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Storytelling with the Women of JCI: Networking on International Women’s Day

Updated: Mar 15

By Georgia Antonia Lewis


In a world where young adults often find themselves at a crossroads, on the brink of their next career move, our team of passionate ladies here at JCI navigates the dynamic landscape of communications and public relations with determination, resilience, and unwavering ambition. Through their diverse backgrounds, aspirations, and journeys, our tiny, but mighty team of six women exemplifies the power of dreaming big and pursuing one's goals, no matter the obstacles. As part of our celebration of International Women's Day and in honor of the incredible women who make up our team at JCI Worldwide, I had the privilege of sitting down with each of my coworkers to delve deeper into their unique experiences and aspirations. Through our conversations, I asked each of them four important questions:


  • What Was Your Dream Job as a Kid?

  • Who is A Woman in History or Present Day who is most inspirational to you? 

  • How did you land your Job at JCI?

  • How hasJCI helped your career?

These conversations were not only illuminating but also deeply inspiring, showcasing the resilience, ambition, and dedication of the women who contribute to our team's success every day.


 


Bella Mendoza's journey from childhood dreams and inspirations to her role at JCI is a testament to her unwavering determination and passion for making a difference. As a child, Bella's dream was to become a teacher, inspired by the impactful educators who shaped her views on education. This early aspiration laid the foundation for her future endeavors, instilling in her a deep sense of purpose and a commitment to creating positive change.


Throughout her life, Bella has drawn inspiration from historical figures like Sonia Sotomayor, whose resilience and determination in the face of adversity have left an indelible mark on her. Sotomayor's journey from a humble background to becoming the first woman of color and Latina nominated to the United States Supreme Court has served as a source of empowerment for Bella, motivating her to overcome obstacles and pursue her dreams relentlessly.


Upon graduating from college, Bella embarked on a path that led her to JCI, where she found a platform to channel her passion for advocacy and community engagement. Before joining the team, Bella dedicated her time to working with nonprofits focused on immigration and refugee rights, as well as conducting research on the impact of free speech in social media. These experiences not only equipped her with valuable skills for work here at JCI–seeing as we work with many non-profits–but also fueled her desire to make a meaningful impact in the world.


At JCI, Bella found more than just a job; she found a supportive and inclusive environment that nurtures her growth and empowers her to thrive. The collaborative culture at JCI encourages open communication and fosters a sense of belonging, enabling Bella to contribute her ideas and perspectives without fear of judgment. Here, she has been able to expand her knowledge and skills in the field of public relations and advocacy, while also making meaningful connections with nonprofits and community organizations.


In Bella's journey, JCI serves as a catalyst for growth and empowerment, providing her with the tools and opportunities she needs to fulfill her potential. Through her work at JCI, Bella continues to pursue her passion for immigration, women's health issues, sustainability, and digital equity, making a positive impact on the community and inspiring others to do the same.



Claire Del Prete's journey from childhood aspirations to her current role as an Account Supervisor at JCI is a testament to her unwavering passion for creativity and storytelling. 


From a young age, Claire was captivated by the power of storytelling, fueled by her favorite American novelist, the late Joan Didion. Didion's groundbreaking work in New Journalism deeply influenced Claire's perspective on social unrest and personal grief, shaping her aspirations and guiding her path. As Claire embarked on her career journey, she drew inspiration from her colleagues' diverse paths to joining JCI. Each shared their unique experiences, from internships to networking opportunities, underscoring the myriad ways individuals discover and pursue their passions in communications and public relations.  


For Claire, her path to JCI began with internships at the California Emerging Technology Fund, where she honed her skills in issue advocacy and public policy. Despite initially venturing into marketing post-college, Claire felt unsatisfied and sought new opportunities in public affairs and issue advocacy in Southern California. When she interviewed with JCI, it felt like the perfect fit—a chance to return to her passion for storytelling and make a meaningful impact in an industry she deeply cared about.

 

Today, Claire finds herself at JCI, where her background in creativity and storytelling is celebrated. As an Account Supervisor, she sees her role not just as a job, but as an opportunity to break down barriers and pave the way for future generations of women in public relations. 


With her dedication, resilience, and commitment to advocacy, Claire continues to inspire those around her, leaving a lasting legacy in the field of public relations.



From a young age, Aimee's dream was to become a surgeon. Fascinated by medical dramas and unphased by the sight of blood, she was drawn to the intricacies of the human body and the idea of saving lives. However, as she grew older, Aimee's interests expanded beyond the operating room to the realm of public affairs.


One woman who deeply inspires Aimee is Michelle Obama. Aimee admires Michelle's authenticity and the way she openly shares her personal journey to success. Michelle's emphasis on education, empowerment, and self-confidence resonates deeply with Aimee, making her an influential figure in her life. Aimee's admiration for Michelle is further reflected in her love for Michelle Obama's book Becoming, which she considers one of her all-time favorites. In the book, Michelle emphasizes the importance of education, empowerment, and self-confidence, themes that deeply resonate with Aimee.


After completing her Master's program at USC, Aimee embarked on a search for opportunities in public affairs. With a background in social science and public relations, she was eager to explore the intersection of the public and private sectors. When she stumbled upon a job opening at JCI through Handshake, she knew it was the perfect fit for her.


At JCI, Aimee found a platform to channel her passion for communication and advocacy. As an Account Coordinator, she plays a crucial role in bridging the gap between government, organizations, and the public. Through policy research and strategic communications, she effectively communicates complex issues and advocates for important causes.


What makes JCI particularly rewarding for Aimee is the opportunity to engage with the community and make a meaningful difference. The dynamic nature of her role keeps her intellectually stimulated, presenting her with new challenges and opportunities to innovate on a regular basis. 


For Aimee, working at JCI is a chance to fulfill her childhood dreams of making a positive impact on the world and advocating for change.



As a child, Lindsay dreamed of becoming a professional ballerina. For 15 years, she dedicated herself to ballet, only to realize the toxic pressures and outdated ideals surrounding women's appearances prevalent in the industry. Lindsay recognized the harmful impact of these old-fashioned notions of womanhood, particularly the unrealistic expectations placed on women to maintain a certain physique. She courageously decided to pursue other passions, paving the way for a more fulfilling career path. 


One woman who profoundly inspires Lindsay is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC). Lindsay admires AOC's fearlessness in confronting problematic political practices and her ability to blend urgency and emotion with intelligent arguments. AOC's journey from a bartender to a Congressperson resonates deeply with Lindsay, highlighting the power of perseverance and unconventionality in the face of adversity.


Before joining JCI, Lindsay worked at MIGHTY, a PR firm composed entirely of women. She also contributed to political and educational writing as a part of her role at the Daily Bruin during her time at UCLA. Landing a job at JCI was a pivotal moment for Lindsay. After interning and working as an associate during her senior year at UCLA, she joined JCI full-time after graduation. Lindsay initially discovered the job opportunity on LinkedIn, drawn to the prospect of honing her communication skills and working on projects she's passionate about.


Working at JCI offers Lindsay the chance to develop essential communication skills like writing, research, account management, and social media. She appreciates the opportunity to work on diverse projects that align with her passions and contribute to unique client objectives. Additionally, being among her coworkers at JCI, many of whom are women in similar points of their careers with common interests, adds to the supportive and inspiring environment of the workplace.


At JCI, Lindsay found a supportive community of coworkers, many of whom are women navigating similar points in their careers. She values the opportunity to collaborate with like-minded individuals and tackle diverse projects, each with its unique objectives. From writing and research to account management and advocacy, Lindsay appreciates the chance to develop essential skills while making a meaningful impact.


For Lindsay, working at JCI isn't just a job—it's a journey of growth, empowerment, and making a difference in the world, inspired by her own experiences and the courageous leadership of women like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.



In her youth, Georgia dreamed of becoming a professional track athlete, drawing inspiration from the remarkable journeys of Olympians such as Alyson Felix and Lolo Jones. She was captivated by the mixture of triumph, hardship, and camaraderie that defined their experiences. For Georgia, the allure of track and field wasn't solely about the physical act of running but the pursuit of achievement, resilience, and the sense of belonging that came from being part of a team.


Her admiration for strong and resilient women led her to Ching Shih, the fearsome pirate queen of the South China Sea. Georgia was captivated by Ching Shih's unparalleled leadership and strategic prowess, rising from humble beginnings as a sex worker to command the notorious Red Flag Fleet with unmatched ferocity and cunning. Ching Shih's legacy extended far beyond her pirating days; after retiring from piracy, she successfully negotiated her amnesty with the Qing government, securing a peaceful and prosperous future for herself and her crew.


Discovering the job opportunity at JCI marked a pivotal moment for Georgia, catalyzed by an email from the English major's department advisor at UCLA. Despite pursuing studies in Anthropology and Chinese, Georgia's passion for storytelling propelled her to explore opportunities in the realm of creative writing. The allure of joining a boutique consulting firm like JCI, renowned for its emphasis on networking, community building, and storytelling, deeply resonated with her. With hesitations about venturing into the corporate consulting world despite the financial security, Georgia found solace in the prospect of a smaller, more intimate work environment. Leveraging the resources at her disposal, including school networks and advisors, Georgia took the initiative to reach out and seize the opportunity. Upon sending her resume to Lindsay Turpin, Georgia swiftly secured an interview, setting her on the path toward realizing her career aspirations.


For Georgia, JCI has become an integral part of her career journey. Having previously worked as chief of staff with Potli, she craved more in-person interaction and the opportunity to learn and grow within a larger team environment. Joining JCI has provided her with the perfect blend of harnessing her skills and collaborating with others, all within the vibrant atmosphere of the Santa Monica office. As she navigates her role as an Associate, Georgia is excited about the prospect of contributing to meaningful projects and making a positive impact in the communities around her.



As a first-generation immigrant, Hafsa shares that her early career aspirations were influenced by the knowledge of limited options, initially inclining towards teaching or medicine, despite not being passionate about either. However, as she delved deeper into various professional avenues, her interests evolved towards the dynamic realms of marketing and PR where she can express her creativity and thrive.


Hafsa finds inspiration in individuals like Bisan Owda, a journalist from Gaza, whose unwavering courage and commitment to documenting the hardships faced by her people serve as a beacon of strength in the face of adversity. Bisan Odwa, a 24-year-old from Gaza, Palestine, is a passionate community and youth activist, content creator, and an advocate. Bisan's resilience and dedication resonate deeply with Hafsa's own values and aspirations, inspiring her to advocate for truth and justice.


The opportunity to join JCI arose serendipitously for Hafsa, much like Georgia's experience, through an email from her major's department advisor at UCLA. Intrigued by the potential for growth and impact, she eagerly pursued the opportunity, recognizing it as a pivotal moment in her career journey.


For Hafsa, JCI represents more than just a career stepping-stone; it embodies the perfect blend of her passions for PR, public affairs, and nonprofit work. The environment at JCI offers a unique blend of hands-on experience and mentorship from seasoned professionals, providing a fertile ground for her professional development. This symbiotic relationship between her aspirations and the opportunities at JCI fuels her enthusiasm for effecting meaningful change and making a tangible impact in her chosen field.


 

In closing, as we celebrate International Women's Day, the stories of these remarkable women at JCI serve as a beacon of inspiration and empowerment. Their journeys reflect the limitless possibilities for young adults finding new jobs and navigating career growth strategies in today's dynamic landscape. From childhood aspirations to landing coveted positions in strategic communications firms like ours, these women embody the resilience, ambition, and dedication necessary to break glass ceilings and pave the way for future generations of female leaders. Let us draw strength from their experiences and commit to fostering diversity, inclusion, and gender equality in all aspects of the workplace. Happy International Women's Day!


 


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