This month’s first Millennial on a Mission is a digital strategist, career coach and brand ambassador. Despite growing up without family in corporate careers, she has discovered that her education and other opportunities presented to her have equipped her with tools to successfully navigate corporate cultures. She is also the founder of C-Suite Coach, a career coaching and content platform for under-served millennials.
I’d like for you to meet Angelina Darrisaw.
A born and bred Brooklyn girl, Angelina studied political science at Davidson College and received her master’s degree in business from Wake Forest University. She spent several years in the media industry, and was most recently a senior manager of digital business development at Viacom. “I was being promoted, gaining opportunities, and experiencing growth,” Angelina recalled. “But I noticed a need among other young professionals with backgrounds similar to mine for more tools to be successful in corporate America. I wanted to create more of those tools.”
MOAM: What inspired you to pursue your choice of career? Who are some individuals you admire in and out of your field of work? What challenges have you faced in building your business/brand, and what have you learned from them?
AD: I chose this business because organically, so many young people were asking to connect with me about professional development topics. I wanted to scale out what I could offer and take myself away from being the owner of all this advice. My mother, Jessica Alba and Lisa Nichols are just a few of the many women that inspire me. I like seeing people who aren’t deterred or defined by their circumstances. Jessica Alba, for instance, was put in a box my many as “just” an actress but had a business idea she wanted to chase and she fought to chase it, even when others told her it wasn’t going to work. Now she runs a company valued at $1 billion.
While I’m in the startup phase of my business, I’m learning a lot very quickly. Not everything is always ready in the timeline I’d like, so I have to be flexible with the deadlines I communicate externally. All responsibility of my business falls on me until I am able to hire more people, so I have to prioritize very effectively. I don’t have as much social time as I used to and I have to delicately bow out of birthdays, parties, and other events that I want to be at, but just can’t make. I’ve learned to try to do as much as I can without being too hard on myself.
To Angelina, being Millennial On A Mission means being proactive. It also means planning ahead and preparing yourself for the next opportunity while still being in the moment and letting your passion lead. “That’s what I think is so different about our generation — the passion piece,” Angelina says. On a daily basis, she strives to live and achieve my dreams always doing at least one thing that works towards her vision. “I have a plan and a mission for my life and some days, I take small steps towards it and some days I take huge leaps. At the end of the day, keeping that plan and vision in mind is what guides me. And that would be the same advice she would give to her millennial peers. “Have an overarching vision but break it up in chunks and make a movement towards it each day, ” Angelina says. “You can’t be a millionaire before you make six figures. Break your goals down and they become way more manageable.