First off, I totally don’t think I’ve “made it” yet. I feel like I’m finally making a bit of a mark and inspiring some new people everyday, which is an awesome feeling, but I’ve got many more career goals to achieve over the next few years. I started speaking at colleges across the country over the past 6 months, which isn’t a path I ever anticipated to go down. I never would’ve thought I could start talking at colleges when I didn’t go to college! I’m asked quite often about how crucial I think college is for people, and I stay firm on my answer that I do believe college is very important. Regardless of whether or not you want to be an entrepreneur most young people won’t find out what they want to do for a living without trying certain things out, and you don’t try those things out by sitting in your bedroom playing video games right? Just because I decided not to go to college DOES NOT mean that you also should not go: every person is different and if you’re set on one goal then maybe take a gap year and explore working before heading back to school. There are many options and alternative routes you can take but if you plan to use time off or a gap year to spend money and not stay focused I can’t agree with that plan.
I have my nonprofit M.I.N.T. that I began in 2016 that goes into high schools and middle schools to educate kids about social media but speaking at colleges is a different ballgame, and even more intimidating because I’m speaking to kids MY AGE! It’s scary getting up in front of people and sharing your life story with them with the intention that they love you and don’t hate you, but you never know. Every talk and crowd is different which keeps my job very interesting: I never know what to expect or who will show up. That’s nerve wracking!
Speaking at ECSU in my hometown was an honor because my mom went to college at Eastern and most likely didn’t ever expect to have a daughter who would end up giving a talk at her college. My speech was on social media and branding and I talked about how to get out of your comfort zone and put yourself in front of new people along with utilizing platforms like LinkedIn and Craigslist to find jobs. It’s VERY scary to ask for what you want via an email, maybe a job or a raise or help with an idea but I hope through my talks I can show how important getting out of your comfort zone is when it comes to exploring new opportunities. We’re all afraid of rejection but don’t be: all of that rejection will eventually get you to where you want to be.
Thank you to Eastern for asking me to speak and to everyone who I met for sharing your stories with me!