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I Want Her Job

If you've ever thought, "I want her job!" then join us for curated career conversations with women leading the future of business -- including both entrepreneurs building something of their own and thought leaders disrupting storied industries. In each episode we'll give you the inside perspective on different career choices, along with specific advice and tips for building balanced careers and fulfilling lives. We believe that you can have a high-growth career and still make a social impact. We believe you can boldly challenge the status quo, while taking a step back to build a life you love. And, we firmly believe that your success can be determined by your own success metric. No one else's. Join us every week for a virtual sit-down with game-changing women who believe in helping one another, and if you like what you hear, don't forget to subscribe and leave us a review.
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May 11, 2017

As a book lover since childhood, Cherilyn Parsons longed to be a part of the literary community. So, she risked her security, job stability and comfort for her dream of starting a world-class book festival in Berkeley, California.

Although there had been a book festival in her home region, the San Francisco Bay Area, more than a decade prior, there wasn’t one when Cherilyn decided to take a chance and begin her efforts. And even though she had no prior experience in event planning or the literary world, she did have one very important skill on her resume – fundraising.

“I had no experience in event planning,” she says. “I did not know the literary world. I had no money to start with. But I thought, hey, let’s do the book festival.”

And so, with a background in nonprofit fundraising, most recently at the Center for Investigative Reporting – Cherilyn thought she could apply her experience to help launch a large-scale book fest. And although it wasn’t easy, she made it happen. Now in its third year, the 2-day Bay Area Book Festival draws more than 50,000 attendees and 300 authors for events and panels spanning 9 city blocks in Berkeley.

In episode 37 of I Want Her Job: The Podcast, Host Polina Selyutin discusses with Cheryl how she took her idea to launch, the ups and downs along her path and the personal sacrifices she made to make her dream come true. Read (and listen) on to learn why book festivals are such powerful forums for connecting authors and book lovers, as well as what it takes to create, fund and manage large-scale public events.

 

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