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Pavel Grozdov in New York City
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From an arts degree to connecting global talents at TikTok

15 October 2021

The surprising correlations between an economics degree and managing TikTok influencers

From an economics degree and interning at OECD, to appearing on news headlines as a TikTok creator and now TikTok’s Community Manager, Pavel Grozdov’s non-linear career is one based on a strong foundation in the arts.

From a young age, Pavel Grozdov knew he wanted to work at a multinational firm. He dreamed of working at United Nations, where decisions are made that have a broader impact on society. While Pavel's university experience has not been short of global opportunities, it’s his passion for the community that led to him where he is now – connecting global talents through technology and creativity at TikTok.

Why did you choose to study a Bachelor of Economics at Sydney?

I have always wanted to have the flexibility of working across both the private and public sectors once I graduated. I could clearly see myself working in a multinational firm or a technology giant, managing teams and making an impact on communities and the wider society.

Economics teaches you to analyse the behaviour of countries and the globe. This gives economics graduates the opportunity to pursue a broad range of careers and roles, which in my career thus far included higher education, government and international relations, and now - technology.

I knew that the University of Sydney had a great reputation in the study of humanities and I felt that it was one of the most diverse universities in Australia, with students and academics from different backgrounds and walks of life. Today, I am lucky to have friends all over the world, from Los Angeles and London, to Shanghai and Tokyo.

What were your tutors like?

The tutors and academics were kind and approachable. The School of Economics also gave the opportunity for top achieving honours students to become tutors and this was a fantastic initiative, as these tutors knew exactly what students needed most and how to present information in the most engaging way.

What professional experiences did you take while studying?

In my final year, I completed a Public Affairs and Media internship at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Washington D.C.. Living in the United States and attending and reporting on various briefings on Capitol Hill was truly an enormous privilege and a dream come true.

My time in Washington D.C., a major global epicentre of political power and influence, was without a doubt transformative and rewarding, as it allowed me to experience the changing landscape of international relations and globalisation first-hand.

This fantastic opportunity would not have been possible without the United States Studies Centre facilitating the program, as well the mobility and relocation scholarship awarded by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Pavel Grozdov with OECD's Chief Economist Laurence Boone

What’s happened since graduation?

Since graduating, I have been working as the Community Manager at TikTok Australia and New Zealand, within the company’s Content Partnerships arm.

How did you land a job at TikTok?

I have always been passionate about digital media and online communities - when I was 11 years old, I founded an online creator community, which later became the largest Sims 2 community in Russia! In 2020, I channelled that passion into becoming a TikTok creator of my own.

Shortly after, I amassed millions of views on the platform and even had my moment of fame, appearing on Yahoo and BuzzFeed and 10 News First. I started getting invitations to events hosted by TikTok Australia and New Zealand, and it wasn’t until then when I truly realised that working at TikTok is my dream and is really what I want to do. Once I discovered this passion, it was only a matter of time until I joined the company!

Day to day, you will find me nurturing talent and communities, and working and collaborating with digital artists, storytellers, filmmakers, and content creators to bring and inspire joy through the power of technology and creativity.
Pavel Grozdov, Bachelor of Economics graduate

How does your Economics studies shape your work at TikTok?

From using mathematical and statistical techniques to analyse data and assess the health of TikTok communities, to using my critical thinking to ponder the forces that underpin and shape the way that people and communities behave on the platform, I am able to use my economics knowledge and my creativity to question everything and to make better decisions every day.

My Bachelor of Economics degree provided me with the tools and mindset which helps me respond to the complexity and uncertainty of real-world problems through the development of incentives and novel solutions.

What does a day in the life of a Community Manager look like?

Day to day, you will find me nurturing talent and communities, and working and collaborating with digital artists, storytellers, filmmakers, and content creators to bring and inspire joy through the power of technology and creativity.

I regularly execute creator programs to onboard and educate target communities on TikTok and use data and analytical insights to track and analyse community growth metrics to ensure creator engagement, retention and satisfaction.

I am extremely lucky to be working for an organisation which fosters an incredible work culture and a welcoming environment. Everyday brings new choices, opportunities, and challenges - and I love it all.

Economics teaches you to analyse the behaviour of countries and the globe. This gives economics graduates the opportunity to pursue a broad range of careers and roles.
Pavel Grozdov, Bachelor of Economics graduate

What your advice to recent graduates?

Prioritise, plan and take every opportunity coming your way! If you do not know where you want to be - try out different things, take on different subjects and challenge yourself - the University of Sydney is full of endless opportunities. Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses.

Find your strengths and prioritise your efforts to work and capitalise on these. And lastly, if you do what you feel is right, the right opportunity will come your way!


The University of Sydney is Australia's leading university for graduate employability, ranked first in Australia for the past six years. Click here to find out why.

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