October 18, 2018
Throughout my life there have been times where I have felt particularly fulfilled and proud of my actions and accomplishments. I have broken these events down into leadership actions, personal accomplishments, and moral successes. These events have been done with a group as well as independently and they have all shaped me into the well-rounded young woman that I am today.
The events that are specific to building my leadership skills are coaching little league cheerleading and being involved in American Fashion Society. Coaching little league cheerleading to 4th and 5th grade girls helped me develop multi-tasking and time management skills. I had to teach cheers, choreograph and teach a competition routine, and mix competition music all by seasonal deadlines. We practiced for two hours, four days a week from July through November, and it could be very chaotic. These girls were not the most focused and had a ton of energy! I learned to be patient and find creative ways to work with them. In the end, they won first place at the UB Spirit Competition.
Additionally, I worked as a camp counselor in Woodward, Pennsylvania, and used leadership skills to be a role model for the camp community. I also had the responsibility of facilitating the campers’ check-in each week and maintaining the cleanliness of the gyms. This accomplishment allowed me to meet more people in the cheerleading community and continue to strengthen my skills as a role model for the youth.
My involvement in the American Fashion Society, a fashion club at American University, further developed my leadership skills. I started as the social media director of the club my freshman year. I had the responsibility of updating the Facebook and Instagram accounts, as well as sending out newsletters to over 250 subscribers via MailChimp.
At the beginning of my sophomore year, I became the president of American Fashion Society and learned how to delegate tasks to the executive board and manage challenges. I had to deal with many different issues that came up regarding funding, our social media being hacked, and designers never being paid. I learned that no matter how hard I worked, people are not always honest, and you have to learn when to cut your ties as a leader. At the end of my sophomore year I chose not to come back to American Fashion Society as I was putting in more work and effort than what I was getting out of it, but in the end, I learned so many valuable lessons.
The events regarding my personal accomplishments are some collegiate successes that I am most proud of because I know how much work I put behind them. I found personal accomplishment through my presidency of American Fashion Society when I planned and executed a fashion show for charity. American Fashion Society partnered with Tiffany & Co. to host The Pet Gala, a fashion show to raise money for DC Paws Rescue. This once again tested my multi-tasking and time management skills as there were so many moving pieces that needed to come together to make this event a success; for instance, I needed to create an overall plan for the event consisting of a budget, information on catering and marketing/ticket sales, and how to communicate updates to designers, models, and press. Additionally, we created a VIP Ticket Package that consisted of front row seats and Tiffany & Co. X The Pet Gala wine glasses. It was extremely rewarding to see the show thrive after so much planning and hard work. We were able to raise over $3000 for DC Paws Rescue. Accomplishing this as a sophomore was such a great personal accomplishment.
Another personal accomplishment took place my junior year in Professor Mensah’s Business of Fashion and Luxury Goods class. The final project was to develop a business plan for a brand seeking a $25,000 investment from an angel investor. I worked with my class mate Dylan Kenney on a brand summary, strategy, mock up, and marketing. We learned to identify the gap in the market that we were trying to fill, researched and evaluated similar businesses and competitors, as well as determine the financials of how we would use a $25,000 investment. My partner and I created Yu, a mobile application that provides a medium for emerging designers to market themselves and sell their custom-designed products to people who relate or identify with their products. Instead of selling products from well-known brands, the merchandise available on Yu is designed by budding designers and artists. Yu gives them the opportunity to market their goods and get their business off the ground. This also gives them the potential to be discovered. We made a mockup of the app as well as a video that captured footage from London to tell our brand’s story. Additionally, we analyzed the effects of Brexit on our brand’s ability to do business in the UK, as the class took a trip to London to tour the fashion industry. Professor Mensah really challenged both our business and creative skills with this semester-long project. Her feedback taught us so much about how to create an effective business plan. Our hard work paid off and Yu was one of the three brands who won the final competition in our class. As a result, we were rewarded with a lunch with Timothy Lowery, the commercial real estate executive in charge of the CityCenterDC project. This was such a great opportunity for networking and another huge success I had thanks to attending American University.
The final group of fulfilling actions is something I consider to be moral success. I have always had a special place in my heart for those who are disabled or a little different than us. When I was in elementary school I would go to the Special Education class and volunteer my time playing with the students. In high school I joined Spartan2Spartan, where I was paired with a “buddy” in a special education class. I worked with Nicole, my buddy, and did activities that ranged from baking cookies to playing outside with a parachute. Joining Spartan2Spartan was valuable to me because it allowed me to meet new people and find similarities with those who appeared to be different. It also feels good to do the right thing and make someone’s day.
In middle school, a new student, Justin moved across the street from me. He was in my grade and had autism. I would always talk to him on the bus when others wouldn’t, and I would invite him over when I had get togethers at my house with other friends. He still reaches out to me to this day and is working towards a career in broadcast networking. Not only did it make me happy to be his friend, everyone around caught the good energy. His family was really happy he had a friend like me and my family was proud of me as well. I did a similar thing my freshman year when I came to American University. There was a student on my floor who was on the autism spectrum as well. I got to know him and be friendly with him. All he wanted was to be treated normally and to have a friend. I would take him to the gym with me and teach him the exercises I was doing, and then eat TDR with him. I also met his family who was very grateful for the influence I had on him. Although we have gotten distant because we don’t live as close, he is still my friend and knows he can always reach out to me.
These accomplishments have allowed me to realize that my morals are made up of working hard, being a leader, and doing the right thing. These events have allowed me to face challenges, learn about who my values, and strengthen my skills to become who I am today.