Love, Life Stories

I was the awkward, introverted kid no one believed in

My advice to you: be awkward. Be weird. Be whatever the hell you want, and I hope the next time someone tries to limit you, you rise above it.

Like all good things in life, I stumbled upon The Tempest.

One day, I happened to be browsing my Twitter feed when I discovered an article from the publication. The first time I read it, I thought it was so bizarre. I related immensely, but was still confused. How could these women be that comfortable telling their stories to the public? How could they be so open, and not scared of being judged? It wasn’t the norm.

I was instantly intrigued.

A few days later, I saw a Twitter post about The Tempest Marketing Fellowships being open. I bounced back and forth between applying, out of fear I wouldn’t get the job. The day applications were due, I rushed back home, and the hour before they were due, I decided to go for it. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting a response. You can imagine my surprise when I was called for an interview, and my excitement when I was asked to join the team as a fellow.

I lived in two different realities. Click To Tweet

Before joining The Tempest, I was a graduate student at a private university. Every day, I would go to a school surrounded by nice houses; when I left school, I would go back home and watch as the nice homes turned to worn-down apartments. I lived in two different realities: my fluffy grad school life, and my home.

My split life reminded me of the importance of hustling. I was told that I wouldn’t attend college due to my lackluster grades. I was told that I would never survive the workplace because I was too introverted. I even had a marketing professor that didn’t believe I had the skills required for the industry. Yet, even when people told me, no, I couldn’t do something, I told myself, yes, I could. I could do it and I would do it being that awkward, nerdy, shy kid.

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That’s why I love working for The Tempest. You don’t have to be scared to be yourself – no matter how unique or different. And you know what? That’s our future.

When people told me I couldn’t do something, I told myself I could Click To Tweet

I chose marketing as a career because I like to create and build things from scratch. A habit I’ve had all my life. That’s why I see the future of women in media, particularly in marketing and tech, as an important area for growth. The lack of diversity within most marketing agencies is a concerning problem. Most advertisements are created by white males, yet they’re often targeted at a diverse audience.  As the nation continues to diversify, the individuals responsible for our nation’s storytelling, the individuals responsible for shaping how we view the world, should diversify as well. Yet, even when agencies embrace diversity and inclusion, they silence it. Working for The Tempest isn’t just a job, it’s an everyday fight. A fight against conventionality and bigotry.

I’m writing this for the women who know and appreciate the struggle. For the young women reading this, the future game-changers, I hope you know that oppression is not the norm. It will require long hours and tears, but we need you. You are the future of women in media. There’ll be times when your white male counterparts receive credit for the work you do. There’ll be moments of uncertainty and moments when you think about giving up. You will get through it – you’ll prevail. Be awkward. Be weird. Be whatever the hell you want, but I hope the next time someone limits you, you rise above it.

To the young women reading this, you are the future game-changers Click To Tweet

 “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. – Maya Angelou

Chasiti Gaines

Chasiti Gaines

Chasiti Gaines is a graduate student in the Master of Arts in Communication program at Bellarmine University. She is currently working on her MA Thesis on how health campaigns’ use social media to motivate behavior change. In her spare time, she enjoys eating ice cream, tweeting, watching movies, analyzing data, and other geeky stuff.

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