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Podcast Episode 38: Identity and Following Your Path with Tariana V. Little

Tariana V. Little is passionate about using her diverse education and analytical skills for real-world impact. She is a health researcher and communicator, and co-founder of EmVision Productions, a mission-driven digital production boutique in Boston. Tariana is appointed to SPARK Boston, Mayor Walsh’s millennial engagement and leadership council, and has been named by El Planeta (the largest Spanish-language newspaper in New England) as one of the most influential young leaders for the Latino community in Massachusetts. The first to go to college in a Dominican-German immigrant family in Boston, Tariana holds an MS in Clinical Investigation from UMass Medical School and will begin doctoral studies at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health this July. Driven by science, storytelling, and social justice, Tariana’s work embodies what she calls “intentional creativity for social change.” We talk about imposter syndrome, growing up in Boston, Tariana’s background and experiences, and what her journey looks like. You can find Tariana on Twitter, and read on to learn more about her!

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What does a typical day look like for you?
There is no “typical” day – meetings, emails, running around. A successful day is when I meet new people, make connections, and contribute to projects.

What is the favorite part of your day?
Checking things off of my handbook calendar. Accomplishments – big and small – motivate me.

What excites you about working in your industry?
Constantly learning and growing. “Expertise” is improvisational.

What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
I’m fortunate to have relationships with people wiser and smarter than me. A former supervisor (and personal friend) who was an early client of EmVision Productions advised me, “One day your first clients will not be able to afford you anymore. And that’s a good thing.” Another supervisor told me, “You’re not that important.” It was a reality check: you don’t have to do it all – not everything or everyone needs you. That helped me re-focus on things where I am essential.

What is your favorite part of being a woman in your industry?
As a woman who is a scientist and social entrepreneur, I am paving my own career path and creating new life possibilities for other women, including my sisters and maybe future daughters.

What other women inspire you?
I am inspired by women who open doors for other women.

What is something that most people don’t know about you?
A few folks know that I am a word fanatic. As a kid I’d read the dictionary – A to Z – and make lists of synonyms and – to this day – anagrams. Friends and family don’t play Scrabble with me.

What do you geek out about?
See above. I geek out about documentaries, books, poetry, scientific discoveries.


Also discussed…


Show notes created by Katherine Wood. Katherine is a marketing professional with several years experience helping businesses find their voice, connecting with customers via written and digital communications, blogging and podcasting. Graduating from Boston University’s Masters in Gastronomy program, a fascinating multidisciplinary approach to studying food and wine, Katherine has used her education to work in several food and wine related industries. Most recently, immersing herself in the wine and tech startup world as a marketing manager for Drync. Katherine is a lover of traveling, cooking, and her cats Parsley and Pistachio. She geeks out over fitness, sharks and organization.

Photo credit: John Gillooly