Like one of our previous Babes (and hopefully many of our future Babes,) I connected with Alex through the Skimm'bassador program affiliated with theSkimm. A current resident of Boston (also known as my favorite city in America,) Alex is a marketing specialist in the (startup) tech industry who wears many hats and (gracefully) juggles various responsibilities. She has a knack for reading, writing and blogging, so in other words, she's kind of my spirit animal. It's evident that she has a killer work ethic and is always seeking growth in both her career and personal life as a badass biracial woman. I think she's a pretty awesome Babe and I know you will, too. Welcome, Alex!
Hometown: Arlington, VA. My parents live about 2 minutes down the road from the Pentagon. Currentcity: Boston, MA Almamater:Christopher Newport University (Go Captains!) Degree: BA in Communications Studies Job: Marketing Specialist at Tesora
Babe you admire and why: So many. Beyonce, first and foremost... that needs no explanation. Right now, it would probably be HannahBronfman. She’s an entrepreneur, DJ, and model. I just admire how she’s built herself from the ground up after leaving college unsure of what she wanted to do. She hustles hard, and she’s also biracial like me. It’s really empowering to see another biracial woman becoming so successful.
3 things we can always find in your fridge: Ice cream, olives, and pickles. Guilty pleasures.
How do you spend your free time? I read. A lot. I guess I’m an unusually fast reader, but I go through about 2-3 books a week. I do yoga. I love having people over to cook for them - that’s my Italian mom’s influence. I also have my own blog, which is really just an outlet for me to process what’s going on in my life.
Favorite website? Right now it’s probably LennyLetter. I'm subscribed to their mailing list, which sends super interesting stories about badass women to your inbox.
Go-to adult beverage: Honestly, I love a good beer. Two that I enjoy are native to New England: Allagash and Jack’sAbby.
What have you been listening to lately? Right now, I’m loving Chance the Rapper’s new album, ColoringBook.
I’m currently the Marketing Specialist at a software startup in Cambridge, MA. I didn’t major in marketing, so this role has really been a learning experience for me. I’m lucky enough to work directly under the VP of Marketing and am being mentored in my role. We work with a software called OpenStack, which is open source and very much emphasizes community. I do everything from publishing my own weekly newsletter, to analyzing data and metrics, to planning a 500-person conference in New York City (which just finished up last week!) A big portion of my job is event coordination, which is something I enjoy doing.
What does your typical workday look like? I love that there really isn’t a typical workday. We work in an agile environment, which is pretty common in the tech world. Basically, every morning my boss and I will ‘scrum’, and run through a spreadsheet of tasks we're actively working on. We work in sprints, (periods of four weeks,) a system that helps us stay organized. For the past six months I’ve been focused less on content (newsletter, blog posts, social media) and more on planning OpenStack East, the two-day mini conference we just hosted. For a planning team of two people, this was a huge undertaking but such an amazing experience. Over 500 people showed up!
Fun fact: I’m one of three women working in a 25-person startup. So, yeah, that’s interesting, too.
What motivates you every day? It sounds simple, but I just enjoy doing something that I know is letting me grow and giving me invaluable skills. I know what it’s like to wake up every day and dislike your job, and I’m happy to walk into work every day now that I enjoy what I do.
Any embarrassing work stories? Like I mentioned before, I work under the VP of Marketing, who is very much married with kids. He and I are a two-person team, and one of the first “fun” projects I was assigned to upon starting was to design a cool hangout space for our office. We went to a furniture store to pick out sofas and chairs, and the saleswoman thought we were married and shopping for our home office. #Yikes.
What do you hope for your future? Honestly? I just want to be financially secure and do something I love. I have no idea what that might be, but I’m open to anything. I think the more experience you get under your belt, the better. I’ve always really wanted to be a mom so I hope to get married and have kids eventually. While a lot of my friends had stay-at-home mothers, I was raised by a mom with her PhD who worked in academia. I want to show my kids that being a working mom isn’t unusual.
Any advice for other Babes? Something that’s been crucial for me starting out in the workforce is finding outlets where women support other women. Whether it’s reading a newsletter, listening to a podcast, or having a girls-only happy hour, surrounding yourself with other successful and motivated women is important. Working in tech and being surrounded by so few females (there are literally less than 3% women in the OpenStack community), I learned to foster those relationships when I find them.
If you ever had a daughter, what advice would you offer her? Don’t take shit from anybody. If you hear someone saying something that makes you uncomfortable, speak up. You are allowed to be anxious for 5 minutes when something big happens. Then forget about your nerves and trust yourself and your skills.