Business24 September 2021
By her late twenties, Colleen Fitzpatrick had experienced a level of success many can only dream of with a Gold-certified single and a Platinum-certified album.
There was just one small problem: “I did not love being famous,” says Fitzpatrick, best known to early aughts pop fans as “Smile” and “Graduation” singer Vitamin C.
Which explains why, 20 years later, Colleen is working behind the scenes as a music creative production manager at Netflix helping create and curate music for our series and films. Her duties range from recommending music-related personnel like composers and songwriters, to overseeing licensed music needs and on-camera performances.
“In a lot of ways, it felt like a place where we could take chances and we could make really quality content in a new and exciting way,” she says of her decision to join Netflix in early 2019. “I love being able to extend and share my knowledge and experience. I love being able to help people create.”
Although she may be the rare Netflix employee to have appeared on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, she’s one of many who have followed an unusual career path to Netflix. In the latest episode of our WeAreNetflix podcast, host Lyle Trucks talks with several such employees, including Colleen and Rich Smith, whose passion for website design led him to Netflix nearly four years ago despite not having finished college. As a senior software engineer, he works on apps designed to make our productions more efficient for both internal employees and external production partners.
“Being an engineer is a constant learning journey,” says Smith. “And I think that because I started it off, teaching myself, it really gave me the confidence to know that I can learn anything that I set my mind to.”
In the episode, Lyle also speaks with recruiting researcher Zeenat Bhamani, who helps explain why Netflix seeks to hire people with non-traditional career paths. “The beauty about Netflix right now, and the rate that we are growing means that we can take risks and find people from alternative paths,” he says.
That includes expanding beyond our typical competitors like studios and tech companies to find employees with government and non-profit backgrounds. That also means expanding the search outside of the US. “The other question I try to ask myself on a weekly basis is is my pipeline representative of the Netflix subscriber base. Does it include people from underrepresented backgrounds from different perspectives?”
To hear more from Zeenat and other Netflix employees with unconventional career paths, listen to the full episode of the WeAreNetflix podcast here. To learn more about careers at Netflix, go to jobs.netflix.com.