Jules Terpak is a new voice for Gen Z
The creator uses TikTok to break down tech, misinformation, and work culture.
Trying not to think about how I’m recommending you follow someone who does my job but better. —Kate
“On the ground” digital culture reporting is kind of an oxymoron, but Jules Terpak is pulling it off. Recently, the early 20-something made a video about Gen Z and misinformation that received over 671,000 views on TikTok, and an additional 34,000 over on Twitter. Her TikTok account, with over 269,000 followers, is a comprehensive breakdown of the issues that matter most to Gen Z. While many culture publications would lead you to believe that Y2K fashion and Euphoria makeup are Gen Z's sole obsessions, Terpak takes her generation a bit more seriously, covering things like digital wellbeing, how to prepare for virtual reality, and the ways the pandemic has changed work culture.
While Terpak went to school to study the healthcare supply chain, her first internship in the field got her interested in work culture.
“I realized how outdated so many of the practices were,” she tells me in a video call.
And after watching a video with Andrew Yang on YouTube, she also became interested in universal basic income —not only how it trickled down to work culture, but other things, like technology.
“I noticed that even the people just two years older than me didn't grow up as invested in their online personas as I did,” she says. “And at this time there was maybe one YouTube video on Gen Z. It was just not a conversation yet. That got me super interested in all the conversations of how we grew up, not better or worse, but just differently. And so all those things coincided.”
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She began making videos on YouTube and TikTok, which landed her a job with a marketing agency. She moved to New York for that, and continued making content on her own. Now, she consults with the marketing agency five to ten hours per week, and dedicates the rest of her time not just to her TikTok content, but the other opportunities it has yielded, like becoming a researcher in training at Google focused on youth insights.
Terpak sees being a creator differently than some others, using TikTok as a path to a career in reporting on technology, culture, and her generation. In this interview for paid subscribers, she shares the lengthy process that goes into making her informational videos, the importance of building an online portfolio, and the conversations she thinks Gen Z should be having.