We hired Starla to be the emcee at the 2021 Washington State SHRM Employment Law and HR Conference. Right from the start, we appreciated Starla’s work ethic and professionalism as we began to prep for the conference. We used many of the suggestions and questions Starla asked to communicate with our other speakers and help them feel well-prepared. On the day of the event, we had the usual glitches and Starla’s ability to ad lib and go off-script was outstanding. She easily adapted to last-minute changes and her calmness and professionalism helped keep all of us all keep calm and collected. Virtual all-day events can be challenging, and Starla’s high-energy delivery kept our attendees fully engaged with the event.
Finally, we appreciated Starla’s pre-conference workshop "Why You're Not Retaining Early-Career Women And POC (And What You Can Do About It)” both for her timely, insightful message and her HR expertise. Starla didn't just tell us what we were doing wrong, she gave us practical, actionable takeaways. Hire Starla as your next emcee and speaker and sit back, relax, and enjoy your conference!
-Andrea Ballard, Washington State SHRM
"We were extremely fortunate to garner the assistance of Starla Sampaco at two major events hosted by our organization, Region 8 of the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project (FilVetREP). Starla served as a co-emcee for our major May 2017 fundraiser for the Congressional Gold Medal (CGM) at the Renton Pavilion. This event was attended by well over 350 people. Starla graciously accepted our invitation to again serve as a co-emcee for the April 2018 CGM Awards ceremony where over 300 participants (elderly veterans, widows and/or family members) received the Congressional Gold Medal specifically designated by Congress for Filipino Veterans who had served in the Pacific Theatre/Philippines during WWII.
Both events required extensive preparation work by the co-emcees in ensuring close working knowledge of the program/agenda, familiarity with the various dignitaries, government officials and others in attendance and collaborative team work with the event staff and organizers to ensure that everything ran smoothly and on point. In addition, the role of the co-emcees was extremely important in keeping the attendees engaged, attentive and happy to be at both events. Starla exceeded our expectations in how she prepared in advance for both events, staying in constant communication with us to ensure that she understood every detail or to ask questions to clarify any issues. She exhibited a very high level of professionalism, dedication to doing the job well and a commitment to follow through, as she worked with us before, during and after both events.
Starla has demonstrated that she is quite organized, diligent, and methodical in her approach to any project. She is an excellent writer and public speaker who projects command, poise and presence. She brings these skills and assets and more to any position or project that she may be involved with. We were truly happy that Starla provided so much time, energy and service to our elderly veterans and their families who received the Congressional Gold Medal!"
-Brigadier General Oscar Hilman (United States Army Retired)
Starla worked with Asians in Marketing at Microsoft and gave an incredibly insightful presentation about career survival in corporations, specifically providing tips on advocating for yourself at work (e.g. gaining visibility, communicating accomplishments, building relationships) and how to craft your brand/presence for a wider audience (e.g. how to look, sound, and feel confident during Teams video calls/large group presentations). Starla received full satisfaction results from the community.
Many who participated said the event increased their understanding of their own career. Participants felt welcomed and included, and felt Starla had created a diverse, inclusive and accessible event for the Microsoft community. Many said that they would recommend this topic to their peers, and felt that Starla's workshop had brought positive change and education to the marketing organization. We are grateful for the outside perspective that Starla was able to bring in. She was a breeze to work with as well while we were setting up the event -- Starla was extremely organized, flexible, communicative, and professional. We highly recommend Starla sharing her wisdom and her work with other corporations. Thank you Starla for your impact on the community!
-Alice Chen, Global Brand Manager at Microsoft Surface
Starla delivered a very powerful keynote speech at the Women of AT&T Washington Chapter's 2020 Holiday Party. Her talk centered on self-advocacy and navigating the workplace amid uncertainty. She gave our members specific tips on how to increase their visibility at work, how to communicate about accomplishments, and how to build valuable professional relationships. She then led an engaging Q&A session and shared insights about the barriers that often keep immigrants, women, and POC from advocating for themselves at work -- a discussion that resonated with many of our members. If you are looking to hire an engaging and inspiring media professional to speak at your next event, the Women of AT&T (Washington) would highly recommend Starla Sampaco!
-Kiley Williams, Lead Chief of Staff at AT&T
"As a veteran TV news producer/director, an independent filmmaker and Chair of the Broadcast Journalism department at the New York Film Academy, I have met a lot of media people and taught a lot of students. And one of the most memorable is Starla Sampaco. She has great storytelling and interviewing skills, as well as an unshakeable work ethic.
Starla is also a great role model for young media professionals, so I asked her to be one of our guest speakers for a workshop that the NYFA Broadcast Journalism department conducted for early-career journalists in Moscow, Russia. Here at NYFA, we think it is important that the workshop participants, beyond getting insights into journalistic "best practices," also learn about some of the practical aspects of building and maintaining a career. Starla delivered all of this and more, explaining the specific strategies our participants could use to advocate for themselves in their careers -- from optimizing their LinkedIn profiles as they apply for jobs to approaching decision-makers within their companies as they seek promotions. If you're planning to hire someone to speak with your employees or students about how they can advocate for themselves in the workplace, look no further than Starla Sampaco."
-Bill Einreinhofer, Chair of New York Film Academy's Broadcast Journalism Department
"I work closely with Starla Sampaco as a content strategist for Career Survival Guide, which has given me a front-row seat to the process of building her company. She embodies the principle of 'lifting as I climb' by empowering women and people of color to advocate for themselves and succeed in the workplace. When interviewing Starla to learn more about her journey as an entrepreneur and first-time founder, she was vulnerable in sharing the barriers that she and other women and people of color have faced, which range from microaggressions and unconscious bias to the network gap. Starla tackles these barriers and workplace challenges head-on in her Career Survival Guide, a video series that covers everything from tips on how to negotiate your salary to honest reflections about being the only woman of color in the workplace.
She makes complex topics easy to understand and leaves viewers with tips that they can apply and adopt in their own lives. Through Starla’s content, I’ve learned about how to advocate for my value as a writer at Microsoft and shared her content with my own mentees who are transitioning out of college or navigating their careers. Starla also has a knack for creating data-driven content that’s in conversation with her audience needs. She has interviewed dozens of students, early-in-career professionals, and educators to understand what they need to feel supported in the workplace. Drawing on her experience as a journalist and TV host, she asks open-ended questions to learn more about the content they need to succeed and how she can fill those gaps. Based on key themes from these conversations, Starla creates tailored content for Career Survival Guide that addresses her followers’ most common questions. In particular, her audience was very responsive to her series with renowned money and career coach Tori Dunlap that focused on the importance of salary negotiation. This topic is particularly vital for women and people of color who often set the precedent for their careers with their first salary, and her followers responded by thanking Starla, asking questions, and sharing their own tips in the comments of her YouTube video and social media posts. Starla embodies empathetic and inclusive leadership who has cultivated a community, not just an audience. No one is more equipped to create content for early-career women and people of color than her."
-Aleenah Ansari, Content Strategist at Career Survival Guide
I worked with Starla on a recent article for our Ascend vertical at Harvard Business Review. Ascend is a brand that gives advice specifically to early career professionals. I reached out to Starla because I really admire her work at Career Survival Guide and thought she would have some valuable insights to share with our audience. Starla had the idea of writing a piece surrounding how to actively pitch yourself to employers as opposed to passively applying for jobs online — and the advice she delivered was incredibly valuable. Starla wrote a piece that dives deep into the value of being a self-starter and taking your career into your own hands. She busts the myth that reaching out to hiring managers directly is “annoying” or “incorrect” — and instead provides a comprehensive guide (including examples and sample language) that I believe is beneficial to anyone looking to land the job they want.
Her article was also recently featured by the LinkedIn News team. As the editor of her piece, I can say that Starla was wonderful to collaborate with and a great thought partner. The research and work she has done for Career Survival Guide — providing career guidance to women and communities of color — has given her a wealth of knowledge, and I was incredibly grateful she was willing to share it with our audience! I’d definitely recommend Starla to anyone who is looking for clear, thorough, and accurate guidance on how to be successful in today’s workforce.
-Paige Cohen, Senior Editor at Harvard Business Review
Producing and on-camera hosting
"Starla hosted and produced Capitol Headlines at TVW a few years ago and it was hard to let her go! Her quick grasp of issues and understanding of how TVW covers issues in a deep, balanced way made her a great addition to our team. She has the ability to immediately ascertain what issues are important and who needs to be delivering the message on both sides of a debate. Her research skills and on-air style were very consistent with TVW’s standards. We would eagerly hire Starla for future freelance opportunities knowing she can deliver a top-notch product in an in-depth and balanced way, just like we need."
-Renee Radcliff Sinclair, President and CEO of TVW
"I've known Starla since 2018, when she launched GeekWire's first video show. She produced a daily show as well as social media content, and I'm impressed at how she was able to grow our audience so efficiently as a one-woman band. She truly understands the value of diversity and inclusion in media, and her commitment to D&I shows in her body of work. Starla brings so much value to the projects she is involved in, and I've specifically sought her feedback on new media concepts after she left GeekWire. Her attention to detail and her insights on long-term content strategy will help your team get results. If you're looking for a media consultant, I would highly recommend Starla Sampaco."
-Jonathan Sposato, Chairman of GeekWire
"I worked closely with Starla during my time as a Dow Jones News Fund business reporting intern at GeekWire, where she produced the daily news show TLDR. I had been brought on to be a reporting intern, but I mentioned I had some but not a lot of shooting and video experience from journalism school, and the GeekWire team and Starla took a chance on me and let me help produce the show — and for a few weeks, completely take over the show from scripting to shooting to editing to distribution.
Starla was the key to my success with TLDR. When I started, I knew how to operate a camera and the bare bones basics of Adobe Premiere. By the end, with Starla’s encouragement, steady hand, and teach-by-example attitude, I could produce, shoot, write, and edit a full episode top to bottom in one day. Her teaching and mentorship extended beyond video skills (though she basically taught me everything I know about producing good videos on tight deadlines). As a young Asian American woman at the very beginning of my career, Starla was both a valuable resource and trusted mentor in understanding the industry and my own trajectory.
Working on TLDR at GeekWire was the reason I was able to get a video internship at CNN Business the following semester, then a fellowship on the video explainers team at Business Insider, and finally, a full-time associate producer position at BI’s daily news show, Business Insider Today. Without Starla’s patience, guidance, and support, I would never have discovered that video journalism was my true passion and never would have had the courage to go for it. I would recommend Starla as a mentor, consultant, teacher, and video producer a hundred times over if I could.
-Kaitlyn Wang, Associate Producer for Business Insider Today