Airport Stories: Original Boss Lady

When you spend a lot of times in airports like I do, there is a good share of people watching (some of it pretty epic) and a lot of conversations you overhear. Mostly it’s loud businesspeople on conference calls acting like they’re more important than they are, but ever so often, you hit story gold.

Today as I waited for a flight in South Florida I overheard an older lady talking about her career and life — and it was fascinating, a real treat. It may be my admiration and love of my grandmother, but I have always loved older women and their incredible stories. Life was so different for them.

This woman, who is now in her 80s, always wanted to be an engineer, but when she was growing up that was not a possibility. She went to school and ended up working on some of the first computer chips. Later in her career, she decided to go back to grad school and became an engineer at age 52. She went on the job hunt and attended engineering conferences, bringing her resume along — determined to find a job. At her age, she said a lot of people thought she was overqualified, but she convinced a company to take a chance on her rather than a young graduate. She worked as an engineer for 13 years! Her career goals and dreams realized.

As a working mom who loves her career as well as her family, it was so inspiring listening in on a story of perseverance. This woman had a vision for herself and she worked at it even if it took her well into her 50s to make it a reality.

Know we have a long way to go, and there are still challenges women face, but I absolutely love eavesdropping on the stories of women trailblazers who paved the way for the lady bosses of today.

So let’s keep making power moves and raise our children to dream big, be kind and make this world a better place.




Cliquish: Influencer Networking Event

A few weeks ago, a friend and colleague sent me info on a networking event and panel – “So you want to be an Influencer” featuring a variety of veteran and up-and-coming influencers who were going to share their experiences and insights.

I decided it would be fun and interesting to attend and put myself out there in a scenario that was a bit unknown. Not going to lie, I was pretty sure I would be walking into an event where I was the oldest (by a decade plus) and would stick out like a sore thumb. But I decided, in my third decade, to step out of my comfort and just go for it.

Arriving at the event, I was greeted by a variety of faces, women of all ages, interests, race and ethnicity. It was refreshing to talk to so many different women who are passionate about sharing their interests and lives with others in a very public platform.

The panel was a slice of the social world from Ms. Danti, a make-up maven and PhD student, who has been in the game before there was a game to an 18-year old YouTuber, who started blogging in middle school and took off last summer when she made daily relationship challenge videos with her boyfriend. (Apparently this is a huge area of interest for younger girls.)

Loved hearing each of their journeys, tips and perspective. While they were very different, the one common denominator was their desire to connect with people through authentic content and giving others a glimpse into their lives and passion. There’s a lot of power in being vulnerable and opening yourself up to others. And I connected instantly with that part of each of their journeys.

I was reminded that networking is such a powerful tool and got to know a lot of new ladies, and even left with a new friend – a fellow Mama Bear of three, who is also Hispanic and loves sharing her journey of motherhood and passion for fashion.

If nothing else, there is always value in putting yourself out there, meeting new people, talking about common interests and making connections.

This event solidified why I do this. I enjoy having a creative outlet that is all mine, not dictated by others, and the ability to share with people the things I love. If I can make someone smile, try something new or even step out of their own comfort zone, then it’s the cherry on top!



Pay It Forward

As I’m gearing up for a business trip out of town, I just said goodbye to the last of my summer interns. As she thanked me for the opportunity to work with me and build her portfolio, I started thinking about the important role we play as mentors to our interns.

I honestly can say that I wouldn’t be at this point in my career today without the support and knowledge I gained from my mentors. From my parents to high school teachers to college internship supervisors to supervisors, friends and colleagues – there are so many people who have shaped me and cheered for me, I couldn’t name them all for fear of leaving someone out.

The lessons you learn from your mentors and from internship experiences and entry level jobs are priceless and they truly make a difference in the professional you become. I have been incredibly lucky and am grateful for the vast network of friends, colleagues and professional peers who challenge me everyday. Now I’m in a position to shape the lives of others and I really believe in the importance of paying it forward.

I’ve had many interns in the last few years and each one has taught me something. I hope I have left them with some valuable lessons. My goal is always to share my knowledge about the industry, helping gain the real-world skills and the confidence that will help them land a job post-graduation. Aside from interns, I also have a mentee who is a PR student at FSU and that has been an incredibly rewarding experience. I was able to help her with her application to the College of Communication and was able to celebrate with her when she was accepted. These experiences make me a better professional and make me appreciate all of the successes I’ve enjoyed and the people who have helped me along the way.

As humans, we should never stop growing and learning and finding people to inspire us. There will always be those who are more successful or have more experience, but wherever you are in your career, think about serving as a mentor or friend to a younger person who may be in school or just starting their career. We’ve all been there and we should never forget it!