideas and perspectives together where people can learn from each other,” explains Quinteros. “I believe working in a diverse environment opens dialogue and really helps promote creativity.”
Raised in Guatemala and having immigrated to the United States at the beginning of her career, Quinteros understands how transformational it can be to have someone extend a welcoming hand that emphasizes the value you have by existing in specific spaces.
“As an immigrant, I didn’t know anyone when I moved to the U.S., so I was always trying to meet different people in different industries, and build a network,” shares Quinteros.
She added, “Honestly, I was fortunate to work for some incredible industry vets early on in my career like Chris Chambers, who had amazing clients like Erika Baidu, Kelly Roland, Solange, Ciara, Future, Lupe Fiasco, and others. There I was able to observe how to spot an artist on the rise and transform it into a cultural moment.”
Now as one of the mobilizing forces behind bringing more artists onto TikTok’s platform, Quinteros understands that her role is just the beginning of being inclusive and celebratory of diversity across the platform and the industry.
“I spend a lot of time working with the artist community providing them with the tools to find success on the platform,” notes Quinteros. “Now that I can, I’m very passionate about opening opportunities for others.”
Below Quinteros shares some insight for those looking to follow similar career trajectories.
Lean into what makes you unique
“My Latinidad has always steered my career into opportunities that allow me to celebrate diversity and culture,” explains Quinteros. “I know first hand how hard it is to cut through sometimes and I want to use my platform and voice to lift others up with me.”
Celebrating your own beginnings and the trajectory that got you to where you are can help inspire how you help the next generation.
Quinteros expanded on her role at TikTok:
“I’ve played an active role in developing initiatives such as TikTok for Black Creatives, a first of its kind incubator program aimed at investing in and supporting emerging Black creators and musical artists on the platform. The program selected 100 creators to participate in a 12-week program to help turn their creativity into careers. Our hope is to be able to roll this out to other diverse groups in the near future. Additionally, I was part of the team that brought LatinX Heritage Month programming to TikTok, introducing our users to Spanish content with iconic Latinx talent such as Thalia, Luis Fonsi, and Sebastian Yatra among others. And also helped plan our #CasaTikTok, a virtual summit with 160 creators where they heard people like George Lopez speak and experienced an intimate performance and Q&A with Becky G.”
Practice making the ask
Getting from your Point A to your Point B will require you to actively participate and vocalize both your needs and your wants.
“Don’t expect anything, and don’t settle for anything. No one is going to give you an opportunity you don’t ask for and fight for it if you truly believe in it. I see so much passion, creativity, and enthusiasm in the younger generations, it energizes me every day and makes my job that much more enjoyable and exciting.”
Collaboration is key
“Hustle hard but also take time to celebrate each win, even if they are small,” suggests Quinteros. “Remember collaboration is the key to success, you can’t do it all by yourself. Setbacks are meant to be learning experiences so don’t get too fixated on them. Hit that reset button and keep it moving. And above all, stay true to yourself because you are your best asset.”
Lean into peer mentorship
“I don’t think I’ve ever had a traditional “mentor” in my career,” shares Quinteros. “Instead, I’ve found mentorship through career conversations with peers and friends throughout the years. This is why it’s important to surround yourself with like-minded individuals who strive to achieve. That’s where the true mentorship lies.”
Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals can also give you a mastermind of people who can pressure test ideas and encourage you to keep going if the path gets rough.