She Makes Me Wanna - Remember What's Truly Important!

I met Kendra when I was an Assistant Sports Information Director at Purdue. Kendra was wrapping up her sophomore year and from the moment I met her I remember thinking this girl is DYNAMIC! Kendra was the epitome of hard working/multi tasking. She worked at the Black Cultural Center and at the time wrote for their newsletter; she was very active in her sorority; she maintained a very impressive GPA in the demanding public relations program at Purdue and the day I met her she was interviewing to intern in the athletic department. Her schedule made my head spin. Naturally, she got the intern in the promotions department – promotions worked closely with sports info so we worked together quite often. She was literally amazing. She got everything done with such tenacity and passion – after a short time, we begin to utilize her in the sports information office. The most impressive thing was that she was really a cool girl – we began to hang out. She was years younger but we always had so much fun! We’d go to the college parties or do group stuff at home everything was always fun!

As Kendra matriculated in her studies, she got an intern in Indianapolis working for the Pacers (now add that two hour back and forth commute to her load, this girl was BUSY!). She was so great in the athletic arena, I urged her to get a summer intern doing something athletics related. Kendra looked me dead in the eyes and said it was her life’s dream to work in public relations. She told me that she, her roommate and her best friend were all going to NYC for the summer to pursue interns and she was sure that she’d land a job. She did. She became an intern at Fleishman-Hillard, one of the largest marketing companies in the world.

That’s the thing about “K”. She not only had a vision when we were hanging at Purdue, she worked extremely hard to attain her goals. Most impressive thing is that she remembers what is truly important in life. Kendra shined in that internship position and when she graduated she began to work there full time. She worked hard and moved up in the company at a rapid pace, and pretty soon she was traveling the world (LOL! And lucky for me, taking her friends along!). No matter where her travels led her, I knew she was thinking of me because I’d get some memento in the mail (postcards, hotel pens, t-shirts, etc). And this was not unique with just our friendship – that’s how she is (when she'd visit me in LA we always had to go to the postoffice so she could mail her other friends little do-dads from her stay!). Because work was so demanding we couldn't always hang out. BUT we DID hang, we'd HANG! We’d always say party all night, but never be late for work! (And we would go so hard but never miss a beat at work!) Because she works so hard, she has always made it a point to really make her friends and loved ones feel the love. Last Christmas she got married to her college boo and she puts that same energy into creating an amazing relationship.

Although Kendra inspires me to do so much, she makes me wanna remember what’s truly important. No matter what’s happening at work, she remembers to take care of friends and loved ones! Without further ado, here’s Kendra’s “She Makes Me Wanna”.

She Makes Me Wanna …
NAME: Kendra Bracken-Ferguson
AGE: 29
HOMETOWN: Round Rock, TX

EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND: Bachelor of Arts (concentration in Public Relations), Purdue University; Masters of Business Administration, Keller Graduate School of Management

OCCUPATION: Director, Digital Media, Corporate Communications; Polo Ralph Lauren

AS A CHILD WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP: Public Relations/Publicist since I was in the 7th grade. I was actually watching the president make a speech and I remember trying to figure out who the person was with him that was briefing him and handling the media. I later found out, it was his publicist and from that moment on I decided I wanted to pursue a career in public relations. I was fortunate and blessed enough to not only dream about a career in public relations but to also receive a degree with a communications/public relations focus as well as go on to work in the field of public relations for one of the largest PR agencies in the world.

DO YOU LOVE WHAT YOU DO: Yes! I always wanted to work for a large fashion brand in the communications department and the Lord has blessed me with that opportunity. Every day, I try my hardest to make the most out of what He has given me. On my first day of work, my mom told me “To Whom Much Is Given, Much Is Due” – I try to remember that every day and accept my role with both humility and pride. I was also recently elected to the Board of New York Women In Communications, which has been an amazing experience for me and something I am really happy to be a part of.

HOW DID YOU BEGIN YOUR CAREER: I started out as intern at Fleishman-Hillard Global Communications during the summer before my senior year in college. I decided that I wanted to have an internship at one of the top 5 PR agencies in NYC, did tons of research and submitted my resume. Two of my close friends and I hopped on the Greyhound bus and went out to NYC for interviews. We stayed in a small room with a shared bathroom but it was worth it because I landed the internship. I ended up staying at FH for another 7 years, helping to build the youth marketing practice and digital consumer team.

ARE YOU LIVING THE LIFE YOU DREAMED OF: Yes, I am. I moved to NYC right out of college and didn’t really know what to expect. I had amazing opportunities to travel all over the world and experiences that I could only have dreamed of. I was able to grow as a person both professionally, personally and spiritually. I like to live by the philosophy “Carpe Diem” – Seize the Day-- and I can truly say, I have achieved my dreams and so much more.

WHO IS YOUR FEMALE INSPIRATION: Teresa Bledsoe, my mother, friend and mentor! Through thick and thin, we held on to each other and I admire and love her.

WHAT DO YOU DO FOR FUN: I love traveling, reading, cooking (this came after being married!), being with family and friends and lazy days at the beach!

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER WOMEN IN PURSUIT OF THEIR DREAM: Believe in yourself, be open to new opportunities and change, keep growing and make sure to learn something every day. Find support groups, whether it is through volunteer and professional organizations or church groups – having networks outside of your family, coworkers and friends, can open you up to whole another world of experiences and opportunities.
Remember to meditate daily on all of the things you have to be faithful for.
If you desire to have a victorious, powerful, positive life, you cannot be negative about yourself. Don’t look only at how far you have to go, but how far you have come. Think and speak positively about yourself!

“There’s a world that needs fixing, a career waiting to soar, a life ready to be transformed into the extraordinary. Take the first small step. And then keep on walking.”

Keep up with Kendra by following her on Facebook or Twitter or read her blog Innovate 24/7.

1 comment:

Laura said...

I love that you featured Kendra in your "She Makes Me Wanna" piece. I too had the pleasure of working with her and she quickly became my mentor and a truly great friend! :)

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