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Life and Work with Kaela Brown

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kaela Brown.

Kaela, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I am currently going into my senior year at The University of Arizona. My journey at the University has been one filled with struggles, like many college students. I am originally from Roswell, Georgia and finished high school in Seattle, Washington. I came to the University of Arizona in order to pursue a degree in Neuroscience. I had the dreams of becoming a neonatal nurse. I held on to those dreams until my first semester of sophomore year. I changed my major to Education and then Pre-Business for practicality purposes. I lost a passion for science. I struggled to find motivation in my coursework. I began to feel completely lost in regards to my purpose of even being at the University of Arizona. It was during this time, I began to look for opportunities at the University to get involved. I searched for my purpose and my niche.

After searching and creating genuine connections within the Tucson and University of Arizona Community; I became a member of the Illustrious Iota Tau Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. When I became a member of this organization, I found a home away from home. I developed a support system that encouraged me to never give up.

Because of the support system, my Junior was a year of major change and I began to find my purpose. My junior year, I began a job as Resident Assistant on campus. I also became the Marketing Director of Elgie M. Batteau African American Honors Society. I joined the Gamma Psi chapter of Delta Sigma Pi Professional Fraternity. I served on the Marketing team for Wildcats Events Board, events for students by students. I won a marketing based case-competition with the NBA team, The Phoniex Suns. I become the chapter President of my Sorority. I also accepted an internship with Enterprise for the 2019 Summer.

It was in the junior year that I realized my passion for business and the business world. I applied for the Eller College of Management in hopes of becoming a marketing major. That hope was not fulfilled and I got into the Eller College of Management’s B.A. Economics program. I was upset with myself because I didn’t get into the field of study I originally wanted. I began to regroup and focus on Economics and the path that I could create to make my dreams within the business world. I began to grow in confidence and understand that not all “doors” are for me, but what is for me with hard work I can attain. I began to not doubt my worth and purpose (at least not as much, we are all human).

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Juggling school, friends, relationships, my sorority, and my sanity was not an easy task by any means. I had many late night library breakdowns, many tears of frustration and feelings of self-doubt. The best piece of advice is to surround yourself with good people who genuinely want to see you grow and be successful. It is so important to have a strong support system in college. My involvement in so many meaningful organizations gave me that support system.

Do you think there are structural or other barriers impeding the emergence of more female leaders?
I think the biggest barrier in female leadership, in general, is the lack of confidence in their ability to lead. I feel as though many women are afraid to take control and lead because of fears of being too aggressive and or pushy. This lack of confidence and fear show through when trying to lead. This results in the opposite of their fears they become passive and complacent. Two, characteristics a great leader male or female should never have. We as women must be assertive and confident in our ideas and leadership.

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