We have good news for you. You can have a cool career and make a good living. No need to choose between loving your job and paying your mortgage. The following profile, part of the BlackEnterprise.com Cool Jobs series, offers a peek into the nuts and bolts, perks and salaries behind enjoyable careers.
The It Factor: As the director of multicultural public relations for Ford and Lincoln Brands under the UniWorld Group, Michelle Matthews-Alexander is responsible for increasing brand relevancy and consideration in the U.S. multicultural segments for her company. What exactly does that mean? Ultimately, the 30-something manages opportunities to increase marketing to minority consumer segments and drive sales. BET Awards? Essence Music Festival? You name it, she gets brands in the mix.
Challenges: In an emerging digital market, it can be difficult to navigate what media opportunities are best for your brand. “I constantly have to take a look at the market,” explains the Michigan State University graduate. “The industry has changed so much as it relates to journalism. It’s not traditional space anymore. Now, you have bloggers who have heavy influence and staying on top of that, and finding new bloggers to connect and talk with. A hard part is also looking at what’s going on from a general market standpoint and figuring out creative ways to make it make sense so it relates back to the multi-cultural market, more specifically the African-American market.”
Passion To Profit: The corporate communications executive once had a brief stint at the Fashion Institute in New York with aspirations of writing for a fashion magazine. Despite later transferring and transitioning her career success, that passion never dwindled. “By nature of being in this business, you have an opportunity to work with and build relationships with a lot of great people, a lot of those being bloggers,” confessed Michelle Matthews-Alexander. “What I’ve been struggling with, is that I love what I do, but I still have this passion within me as it relates to writing. When I was pregnant with my son, I was reading everything and looking at mommy blogs. I didn’t see anything that I felt that really spoke to me, or mothers like myself who definitely don’t want to leave their glam factor because they’ve had a child. The tagline for BlackGlamourMom.com is: ‘Who says the 6–inch heels get left behind because the pregnancy test showed double lines.’ It’s all about trying to say because you have a baby, you have to forget about the fashion or career piece. The purpose is to enlighten and providing information all in one area where people can get information for mommy’s to be.”
Family Focus: Wonder how the new mom balances her career and side hustle? “It’s very hard,” Alexander says. “I feel like I never knew how much having a child was going to change my life overall. I work directly for UniWorld, a multicultural advertising communications firm. Our CEO is an African American woman. The whole notion of the company is empowerment and showing you that’s it’s possible to have it all, and navigate the system. I’m thankful to work for a company who embraces individuals who want that balance. It really about creating lists, going the extra mile and working late into the night to make sure that everything gets accomplished.” Who says you can’t have it all?
Winning Advice: As a multifaceted career woman and entrepreneur, Michelle Matthews-Alexander knows the keys for success. “It’s about staying true to yourself,” she says. “You have to keep in mind your angles and where you want to be. At the end of the day, I still have my career so I have to make sure I stay on top of my day to day in your career and making the time to work on your personal interests. It’s about making sure that you have that balance and you make that time. There were plenty of nights I could have been hanging out with friends, having cocktails but I was home until early in the morning once the baby was asleep working on my blog. You can’t get so tied up in the short term. Embrace the moment that you’re in and take the time.”