Alumnae Spotlight – January 2017

January’s Alumnae Spotlight highlights what our Soror, Puja Bhakta, from the Tampa Bay Alumnae Chapter has been up to! Read about her passion for her career with the American Cancer Society!

What are you doing today and how did joining Kappa Phi Gamma Sorority, Inc. prepare you for this?

I am currently working as a Content Producer for the American Cancer Society. My initial experience of being involved with cancer awareness was during my active years in KPhiG. Through volunteer efforts, I began participating in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life event, which would later on help me in my current position. Many of the skills I learned throughout process and while being an active sister, such as design, creating events from start to finish, time management, professionalism and punctuality have made me a better person and a successful marketing professional.

What were your biggest challenges and struggles?

My biggest challenge before and during process, as an active sister, and even as a working professional was paying attention to detail. It’s something I work on consistently, but because I was able to identify this challenge early on, I was able to grow and make progress by the time I became a working professional.

What is your favorite part of your position/career/field?

I love helping people. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I didn’t realize this when I was younger but the non-profit field is a perfect fit for me. There are many careers that allow you to help people, but I feel like marketing gives me creative freedom and allows me to showcase my organizational strengths, which are necessary when working in marketing for a nonprofit organization.

What is your work/life balance?

I’ve always wanted the 9 to 5 lifestyle and I can proudly say that I have just that. Not only do I feel like I’m doing amazing work for a great cause and constantly learning and being challenged, but I get to have a life at the same time! It is so important to have both. I never wanted to be someone who JUST talks about work. I’ve always wanted to be a well-rounded person with a great job and a life to enjoy my hobbies and interests. My family and friends mean the world to me, so I could never give up this work life balance. They are my priority always.

What do you perceive are the benefits of joining Kappa Phi Gamma Sorority, Inc.?

Not only are you meeting amazing women who have the same values as you do, but you are learning so much about you and how to become the best version of yourself. I am best friends with my line sisters, and if I had never made the decision to join Kappa Phi Gamma, I wouldn’t have them. I can also attribute my success to the important lessons I have learned through KPhiG, such as professionalism and importance of self. I really do feel like so many young women are or become insecure and make bad choices due to low self value, but developing a strong sense of self would really help women throughout life when it comes to success and respecting one’s self, as well as others.

What advice do you have for women that are attempting to follow your career path?

I would advise them to take on as many internships as possible in college. Experience is everything. Sure, you need a degree to even be considered for a job, but what makes you stand out is what else you have to offer. There are SO many career paths within marketing including TV, digital, print, broadcast, and radio. Try interning at different types to see what you like. Also, it matters who you market for. You should market for something you yourself believe in. I used to work for an agency on an account for car rentals and I really didn’t care about that so I wasn’t passionate about my work. Be passionate. Be curious. Learn as much as you can. If you aren’t excited about something, don’t do it! Find something that makes the fire inside of you explode and want to share that with others. That is the best way to be successful – when you love what you do so much that it inspires other people to want to be just like you.

How do you measure your success?

I know so many people who measure success by degree, money, and labels. It’s not about that! It’s how happy you are and the ability to come into work everyday EXCITED! It’s about being able to say what you do proudly when people ask, “So what do you do?” It’s about feeling like you’re doing something that is worth it. Don’t chase a label because it probably isn’t as glamorous as it seems. Follow your passion. It sounds cliche, but when you really want something, you will put in the effort and the money will follow. It’s so lame when people act like certain careers don’t “make money”. It’s not the career, it’s YOU. If you want to make tons of money then BE BETTER at what you do, and that will usually go hand in hand with loving what you do.