Do You Market Yourself?
Hey guys! Back with another True Life: Your Average Afrolatina blog post featuring a dope Afro-Latina who is all about Marketing! This beautiful lady reached out to share her story and told me all about how she managed to remain poppin' and prosperous amidst culture shock and adversity. Check out the interview below, and make sure to comment on the True Life post on Instagram if you're an Afro-Latinx in Marketing!
Tell me about yourself! Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Valentina Padilla and I am from Venezuela, raised in New York City! I am a sister, a friend, a confidant, a hard worker, and a busy bee all mashed into one. I am currently an Account Executive/Project Manager at a beauty marketing agency in SoHo.
What inspired you to enter the field of Marketing?
Funny enough, it was by accident. I started my first year in college as a Psychology major and quickly realized that this was not what I wanted to do with my life/career. I wanted to major in Journalism and realized my school offered it as a major so, instead, I went ahead with a Public Relations major and Journalism minor.
What challenges did you face as you made your way through academia and the professional world? Did anyone help you along the way?
What challenges did I not face is the real question! I always excelled in academia but did hit my learning curves along the way. One of my biggest challenges was learning that it was natural to struggle/tread through deep mud to achieve your goal. No grade, project, or thesis was going to be easily accessible without getting down and dirty in the trenches. I know it sounds far fetched but I can't count the hours of travel, studying and late nighters I pulled to graduate Magna Cum Laude.
After graduating, I decided to take a year off finding a job in my field, but I can safely say that the largest struggle - once I did begin to search - was finding an agency that stood for inclusion within the workforce.
My parents & grandparents were and are my biggest helpers. I would be absolutely nowhere without them.
What was it about your current job that attracted you?
A driven work environment. It was evident from the start of my interview that the company has a message that they strongly abide by and work towards. Having a project, task, or even fulfilling conversation about the brands I work with is such a high for me. Of course, there are ups and downs and the learning curve is always present, but it helps to know that I am experiencing and aiding my degree and applying what I went to school for.
Many of us don’t even know what Marketing truly entails! What does your day to day look like at work?
I like to think of the word 'marketing' as jargon! My day to day entails every single aspect of everything marketing and more! As an Account Executive, I am responsible for a small team across 8 brands. My team consists of content creators + community managers. I serve as the direct liaison between the agency and the client. Each day is different but moves to the rhythm of reviewing my emails, ensuring client emails are answered, supporting brand press hits across their social platforms, influencer campaigns, advertising, internal meetings, client status calls, etc etc.
How do you empower yourself to reach your goals in life? What inspires you?
I take breaks. Mental breaks and physical breaks. I've noticed now more than ever how important it is to take a step back mentally and physically and take a deep breath. I always think I can do it all and allow myself to take on more than I can handle (who doesn't now-a-days?) By stepping back from life or a work project I am able to reevaluate where I am, where I am going, what I am doing/going to do to achieve a positive end result.
My culture inspires me. I came to this country when I was 3 years old but was raised as if I was still back home in Venezuela. Adapting to a whole different lifestyle is such a culture shock even at the age of 3, 10, 15, 21, and now 24. I always go back home to my culture and I carry it with me at the start and end of each day. Knowing that I am able to stay true to my culture and how it represents me and how I represent it as an individual in this community inspires me to reach every horizon!
How does who you are and your identity impact how you approach your work?
It impacts it immensely. I am able to approach my work from two different playing fields. I have two perspectives I am digesting every experience with. Because of my Latin culture and "American" upbringing, I do suffer from an internal conflict on how to successfully carry out a task, let alone life, but I can confidently say that when I allow my mind to appreciate and understand why this work was entrusted in me to fulfill, I execute flawlessly.
What advice do you have to young women looking to go into the field? How can they get in contact with you?
Market yourself! (haha) The reason I went into my field is because I am a huge believer in personal and brand networking to achieve a higher and broader spectrum. I believer in the substance of making connections for both career advancement and personal growth.
Please feel free to email me for any advice or tips: firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow Valentina on Instagram!
No one is you, and THAT is your power.
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