We are so excited to have been able to interview Piper Klemm PhD for our career panel series! You can find her working for The Plaid Horse Magazine (read the mag here!) and on The PlaidCast the podcast.
TBR: What is your job title?
PK: I am the Publisher of The Plaid Horse Magazine, and the Owner of Piper Klemm PhD LLC, a corporation serving the equine industry through investments, equine sales and leases, and media.
TBR: Describe your position and your average work day.
PK: I wake up everyday between 6 and 7 am and get right to work - I answer a few emails before I get out of bed and am already planning, thinking, and on social media by the time I brush my teeth. Throughout the day, I handle any issue that comes up between employees, magazine, clients, ponies, etc - I'm always on my phone. Being the Publisher - I do a bit of everything as it needs to be done - I write, photograph, manage, invoice - I have everything going at once every day. I travel a lot for horse shows, I prepare for and record 6 podcasts a month, and I educate companies about the media landscape in the equine industry and how to maximally utilize it - I'm in a lot of meetings!
TBR: What is the best part of your job?
PK: I love working with young people - we have a super internship program and to watch them find their own voice in the industry, learn, and really start to excel and feel the confidence of knowledge is always a fun time for me. I like the horse shows when I can spend some low-key time with my ponies too - there's nothing like holding a lead rope for a hand graze as the sun rises.
TBR: What is the hardest/least desirable part of your job?
PK: There is a ton of paperwork and it is always a struggle to keep everything organized, in it's place, and people up to date and happy. I really love to travel, but sometimes I travel so much that those drives and flights can feel really, really long. I'm always happy to see my husband and have a few quiet days at home.
TBR: How many hours a week do you spend working? What is the work/life balance like?
PK: I really have no interest in a work/life balance. I love what I do, this is my passion, and I chose this career because I want to spend every minute of every day on it. I would say I take about half a day off every two months or so. I go to movies and dinner with my husband and don't bring my phone - I try to be very present when I am not working. We both have the same values, so that helps and isn't ever an issue.
TBR: What advice would you give to someone wanting to do this job?
PK: Anything worth doing well and any business that is your own is a ton of work. There is risk, there is fear, there is a lot going on. If it's for you, go for it! If it's not, seek out a more stable situation.
TBR: What experience or schooling did you need to qualify for this job?
PK: I have a B.S. from Trinity College and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. My education helped organized me on how I learn, think, and manage. I encourage everyone to get as much education as possible and dive in and get to know yourself in the process - knowing how you learn and how to push yourself is essential to success.
TBR: What is the range of pay for this position?
PK: As the owner of the company, I invest as much as I can in the next project and in growth. I live as simply as I can and keep an eye on every budget and think about longevity and long-term growth.
TBR: What are 3 things you would want someone applying for this job to know?
PK: My job you have to create - they're not really out there to apply for. I would say read and learn as much as you possibly can about a variety of topics, challenge yourself, put yourself out there, and pay attention. So much can be accomplished if you can do those four things.
TBR: What do you think the horse industry needs to do for the future?
PK: Like most industries, it is a very interesting time for the horse industry. We need growth, we need to be inclusive, and we need to train people to be good owners, trainers, horseman, and every other job in the industry. I hope every young person takes the time to learn and appreciate what the older generation has to offer. I hope every established person takes time to mentor and give opportunity to young people. We need to come together as a community to grow this sport and make it better. Life is a grassroots campaign - success starts with one person, one interaction and grows from there. Everyone can make the time every day to positively impact all of us.