Today we’d like to introduce you to Colleen Quinn.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Hi everyone! I am a 25- year old women in the corporate business world who believe in the power of confidence and showing that confidence ignites through fashion.
My story began when I was just a little girl, watching the main women in my life (my mom) kill it in the corporate business world. Each day, she would wake up, get ready for work, and get it all done. I remember watching her get ready in the morning, all the clothes, makeup, powerful and bold perfumes, I loved it all. It took me years later to realize how much of an impact fashion could have on how you carry yourself as a woman in the business world.
As I entered Arizona State University, I knew I wanted to focus my attention on women in business. Within my first year, I became President of an association known as the American Business Women’s Association. This association focused on empowering women in the workplace and encouraging them to enter the corporate world. Running weekly meetings during that time, I emphasized the importance of feeling good not only on the inside but also on the outside.
When I walked into a room, I was confident. I was bold. And I never had to compare myself to anyone else. That’s what I preached to the women within the association to be. Be bold. Be fearless. Be you.
This mission didn’t end after college. After graduation, I entered the workforce and let me tell ya, it’s been a journey! (to say the least). Every job I’ve had has taught me an important lesson. Though, something I have always carried with me throughout my career is confidence in my wardrobe. Breaking “interview style” must-haves and being my true authentic self is something I pride myself on and am super passionate about!
My first experience with breaking the norm began during my first year as a young business professional. I was getting ready for an interview and I was in the final stages of getting ready. By my definition, my final stages are blow-drying my naturally curly hair after letting it air-dry (while I do my makeup and pick my outfit). On this day, I had some second thoughts about my hairstyle and outfit selection.
See, being a business major in college, I was taught to “pull back your hair during interviews” and “wear a long dress or business suit to seem professional,” so, on this day, I was hesitating if I should do those things to “fit in.” This was an important interview and I didn’t want to risk the opportunity by my hair or outfit selection.
Then, I had what some would call an epiphany. Why would I change myself for a company if they weren’t willing to accept my full, authentic self? That day, I kept my natural curls down, rocked my bright colored shirt, wore my bold lipstick, and walked into the interview as me (I got the job, by the way).
Through my social platforms, my mission is to encourage everyone to be their true authentic self and not be afraid to use fashion as a way to do this! I want to show my fashion style off to encourage women especially, that being in the business world will come with many challenges, don’t let one of these be graying yourself out for others!
In the near future, I will be launching my Cup of Sass Radio podcast which will drive a similar mission along with publishing my first E-book later this year. I am extremely excited about all that the future holds! Always remember, be you (no one else can).
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
A smooth road? HA! Definitely not. Being women in the business world, especially unapologetic women, will always come with challenges. Though, what’s important to recognize, is every challenge comes with growth and learning experience along the way.
Throughout my business career, there have been many career opportunities I wanted but did not get. Especially not right away. I think an important message to drive home, especially for new college graduates, is you will not (in most circumstances) get your dream job right out of college (and that’s okay!).
The space I am in now in my career took time, effort, sleepless nights, countless tears, and a ton of hard work. To give you perspective, I graduated in December 2015 and am just now really starting to love what I do. Not to mention, it took making difficult decisions when I knew deep down were the best decisions for me but on the surface, they were hard to make. For example, I was working for a company that I completely fell in love with about a year into my career. I loved the culture, the people, the whole environment. Though, a goal I had set for myself after graduation was getting a position in marketing for a corporate company.
Let’s just say, this job was far from that. Though, I knew that this was just a stepping stone, right? Well, not exactly. After about a year into the company, I knew it was time for me to move on. The opportunity to move to the Marketing department was just not there and there was no time frame as to when that opportunity would exist for me. So, what did I do? I made the hard decision to move on from the company to take a position elsewhere that would move me into the career direction I ultimately deserved.
My best advice to other women, particularly young women just starting in the business world would be this: Always move confidently in the direction of your dreams. Realize every no, is the opportunity for a better yes. Be bold in who you are. Let your confidence allude over you. Dress in a style that makes you feel best and most confident. And never change for a company or for anyone else.
Please tell us more about what you do, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I currently “do” quite a few things. I currently work for a corporate company called InfinityHR in their Marketing department. My current role stems in social media management for the company, including social media strategy, social content calendars, etc. In addition, I am responsible for managing all the corporate events for the company. This includes pre-event marketing strategy, event logistics, post-event overview, etc. I love my position because I get to be creative and travel with a great team.
In addition, I am a signed actor and model for The Young Agency in Phoenix, Arizona. I have always loved to be in front of the camera and this has been a passion of mine since I can remember! I am currently working with the agency and stay in the loop for upcoming projects I am working on. As mentioned, I am currently in the process of launching my podcast Cup of Sass Radio, which will be live very soon on my social media platforms. And on top of that, I do business consulting, social media marketing for small businesses in the Phoenix area, interview prep for college students and write professional resumes on the side!
I love everything that I am currently doing in my life and I hope to soon offer online business consulting sessions along with other side hustle that I do! I am extremely excited about what the future holds for my social media and online platforms.
As a brand, I am most proud of the inspiration I have been able to provide to the young women who follow me. Anytime someone reaches out to me and says that I have inspired them or that I have made them smile, that makes my day! I am so proud to be able to have created a career that I love and follow the direction of my dreams. I am excited for what the future holds!
So much of the media coverage is focused on the challenges facing women today, but what about the opportunities? Do you feel there are any opportunities that women are particularly well positioned for?
I love this question! There are definitely opportunities that women are positioned for! Women are natural born leaders. Not only in the workplace but as friends, mothers, etc. This makes them incredible as Managers, Directors, Vice Presidents and Chief Executive Officers in the corporate world. Some of the best leaders I have had throughout my career have been women. They understand both the logical reasoning behind a decision and also take into consideration the emotional impact it may have on the employee or organization.
In addition, women are great at multi-tasking (yeah this might be a biased statement, but it’s true). Due to this ability, we are fantastic in corporate settings that require wearing multiple “hats.” In non-business related terms, this simply means taking on multiple roles within a company or organization (typically more than your job title requires) for the future success or goals to be reached.
Not to mention, women bring a unique culture to every company and organization. We have the ability to make office settings feel like “home” by hosting company lunches, external activities, and bringing employees closer together!
- Instagram: @smilelikecolleen
- Other: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/colleenquinn1/