When I graduated from Marist College back in 1998 with my degree in public relations, I moved to Nashville, Tennessee to spread my wings and prove my independence to whoever cared (um, myself?). My PR experience at that point consisted of the classes I took in college and the internship I had at the Dutchess County Girl Scout Council (site seems to be disabled) in Poughkeepsie, New York.
While I searched and applied for entry level PR jobs, I started to learn of the judgment that is deeply passed on those of us from the North. I didn't really think it existed since I had never been south of Washington DC before and when folks up North think of folks down South, we pretty much think of cool accents and grits. But, while I continued to not get called for first interviews for the many vacant public relations and marketing jobs at the vast array of companies, I naively learned that going to college in New York was a weakness in the Nashville job market. Luckily, Nashville has the 5th largest Girl Scout Council - www.gsmidtn.org - in the country (well, it was then) and with a background in Girl Scouting since the 1st grade as well as the internship, I thought they must be able to find a use for me - and luckily, I was right!
I began running a theater program for high school girls and a high adventure program for middle school girls which then molded into earning the position of Teen Program Manager and I had a ball! What a great first job for a budding young professional. I got to interact with tons of girls, motivate adults, and create programs and ways to market them with my Northern flair! I found the Girl Scouts to be a refreshing source of open-mindness, diversity, and the progressiveness I was accustomed to being a gal from the Northeast. I made many friends and the very best part was my involvement with so many amazing young women. I try to track some of these women from time to time and one of them most recently found me on Linked In. I had volunteered to be her mentor through one of the many programs we had at the Girl Scouts and she also performed in the theater and singing group I started.
Her name is Kia Jarmon and she was one of the most articulate, aspiring, helpful, smart, and pleasant young ladies I have had the privilege of mentoring in all of my time in that role. She emailed me the other day and shared with me her success of starting her own PR agency in Nashville, Miss Ellanious PR. It literally made my day! From what I have found on the internet and know of this young lady from ten years ago, I attest she is truly impressive. Kia has carved a niche for herself in industries and areas she has personal interests and passions, she works on a very grassroots level, and is committed to the relationship element of public relations, three of the basics I hold near and dear to my own heart.
I wanted to share her success with my readers and also ask that you share her PR agency, Miss Ellanious PR at www.kiajarmon.com, with any of your contacts in the Nashville area. And kudos to the concept of six degrees of separation!!!