We had the good fortune of connecting with Bobby DeFord and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bobby, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
Remaining resilient. From the beginning of 2020 until June of that same year I had one job. I was a Studio Manager for a local Philadelphia production company. They had shut down due to COVID during that time, so I really only had spent the month of February working there. Between June and January 2021 I had worked six jobs, each one testing my resilience to hold onto the dream of becoming a videographer. I washed dishes in July at a local restaurant. Left to work briefly with the same production company in August until the work ran out, all credit to COVID once again. Valeted cars at a country club in September until the club closed for the winter. I then processed mortgage loans in October. That was until my entire class of new hires was let go because of over-hiring. In November I was given a second life at the mortgage company because they saw my potential to sell loans instead of process them. Throughout that month I studied tirelessly to understand, well, everything there is to know about selling mortgage loans. Finally, in December I took the major exam to qualify for a mortgage license. I failed, which was a blessing in disguise because it would give me the opportunity to find the application for a job I was looking for for all those months. Every job I took I told myself I was one step closer to starting my dream and that helped greatly in keeping my head held high and motivated to find what I was looking for. I received a message that they wanted to talk with me and I went to have an interview on December 30th 2020. The last test to my resilience came right after that interview. Weeks went on and I didn’t hear anything and thought once again I was left high and dry after an interview I thought I crushed. I lost hope and took a job selling Verizon services door to door. It was miserable, my entire time spent there it was snowing and I spent 7 hours a day outside knocking on doors and talking to people who wanted nothing to do with me. Two weeks into that job I got a call from my future boss asking me if I was able to start on Monday, creating content for his YouTube Channel. There were so many times it would’ve been easier to walk away from my dream, 6 jobs worth, but as time passed my resiliency grew stronger making that the most important factor behind my success so far.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
How I arrived at where I am today began as a dream to become an engineer. Growing up, I was obsessed with building things like legos and oddly enough Ikea sets and things of that nature. I went through high school taking math, science, and engineering classes and eventually picked my college based on their STEM program. The only issue was that when I got there I got my teeth kicked in every step of the way and quickly found out this wasn’t a proper fit for someone like me. I ended up getting into a journalism program as a sophomore and then added a TV/film production major on top of that. I excelled quickly in a position where I could be fully creative. I took all the advice and lessons I could from every professor I had because I knew everyone around me has had a tv/film background before getting to college, so I always thought I was behind. I used that to push myself to get ahead and used my background as a way to set me apart from the rest. Instead of designing and building hydraulic cranes out of balsa wood and 3d printed plastic, I’d be designing sets for live shows and building stories and documentaries. I always looked at leaving engineering as a failure on my part, or that I was quitting and it never sat well with me. Until I graduated I came to the realization that it had to happen that way, take one step back to take two steps forward so that I could find myself in a proper setting better suited for a creative mind.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I come from a town in New Jersey that’s located within the Philadelphia suburbs. This area has plenty to offer year round that really goes unnoticed. Its a small state so an hour drive can get you to the beach for a great day on the water. Or you can go an hour in the opposite direction and hike some of the oldest trails in the country in the Appalachian Mountains of Pennsylvania. As far as food goes I think the most South Jersey day would consist of a pork roll, egg and cheese on a bagel for breakfast, a cheesesteak for lunch (I recommend Donkey’s Place in Camden, NJ, but they’re all amazing and everyone has their favorites) and since this is one of the only places in the country that has Wawa, I’d highly recommend stopping there for dinner, or lunch…or breakfast. Because of the proximity to Philadelphia most of the entertainment is right across the Delaware River where Philly’s finest gathers to watch the Eagles, Sixers, Flyers and Phillies so depending on the season seeing a game is a must.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I was very lucky to have unwavering support from both of my parents, my brothers and my girlfriend. During a time in my life where it would’ve been much easier to simply give up, everyone one of them provided something that kept me going. Additionally I would like to thank a professor of mine from Rowan University, Professor Winkler. Without his knowledge, guidance and advice I never would’ve discovered this career and the passion I have for it.