I’m back at it with my series Young, Black, Visionary, where I introduce you some black young adults that are doing some amazing and impressive things. This week I interviewed, Abigail Covington, a close friend and a senior at Syracuse University. She’s started her own brand, AJC Brand, and celebrates women doing amazing things in her WCW series on Instagram. Get to know her and get some advice in the interview below:
What made you want to major in PR?
So I’m actually not a PR major. I major in Writing Studies, Rhetoric, & Composition and I double minor in Pubic Communications and IT, Design & Startups. However, the mix of my major in minor situates itself very nicely into PR and communications marketing work. I had a love for writing when I first came to school and thought I wanted to be a journalist. However, journalism wasn’t strategic enough for my liking. I wanted to control the narrative and think about methods of dissemination that would have the largest affect on audiences. So instead, I focused on understanding the media business and technology alongside writing and created the academic setup that I currently have.
What made you start the AJC Brand?
The AJC Brand came out of a desire to take the advice and conversations that I’ve had with friends and colleagues on a regular basis about inspiration, wellness, and spiritual health and turn it into content that could be easily digestible and hard hitting for an online audience. I started with inspirational tidbits and then it evolved into a weekly newsletter and other forms of social content posts. It’s an extension of my own thoughts and meditations that are shared to benefit everyone because I know many people have gone through similar things and also need a pick me up or reminder that they’re not alone in this walk of life.
What made you start your WCW series and your #CollegeGirlBoss summer series?
Last summer I started posting different women influencers from Instagram for #WCW. The #CollegeGirlBoss series was a development of my #WCW posts. I originally got the idea from Gabrielle Union who posts different women for WCW when they’ve had a recent success or it’s their birthday. She posts how she may know or admire them and then she promotes any work that they’re currently doing. I adapted the idea and looked at women who are influencers that I follow or are in line with people I follow. I posted them every week all summer and got a lot of great feedback and support to continue. This summer, I wanted to change the theme and really touch my core audience which is 18-24 year olds across a few major East coast cities. This prompted me to examine college-aged WOC because they are the highlight of that demographic for my social feed and were more engaged with the content than last year. Essentially, I put my PR and communications strategy to work and yielded some amazingly dope results.
Who inspired and impacted your life the most??
I have a lot of influences but my parents are definitely the major players. They have worked tirelessly to get me where I am and have been a backbone of support as I explored different paths for myself and began to mold the life that I want. Many people don’t get the freedom to do that from their parents, especially not at a young age. I’m eternally grateful for the way they’ve allowed me to independently explore what I want. Having that freedom has enabled me to boldly declare things for myself and evolve my narrative as I see fit. It’s been an awesome journey and I just appreciate being able to make that walk day-to-day.
What motivates you?
My parents motivate me for the aforementioned reasons. Additionally, my friends, mentees, and community motivate me daily. My friends are doing amazing things; everything from research to screenwriting, education to medicine, they’re doing it all and it’s been a blessing to see them soar and develop. Being around that kind of energy can only breed more greatness. My mentees are the future and hearing them speak and listening to their opinions and viewpoints on what their world can be influences me to make sure that I help shape a world where their dream narrative can exist for them. However I can contribute to that reality is my responsibility to them and motivation for myself. My community that includes of WOC entrepreneurs, influencers, designers, marketers, and executives keeps me on my toes because of the wonderful work they’re doing to advance the culture. WOC are taking their buying power and knowledge of self into their own hands and making strides toward advancing the global community by selling products, services, and offering programs that help improve the quality of life for many. Waking up every day amidst that kind of culture gives all the boost I need to get out of bed in the morning.
Any advice for college students or high school seniors?
I tell everyone headed to college these 3 things:
1. Go to college for the full experience of you – Learn about yourself, your habits, patterns, triggers, strengths, and weaknesses, Study what YOU are interested in because your parents don’t have to live the life you’ve created for yourself. Go to school to learn who you are and be present in the time that you’re there to understand how you function.
2. Network your ass off! – “Your network is your net worth” I don’t know who said that first but it’s true. Every class you take is an opportunity to meet professors, teachers, and students who can help you reach your goals. You’ll need letters of recommendation from professors or staff you meet along your journey. Use them as resources! Network laterally with classmates with similar interests. You never know where other people will end up and how you’ll end up needing them in the future.
3. Give yourself grace. – I’m still learning this for myself but it’s vitally important. You have to be nice to yourself! Other people will only treat you as nice as you treat yourself.
What does the future hold for you? What are your wants/plans for after graduation?
The future holds a lot of opportunities! I’m currently the Head of Marketing for a startup called the Cllctve Agency. Follow us @thecllctve on all social media channels. I’m also a senior so I’m looking at graduate school, job opportunities, and continued work with The Cllctve post-graduation but I’m really just asking God to order my steps so that I come into the place he’s positioned and prepared me for.
Check out Abigail on Instagram and let me know in the comments what you thought about this Young, Black, Visionary and let me know who I should feature next!