How did you come to have your current job?
I am PROUD graduate of two of the best HBCU (Historically Black Colleges & Universities): Southern University A&M College and Prairie View A&M University. I studied Mass Communications at SU and Education Administration at PVAMU.
Prior to PR I took my stab at getting into the news/media industry immediately after graduating undergrad but had no success there. Then I changed career paths thinking that higher education was the next best move for me – lawd was I wrong!
I quickly learned from working at the Art Institute of Houston that the private student mill severely stunted my creative growth. Lucky for me I was fired from The Art Institute and eventually made the decision to pack up, leave Houston, and move back home to Chicago the winter of 2015.
During this time I created my blog www.themonalita.com and decided to create a new career path in PR/Social Media come hell or high water. For the majority of 2016 I worked part-time jobs and did freelance work somehow connected to PR/Social Media industry.
In the fall of 2016 I landed a job as a Social Media Manager for As I Am Naturally. After 2 years of working there I got the itch that I wanted to grow ad began to look for a brand that would allow me to do just that. So I applied and applied, then applied a little more, landed an interview with the team here at Namaste Laboratories, Inc. and everything simply fell into place from there for me to now be the Digital Marketing Manager.
What do you wish more people knew about PR?
I wish more people understood that PR is apart of every facet of life that excites them to look, like, follow, purchase, any and everything. PR requires being knowledgeable about current trends, predicting where the industry is headed, understanding your consumer base, and having a keen eye for detail in a creative sense – but sadly many believe that PR is simply creating copy for tweets and Instagram captions.
Long gone are the days of brands having to stick to such played out and drawn out processes to connect with their audiences.
What has been your experience with diversity (or lack thereof) in the PR field? How has this shaped your view of the industry?
I have been afforded the opportunity since transitioning from working in higher education years ago to now being in the beauty industry of working alongside women who look like me. However, I would love to see more Black women in higher positions pulling the strings and my goal is to continue to grind so that I will be able to make that happen for myself.
Even though being a career woman pushes me to focus on advancing my career I also want to go hard and higher in this field so that I can one day support a little girl from the west side of Chicago who wants to have a creative career one day.
What excites you these days about where the industry is headed / What concerns do you have?
I am excited that the industry allows brands to take a more creative and engaging approach to market their service/products. Long gone are the days of brands having to stick to such played out and drawn out processes to connect with their audiences.
I love how easily as a brand we can connect with our consumer base and build genuine connections with them.
What are three essential products or resources that help keep you sane?
The three essential products/resources that help me remain sane are:
1) Time Limit feature on my iPhone- With everything in life, I try to maintain balance and with my career requiring me to be plugged in so much for work it’s important to be aware of the fact that I need to unplug to avoid burnout.
2) Black Twitter – if you don’t know, you’re tripping because it gives me life every single day lol.
3) Ayele & Co. (formerly known as Bahi Cosmetics) Sunflower Sweet Serum is my go-to oil that keeps my skin glowing even when I am dog tired from grinding at work. #TeamBlackDon’tCrack
PR requires being knowledgeable about current trends, predicting where the industry is headed, understanding your consumer base, and having a keen eye for detail in a creative sense
WITHOUT GIVING TOO MUCH AWAY ABOUT THIS SEASON OF PRGIRL, WHAT IS ONE OF YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENTS FROM FILMING?
I have two moments that I will always remember:
1) The family scene I got to film with my Granny before she passed this summer. It’s one thing to have Instagram videos of her but to have shared this experience with someone who taught me how to read, write, embrace my creativity, etc will forever live in my heart.
2) Being disappointed with how my birthday went completely different than what I planned.
Anything else we should know?
What drives me is the desire to ensure that my parents will be straight when they are older and I want to secure a legacy that will provide my future children the opportunity to never know how it feels to be hounded by Sallie Mae/Navient.