If I only had my own help, my career would be in a very different place. I know that’s the case for everyone, but moments like this really remind you. I started my career through MAIP after a professor introduced me to it. I found my way to BBDO Atlanta for my first full-time job after mentors coached me through the process. I’ve since made a move to Austin as a senior planner at McGarrah Jessee. The amount of people who influenced that happening are too many to name.
In each of the spaces I’ve found myself in since college, I felt pulled towards diversity work. The most obvious inspiration coming from seeing so few people of color in the spaces. But what’s added fuel and focus to all of my efforts has been recognizing how many processes inside of agencies – from interviewing to creative routines and others – are subtly tilted in a way that makes diversity less likely. Intentionally? Most often not. But tilted nonetheless. It isn’t better morals that we need, it’s better habits. That’s what’s drawn my focus to finding what adjustments – what tweaks to the process – could make diversity more likely and help agencies find better habits. Winning the Bill Sharp Award was flashbulb moment for me that sticks very brightly in my memory. More than being recognized, it meant so much to have a perspective I’m so hugely passionate about validated. I left the stage inspired and that inspiration hasn’t left.