YTTP’s Creative Project Manager, Elana Altmann, walks us through creating her own path that merges creativity with organization.
By Manna Zel
Welcome to Follow These Women! the latest series to join To The People’s lineup. In this series, we’ll get quality one-on-one time with the women of Youth To The People and sit down with them to discover their career paths—some are unusual, all are inspiring—their goals, dreams, and values. No matter the stage of your own career, taking a peek into someone else’s path can be a breath of fresh air—it can offer a new perspective, or even help you double down on the things that are important to you. If you’re looking for groundbreaking women, look no further. Follow these women!
The next guest on Follow These Women! is Elana Altmann, Youth To The People’s Creative Project Manager. A Bay Area native, Elana loves dance, mystery books, and taking her dogs on adventures around Los Angeles. As the Creative Project Manager, Elana oversees all projects the creative team works on—which can range from product packaging to in-store displays at Sephora to digital content and more—and coordinates with other teams to ensure the team has everything they need to deliver quality assets that truly represent YTTP.
Elana began her career as an account manager for a graphic design agency where she quickly fell in love with the world of design.
“I loved working with so many different brands,” Elana says, “But I wanted to feel invested in helping a brand grow and flourish—which is how I eventually found myself at YTTP!”
But before landing at YTTP, Elana tested the waters at a digital marketing agency—which, despite requiring a similar skillset as the design agency, wasn’t a good fit for her interests.
“I need to be passionate about the work and mission of my team, and I feel incredibly lucky to have found my niche here,” Elana says.
A creative project management role marries a few of Elana’s interests—working in the design world, keeping things organized, and being passionate about her work and her team’s mission.
“In my personal life, I can be easily overwhelmed and struggle with daily anxiety. In the workplace, I think my professional alter-ego takes over. People always ask me how I remain so calm under pressure, and frankly I don’t know what it is,” Elana says. “My best guess is that through work I’m able to focus on how my steady hand will help keep my team calm through the storm, and it forces me to pause the panic button and engage the rational, problem-solving side of my brain.”
Another healthy aspect of working at YTTP for Elana is that here, she feels supported speaking up about gendered issues and can look up to strong women in leadership.
“[Leadership] are always encouraging feedback and open discourse even when the information might be hard to hear, and are willing to take a beat to self-reflect whenever there are places where room for improvement is pointed out,” says Elana.
But the admiration doesn’t stop there—outside of work, Elana is particularly inspired by her older sister, a mother of two girls under the age of four.
“She has absolutely conquered any job or task she has ever been assigned to with a fierce passion. She juggles home life, family life, friendships, work, and motherhood as if it were nothing, but I know how much effort it takes under the surface,” says Elana. “I honestly don’t know how mothers do this every day around the world and still make it to work with a clear mind and are able to be productive members of society—I can barely handle taking care of my dog with a full time job!”
In celebration of Women’s History Month, we asked Elana what it means to be groundbreaking, and her definition starts from within.
“It means having the courage to set my own rules for happiness and success,” Elana says. “It means being willing to define my own life regardless of what others think or what the traditional expectations might be.”