My career in communications technically began when I was eight. I authored many cards and books for friends and family and made one hundred copies of one about a girl reporter that solved mysteries around the world.
I sold all one hundred copies for $1 and networked with my father’s business friends, neighbors, and scouts. This launched the enthusiasm I have for publishing, media, and communications. By fifteen, I was writing for a magazine, a newspaper, and school journal.
Early on in my career I completed multiple internships to gain practical employable skills. The first five years of my career I worked no less than ninety hours per week full-time as a reporter and then after hours and weekends as a volunteer at a media outlet or a retail store. Doing whatever it took and being relentless made me successful. Being agile and able to relocate to New York, Chicago, and London gave me international business experience and great life experiences.
My passion has evolved over the years and my network has grown. Nowadays, my social media—Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook—are growing daily. My career has been good, and I’ve had the luxury of working with many great male and female mentors in the communications, technology, and venture capital communities. I work with some of the brightest and most intriguing entrepreneurs in my client base and one of the most highly creative agency teams that inspire me daily.
The power of networking events and professional organizations has always been essential in keeping a pulse on what’s happening in the market, gaining wisdom from peers, and identifying new opportunities to boost business and challenge myself. My career has been global and my rolodex is too, allowing me to extend my network beyond Silicon Valley and influence without borders. The power of networking is a large part of my continued success. I still have an investigative reporter’s instinct, so my wisdom is to ask questions and talk to strangers. Everyone has a story and stories are inspirational.
How has education affected your career?
Education is the gateway to inspiration. I continue to mentor and work with new graduates in career coaching and mentor entrepreneurs at several incubators. I highly recommend internships, continuous education, distance learning, and professional alumni associations to expand one’s knowledge. The power of a personal network can act as a virtual campus of learning.
Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life? What did he/she motivate you to do?
Cesar Chavez is one of my long-time heroes. He passionately worked unselfishly to help create a better workplace for the farm workers, who are central to the economy of California where I grew up.
Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it?
Public relations and communications is such a woman-dominated field, I’ve seen less discrimination on the agency side, but in the corporate world I think a double standard for working moms still exists. I adopted my children after forming my business so I didn’t personally experience it, but I definitely witnessed it.