on life, ambitions, and dreams

The Big News I Have Been Waiting to Share

Be the Change


The funny thing about living your life online is that when something big happens, you can’t wait to share it. And even when something hasn’t happened yet or is about to happen, you can’t wait to translate that giddy feeling inside of you into 140 characters of sheer glee and excitement!!!!!

And then, when something EVEN BIGGER happens in your life that’s a game-changer, you hold off and wonder what the best way to deliver the news is—Is it to be Tweeted about and risk losing it get lost amongst the noise of what everyone else had for breakfast? Shall it be a status update on Facebook that will encourage 10 or so “Likes”? Or will it be delivered in person, where you can give the maximum amount of details and receive the most amazing support from those who know you the most and how hard you’ve worked for it?

That’s what’s interesting about this whole ‘social media’ thang: social media is a form of marketing and now, more than ever, you have to act as your own brand manager. You are responsible for calling your own press conference. And you are the one managing your communications effectively to get the results and secure the ‘placement’ within your friends’ minds that you desire and deserve.

Read all about it: Laura is off the job market!

Nadia & Laura selling raffle tickets at SMC

For the past three weeks I’ve been elusive in my tweets and in my status updates, but it’s all for good reason. In the beginning of January, I started work as Jolkona Foundation’s second full-time employee.

For Jolkona, the startup nonprofit that I have been volunteering with since February 2009, hiring its first two employees means that the organization has reached a pivotal point in its life. I will be working closely with Nadia Khawaja Mahmud, who is the co-founder of Jolkona and the new CEO, as well as the volunteer leadership team and the 20+ volunteers who support them.

As the Director of Communications & Social Media, I’ll lead Jolkona’s marketing and outreach efforts, which include managing my own team, PR/Marketing/Social Media, and the following volunteer teams: Campus Outreach, Events, and Corporate Partnerships.

When I started with Jolkona, I signed up to run their social media with the goal to gain real-life experience that could bridge my way into a full-time, paid position. And it worked, as it landed me multiple contracts throughout the past year. But when co-founder, Adnan Mahmud, mentioned that in the ideally, they hope to look to their volunteers when hiring, I had no intention that that could be my reality.

You can read more about everything that Jolkona accomplished in 2010 and where we’re heading in 2011 in this blog post written by Adnan.

What makes this newsworthy?

For me, signing on with Jolkona full-time is a big deal, not only because I’ve been on the job hunt for almost a year-and-a-half and doing the job for almost a year, but because it’s something I’m truly passionate about. To friends, family members, and even in interviews with other employers, I always talk about how with Jolkona, I get to work with the most incredible, inspiring, and passionate individuals, working towards goals that are more strategic and more smart than any of my paid positions before. Mind you, this is a pitch I started saying last spring.

When I approach a new employer, I always say, “Give me a challenge, and let me show you what I can do.” It’s probably not the best strategy, but it’s the honest truth. And I’m incredibly honored and thankful that Nadia and Adnan have given me the chance to show them just what I can do for Jolkona.

We have a big year ahead of us, and I’m ready.

Photo Credit: Feggy Art

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14 Responses

  1. So happy for you!! You know, I had a feeling this would happen for you eventually. Your involvement in the organization has been so instrumental in their advancement (it would seem), it’s only natural that you remain part of the team. That is definitely the kind of organization I’d love to work for. Congrats!

  2. Congratulations Laura, and Jolkona! A company worthy of Laura’s energy & talents and a Director in a company changing the world! Awesome news!

  3. Congratulations Laura! They are lucky to have you and it seems like a perfect match. Looking forward to updates on Joikona.

  4. It is super exciting that you decided to join Jolkona. Really looking forward to seeing you and the organization achieve new heights!

  5. Congratulations – that is so awesome! It just goes to show that you have to be patient, and you may start off working for free, but that good things come to those who wait but are ACTIVE. And that holding out for the right opportunity is totally worth it. nWorking on something you are passionate about is probably the greatest gift – everyone says it again and again. I’m sure you will be uber successful and will continue to inspire with your story.

    1. Thank you so much, Vanessa! I’ve had a number of conversations with people since posting this, and it all comes down to the same thing — you never know what doors will open and experience you’ll gain when working for free. They key is to remember why you’re doing it for yourself.nnThank you for your comment, it means a lot to me.

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