Lately, I have been reminiscing my college days through Yara Shahidi ( one of my favorite role models who happens to be younger than me) and remembering how confusing and fun that time of my life was. Even though I was very involved on my college campus and attempting to be closer to my career goal(s), I was still all over the place!
I was inspired by P.R Girl, Rachel Gordon because she started her own P.R business and Non- profit in college after successful internships. She was a blogger but soon found out her passion was in P.R. I love seeing black women carve a niche for themselves and Rachel is doing just that. Rachel currently works in corporate P.R in LA but runs her own boutique consulting firm, Personally Rachel Group! She also offers cool career advice – I just downloaded her 2018 Goal Sheet and it is amazing!
Fun Fact: Her company, Personally Rachel Group, handled L.F.E’s branding and launch – Girl power!
She was kind enough to share some career advice with La Femme Exec! You can stay up to date with her work via her website and super stunning IG page: @personallyrachel
- How did you know you wanted to pursue Public Relations as a Career?
I started off blogging but I soon realized I was not very passionate about just posting my outfits, and I fell in love with my major! The more I did internships and realized I could formulate exactly what I wanted my career to be – the more I pursued it.
2. What was your Aha moment behind the Personally Rachel Group? And how do you balance it with your 9 to 5?
That moment came when I was planning everyone’s events, connecting them to other people in different industries, and working hard – with no check coming in. Realizing your God-given talents, ideas, and work ethic are vital to knowing your worth as a working woman. Once you tap into that, you can begin to build a future in business for yourself. Balancing the two is difficult, it is something I’m still learning. Sometimes I come home from work and don’t even want to cook or anything – I just want to knock out. But I kind of have to kick myself in the butt and remind myself that if I don’t do it during those 5-9 hours, it won’t get done. Time management and discipline is key – but my best rule is get out of the house. I am always more inspired and more motivated in a cute cafe, Starbucks, library ANYTHING besides my house. I’m still building my in-room office space, so maybe once that’s completed, I will have more motivation when I’m home but I find it easier when I get out.
(Photos by Amber James)
What are some activities/opportunities you pursued in the past to set you up for your current success?
I can’t stress enough, the importance of internships. They were difficult at times but it taught me what I wanted, how I wanted to run my business, introduced me to some amazing people and guided me through my college years. I also encourage everyone to go to events alone to network. I say alone because it requires you to get out of your comfort zone; you have no one to lean on as a crutch and you end up growing from the experience!
Did you have a lot if black female mentors growing up? Do you have any black female mentors you look up to in the Public Relations Industry?
I had mentors – but not in my industry. That was part of the reason I started the non-profit, Fifty Shades of Magic because I didn’t see anyone in my industry that looked like me. I’m moving away from just being held to the PR industry these days – we’re now calling PRG, a creative agency because traditional PR is changing so much and we do so much more than that! There are so many great creative entrepreneurs to look up to – of course, Elaine Welteroth and Ayesha Curry (she’s killing it!!) but I also am inspired and in a way mentored by my peers. That’s one of the reasons I love social media so much because of course, if you let it, it may make you feel like you’re not doing enough but I turn that around and use it to push me. Some of my fav girls are @KameyGomez, @siyaolivia, @fromtheheelsup, @thegirlsroomnyc – all of their platforms and work ethics make me love and appreciate women, who we are, what we do and the things we can do TOGETHER.
“I can’t stress enough, the importance of internships. They were difficult at times but it taught me what I wanted, how I wanted to run my business, introduced me to some amazing people and guided me through my college years”
Tell us a bit more about your passion projects! How do you bring your passion to your corporate job and still work on your side projects.
When I was interviewing, one of my favorite things to say was that I bring a unique perspective because I am a black young millennial woman, I am from Philly, I lived in NYC, I’m new to LA, and I’ve studied abroad. So when I’m at work – I bring all of that with me! I don’t try to hide it or dim down my past. I talk about specific experiences in work brainstorms, I bring up the awkward conversations if need be, and I remain true to me!
My passion projects are so wide-ranged. I love to mentor so I’m booting my program back up soon. Within my own brand, I’m looking to put out more content aligned with being a working woman with an entrepreneurial spirit. Fifty Shades of Magic, the women’s empowerment non-profit is growing as well. There’s so much going on but I wouldn’t have it any other way!
What does being an executive woman of color mean to you?
Being an executive woman of color means – taking charge with humility and eloquence, never apologizing for our unique POV, and HANDLING IT, honey.
Last words of advice
“Life is a balancing act. Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses – keep up with yourself. There is a specific purpose that was laid on your heart for a reason. Identify it, perfect it, and live in it – when you do this, you will find true peace that no one or nothing can take away”
(Photos by Amber James)