Why My Career Path Makes So Much Sense in Retrospect

erin mullen at americas beauty show

What did you want to be when you were a kid and what do you do now?

Well, after my modeling debut (pictured below) I thought briefly that perhaps I was meant to be a super model. I very much was not.

What I remember wanting to be most as a child was a lawyer or an actor, but as I look back I realize that I have always have had a love for marketing running through me.

I used to rally the neighborhood kids together for bake sales and petting zoos, or get everyone engaged in backyard plays that we took way too seriously. I promoted the heck out those things with flyers full of the best clip art available. As I got a little older I became certified babysitter through classes at a local hospital and made sure everyone got a brochure to let them know.

I started my career as a cosmetologist. I graduated high school early and wanted to make sure I had a career that would get me through college. I ended up falling in love with the beauty and salon industry. But it wasn’t long after starting off in this industry that I found myself helping owners with the business side of things – from setting up online scheduling to marketing new stylists, to creating a social media strategy around MySpace (yes, you read that right), to email newsletters… I just didn’t yet realize that all of this stuff I was so obsessed with was marketing.

When I attended orientation at Purdue before starting back full-time to finish my degree I remember several major-based groups doing tours and talking about options within that major. I saw a group for Communication that listed several of the things I loved doing and decided to go rogue and attend this group tour instead of the major I had initially signed up with. I am so glad I did, because everything started to click on this tour.

Once I found out that I could make an actual career out of doing what I had always thought was a hobby I excitedly knew that was the industry I needed to be in. I decided to major in Communication with a specialization in Strategic Communication/PR and Advertising. I have continued to work in this space since, and guess what? I still love all things communication and marketing.

I know not everyone is able to create a living around work that they love, and I feel extremely blessed to be able to do so.

Published by Erin Mullen

I am currently a senior in the Brian Lamb School of Communication at Purdue University. I am focusing my degree on Public Relations and Rhetorical Advocacy. I am a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and am the Director of Creative Integration on the Bateman team, which is an elite group of students who researches, plans, and implements a public relations campaign to compete at a national level. Graduating from the Midwest College of Cosmetology in 2005, I have been working as a hairstylist for about seven years. I love the industry and am a strong believer in the importance of constant and continuing education. Communication, along with the hair/ fashion industry are two of my greatest passions; and I would ultimately love to find a career that merges both worlds together.

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