Fearless Females: Michelle Bartonico

Happy Friday beauties! I address all of you, my readers & friends, as beauties because I know each and every one of you are beautiful. But we all need a reminder now and then. I love that you each give me an opportunity to speak into your lives; it's not something I take lightly. So, to those having a bad hair day, a rough work week, or just plain going through a funk, I pray that you are reminded today you are beloved and beautiful!

Today's post is another installment of my #FearlessFemales series, a chance for me to feature just a few of the strong women who inspire me. Today I will be sharing my interview with Michelle Bartonico, a friend who also happens to be my husband's boss. And she is the very definition of a #GirlBoss. She became the Marketing Director of Trinity University before turning 30. Her resume is almost as impressive as her smile is beautiful. So, without further ado, meet Michelle:

Hope: Tell my readers a little bit about yourself. 

Michelle: I was born in Scottsdale, Arizona. I'm the middle child of two brothers. I love dogs (especially my goldendoodle Franklin). I've been working in marketing and communications since 2008 when I graduated from Trinity University. Since then, I've had the opportunity to build an interactive team at one of the largest agencies in San Antonio, start my own business called BORDERLINEA (showcasing and connecting artists and musicians in SA), come back to work at my alma mater where I am currently Director of University Marketing and Communications. I studied history, communication, and Spanish at Trinity University; got my PMP; and earned a search engine optimization specialization from UC Davis. 

I love to travel and have visited 30 countries. I've taken a "girl trip" with my mom every year since I was 16. I've also kept a journal and written in it every day I've traveled abroad...needless to say, I have stacks of journals (especially from when I studied abroad in Spain).

Hope: I have so much respect for you as a successful marketer, and a Marketing Director before age 30. Working in educational marketing, do you feel there is a glass ceiling in world of higher education or would you describe it as a more inclusive profession?

Michelle: I've felt fortunate to have incredible mentors and coaches in my professional development who've taught me valuable lessons and showed great leadership. In my career, I've worked for several advertising agencies, two of which were owned by women, and now in higher education where there are also women in leadership roles. Certainly a ceiling does exist, though, I haven't seen this as prominent in my agency or higher ed experience. Higher education pays less than the corporate sector and people typically know that going into this industry. However, I don't see a great barrier based on gender. I'm not sure I would say it's a more inclusive profession. Rather, that it's a typical professional. 

Hope: As someone who thinks about collegiate/marketing to prospective college students all day everyday, what encouragement would you give yourself if you could speak to the college-aged Michelle?

Michelle: Let's see. I probably would tell myself to keep stretching beyond my comfort zone, e.g. Join a culture or dance club. Always remember how lucky you are to attend a university that challenges you with experiences and cares about your success. Don't let yourself get too stressed to the point that you wish away the experience. :)

Hope: What is the most encouraging thing you have been told by a mentor?

Michelle: Probably the most motivating thing I've heard from a mentor was a creative director of mine about 5 years ago. He told me I was the only one holding myself back. And, I'm sure he said some other things equally as inspiring. Something clicked and I thought, you know, he's right. I'm the only one stopping myself from doing something. From taking chances. I still think about that and obviously take calculated risks but at the same time I know going into things that I am the one putting up the barrier. 

Hope: How would you describe your personal style? 

Michelle: My personal style is one that seeks efficiency, whether in a professional setting or at home. I can't stand mess. I wake up and have a To-Do list that helps me focus so I don't waste energy on things that aren't essential. I asked some of my current employees and previous ones - they said "funny, collaborative, creative, bold, determined, analytical." They also asked me my Myers Briggs (which is INTJ). Always tough to describe your personal style. Perception is reality so really, it's whatever others think is my personal style! Ha. 

Hope: If you were an article of clothing, what would you be and why?

Michelle: Probably earrings. They can be subtle or make a statement; they complement the outfit rather than being the first thing you see. I don't like being the center of attention. 

Hope: Share anything else you'd like about your career, style, or goals.

Michelle: My goal is to be thought of as a great leader. When I think of a great leader I think of someone who is empathetic, collaborative, calm under pressure, innovative, driven, and inspiring. I enjoy listening to podcasts by Donald Miller and Michael Hyatt. An incredible book I read recently was Essentialism by Greg McKeown. Using your energy on the essential things and having the discipline to carry it out is really something I like working toward. Oooooh! I'm also really into Jason Silva and all his philosophical rants. One of the recent ones I've watched is the concept of, "I am who I think you think I am." Whaaaat?! #mindblown 

That's all for now loves, thanks for tuning in! Comment below what article of clothing you would be and why.