Meghan Bates graduated from Texas State in December of 2015, double majoring in Public Relations and Spanish. She chose to go to Texas State because the campus felt just as down-to-earth and caring as her close-knit hometown in northeast Texas. Since graduating, she has been able to travel to China and South America to visit her friends and mentor. Every time she visits San Marcos, she makes sure to stop by Dos Gatos for their legendary kolaches!
She is currently located in Austin, Texas, working for an office creating content calendars, budgets, and audience bases for clients. Halfway through her work day, she reviews her calendars for ways to improve creatively or financially. Bates says she’s always wanted to work in a marketing of communication environment. Growing up, she always took on some sort of spokesperson role in different aspects of her life, and that carried over to the jobs that she had throughout college and afterwards.
“When I interviewed to the corporate agency I am now with, I was honest and fierce. I admitted having less experience in some areas, but made sure they understood I never slept on the basics and treated all my jobs as if they were my last. I brought cover letters, resumes, and business cards for everyone and a thank you note that I slipped in the mail bin on my way out the door.”
Bates’ ultimate career goal is to share a good story, whether it is a company’s story or her own. She emphasizes that you don’t have to reach your goals in linear steps. She has a plethora of advice to share for students looking to go down the same career path:
- Message over medium. A mentor once told me to stay true to what my message is, because what it’s dressed in will always change and will eventually become second priority.
- Talk to your friends about their pay/workload and encourage one another to negotiate pay or leave.
- Be a good friend. This career track can be a constant competition, but let your work speak for you.
- For girls of color, I recommend being who you are, no matter what it looks like. We code-switch (when someone alternates between two or more languages or language varieties) a lot as a survival tactic, so it’s important to take up space and take time off beforeyou need it. You deserve both.
- I’m paraphrasing Myliek Teele, but doing sub-par because an office hasn’t served you well will hurt no one but you in the end. Even when an office doesn’t serve you, pretend it’s as if you’re working for yourself to stay motivated. Always protect your work and name.