Hampton University, Public Relations Major/Marketing Minor
As a recent graduate, Paige Mariah Delaney — like most young adults — was really nervous about her next steps and exactly where she should begin her career. After hours of online job searching (“Indeed.com became my best friend!” she jokes), Paige came across a posting for a marketing coordinator at One Hope United, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting children and strengthening families. After some research, she knew: this was the position for her.
Now she’s in a position that fulfills her passions — personal and professional — and wishes she could tell her slightly younger self to just be patient: “…because something better than I could have ever imagined is coming very soon.”
Decide [you] want it, more than [you’re] afraid of it.
How do you organize your day?
I am very big on list making! I love the feeling of crossing things off one-by-one on a long to-do list. I also find it really helpful to number tasks in order of importance and by due date so that I can prioritize and get things done without feeling super overwhelmed. Whether I’m writing down things that I need to get done at work, or things that I need to take care of at home, lists keep me organized!
What is it about your job that makes you feel it’s the right fit for you?
One Hope United is a nonprofit that is dedicated to protecting children and strengthening families. I am extremely passionate about helping youth and influencing them in a positive way. So, saying this job was a good fit for me is an understatement. I also love our company culture! We have nearly 1,000 employees throughout four states, ranging from childcare to marketing professionals. Though all of our positions are so different, we’re able to come together in such an awesome way to serve more than 10,000 people in need. I also couldn’t have asked to be placed with a better marketing team and supervisors; they teach me new things every day.
What challenges keep you awake at night?
I’m often up at night thinking about what new ideas and content I can bring to the table to help OHU and our mission become more recognized by the public. We have a wonderful staff, serving some amazingly courageous children and families. Though we have been around for more than 120 years, unfortunately One Hope United can often be left out of the conversation. It’s very important to me as the marketing coordinator to make our nonprofit more visible, so that people who may have never heard of us can see the wonderful things that we’re doing and become inspired to join us in our mission to create exceptional outcomes for kids.
Is work/life balance ever a problem with you? If so, what is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?
Going from college life to career life was a huge transition. However, I will never stop seeing the importance of having a personal life. Though my schedule is a lot busier now, I’ve found different ways to spend time with friends. For example, I hang out with one of my best friends and exercise at the same time when we attend weekly cycle and kickboxing classes together at the gym. I also make sure that I always allow myself some relaxation time on the weekends, whether that be dinner with friends or sitting on the couch all day watching a Law & Order: SVU marathon!
Was there ever a moment in your career where you’ve thought, “I made it!” What was it?
With the beginning of my career still being so fresh, I definitely think I have a long way to go before I can truly say that I’ve made it. However, I do believe that each day that I am able to enter the office and sit at my desk is a little victory in itself. Even after I’m seasoned in my career, I know that I’m going to keep pushing myself to do even more and reach new boundaries that I don’t even know exist yet. I am so excited to continue growing in my career.
What are some of the rules you live by?
One of the biggest rules that I live by is to decide that I want it, more than I’m afraid of it. I always remind myself of this when I’m feeling a bit nervous about trying something new or beginning a new project. I know that I will never achieve all of the goals and dreams that I have for myself, unless I’m first brave enough to begin. Another would have to be to trust in my own timing and journey. It is so unfair to compare yourself to others. Everyone has a different path that is unique and special to him or her. I can only focus on always doing my very best and enjoying the beauty of my own journey.
What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?
I believe that to be successful in marketing, it is extremely important to be confident in your voice and in your ideas. If you’re anything like me, you got into marketing because you have a creative spirit and enjoy seeing your ideas come to life. At times I can find myself feeling a bit shy in different situations, but I know that my company hired me because they believe in what I am capable of and they want to hear my thoughts! Not every suggestion will always be used, but you’ll miss out on too many amazing opportunities by not speaking up.
What one piece of advice do you wish you could tell a 21-year-old version of yourself?
Though 21 wasn’t too long ago for me, I would tell myself to take a deep breath and to never doubt that everything is going to work out exactly how it is supposed to. Graduating from college, I was really nervous about my next steps and exactly where I should begin my career. Since I was a freshman in high school, I’ve enjoyed writing e-mail capsules. There are several websites that will allow you to write a letter to your future self and choose exactly when you receive it. The letter that I received from my 21-year-old self was filled with worry and stress. I would love to tell myself to just be patient, because something better than I could have ever imagined is coming very soon.
What advice do you have for current college students who feel confused about their future careers?
My best advice is always to intern, intern and intern. Interning is the best way to not only gain experience, but also learn what you want and what you don’t want out of a career. It’s the perfect test run before you’re out there in real world and everyone should take advantage!