How I Found My Home with BTC

I needed a change. I needed a jolt of purpose. I found that with Brass Tacks Collective.

Moving to Dallas from Little Rock, Arkansas, after graduating from college was a big jump for me. I was starting a job in an industry I was pretty unfamiliar with. Going from spending ⅓ of my day in class, ⅓ napping, and ⅓ knowing I should be studying and doing homework, yet choosing to do otherwise, to working full-time, was a challenge. Have you tried having a full-time job? It’s tiring and hard!

I went from living the life of a student, looking forward to spring break and contemplating whether or not I wanted to work over the summer, to being hit with the reality of joining the workforce where are there are no breaks and there are no “between semesters”. You go to work and you have 2 days of the week off, unless you want to spend your precious vacation time.

But it’s not all negative, or at least that isn’t what I want to emphasize. I was forced to grow up fast. I was challenged to think on my feet and fit as many tasks as I possibly could into one day. I was learning, more than I ever did sitting in a classroom of over 100 people listening to a lecture about evolution (Seriously? My major is journalism and AD/PR and I am about to be on my own. This is more important for me to know than how to do my taxes and how to build my portfolio?). I was getting better, more efficient, more knowledgeable on cutting edge trends and best practices for running a business. I was becoming your regular powerhouse, and my employers knew it. I was getting rewarded steadily for a job well done, and I was eating it up.

On the other hand, I was very different than my team members. I loved being a part of the team while having a valuable voice, working hard and meeting new people, but I was losing myself in it all. I was business-driven, and I was trading my real, goofy, anxious self for my game face every day, no exceptions, no excuses.

I knew that what I was doing was the perfect job for me. I was excelling at it, but I needed to feel more like what I was doing was also helping others and our community, and that I could get the job done while also being myself. So, I got involved outside of work. I started volunteering and joining meaningful groups that gave their time to the greater good. And then, I met Keisha.

It took me about 5 minutes to realize that this was someone I needed to know and learn more about. Thanks to an organization where we ended up on the same planning team for and were working together to build, I got to do just that. I knew she was working on starting a business of her own in the same industry. Ideas started floating through my head about how cool it would be to work for her.

When I learned about her mission and how her business model was set up, I was all for it. I didn’t exactly know how I could fit in as a project manager, but it was worth the conversation to find out if it was even a possibility.

We met one evening and started chatting about her business as well as what my current day to day looked like, and we found that her needs were falling right into my lap. It was the greatest coincidence!

Today, I sit amongst a team who I not only fit in with when it comes to personality, but I can confidently say that the work I am putting in is benefiting others in more ways than one. A) I get to work with several local nonprofits to help them promote their wonderful causes and gain funding and support, B) I also get to help other startup companies like ourselves get off their feet with a fully fleshed out brand strategy, and C) I get to contribute to a team that is offering creatives EXACTLY what I needed as a college student and before making the leap into a full-time gig having to learn everything from scratch.

Brass Tacks is giving entry-level creatives the agency experience they need before going to work for an advertising firm or joining an in-house team. Not only that, but we are working to expand our apprenticeship program to include project management soon, which means I might be able to directly help someone else understand the ins and outs of this role!

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