Choosing a career path can be overwhelming – one of those moments where a mother’s comfort and support can either create the drive to thrust forward or help see the bigger picture of a different path. With Mother’s Day around the corner, we wanted to show appreciation to some of our team members’ mothers. We spoke to three women on our team who embarked on their career journey with the support and inspiration of their mothers.
What are your roles and responsibilities at Octane?
G: I’m Georgette Walker, Octane’s Office Manager. I also support the Account Executives with client services.
C: My name is Cristina Velazco, Digital Media Specialist at Octane. I focus on the Hispanic/Latino market of Octane’s clientele.
N: I’m Nicole Morant. As Client Services Director, I support the management of all of Octane accounts. I work to ensure that all projects are moving forward and that we are providing Octane’s clients with everything they need to have successful outcomes.
When did you realize you wanted to embark on this career journey?
G: Well, this is my 5th career since I began working at age 14, and this one fell into my lap. I met Everett Hamilton, CEO of Octane, at a Meeting Planners convention. Shortly after that, I moved to DC and we became friends. When the position that I moved to DC for did not last, Everett asked me to work with him at his company. Simultaneously, Sheila was starting a Public Relations firm and she eventually convinced Everett to align forces and conquer the PR world together. Just like that, Octane Public Relations was formed.
C: I first fell in love with digital media when Instagram was totally new, and I was still living in Venezuela. I decided to try my hand at opening an online beauty store, which organically grew to 40k followers in just five months! Famous people in Venezuela and media channels used to purchase from me (back then, ads did not exist). It was at that point that I knew I had a special skill for the digital industry, content creation, and strategy.
N: My career in marketing began with my interest in public health. I understood the importance of getting people information that they could use to improve their lives. Once I realized that public relations and marketing were key to that goal, I began to shift toward positions that would allow me to build campaigns that would make a difference and resonate with our audience.
How has your mother supported your career choices? How has she inspired you?
G: I am my mom’s first child, so she did all she could to instill in me that I could do it, whatever “it” was. Whatever I did, she fully supported me. As any mother would, she sometimes had doubts, but she always made you feel her love and support.
C: My parents always supported the career and life decisions of my siblings and me. My mom encouraged me by being patient while I was at home learning Graphic Design and doing projects. From my creativity to my spontaneity, and overall personality – my mom’s teachings have definitely helped build me as a woman.
N: My mother is a caregiver and is always looking for ways to be of service. Her focus and desire to help others lead me to find a career that would allow me to see results and make a difference.
What made you decide on your career choice? What struggles have you had/do you have in this career? Did your mother help you through it?
G: All the career choices I’ve made were based on my love of the work, my gut feeling about my ability to achieve goals, and – most importantly – the people that I would work within the chosen field. I feel being a Black woman and a part of the LGBTQ community, there have been harsh judgments placed on my head while I maneuvered through the journey of life. My mother has always been the voice of reason and a shoulder to cry on for me. I’m happy to have found a company that allows you to truly bring your whole self to work!
C: When I graduated from high school, I found that I was naturally skilled in graphic design. Later, I discovered a passion for marketing and sales because of my family business, so I went to college and received my master’s degree in Marketing. Working in the Digital Marketing world has given me a good mix of marketing, sales, and graphic design.
I would say that a struggle of this career is the constant updates and real-time changes to the industry. New careers are quickly being developed and digital marketers have to remain competitive, constantly learning and updating their skills at a faster rate than most industries. We always have to stay abreast of the new tools, algorithms, and trends.
My mother always pushes me to be my best and to keep improving myself. She is truly my inspiration!
N: I enjoy the opportunity to develop new and thoughtful ways to provide valuable information to people. If there is a struggle, it is due to the ever-changing way we communicate with each other. With so many messages aimed at the public at any given time, it can be difficult to be heard or seen through all of the noise, but we build on what we know and push to get information and resources to those that need them.
My conversations with my mother always gave me a sense of purpose and brought me back to the intention of the work that I’m doing.
Let’s get a little fun, now. What’s a quote your mom said to you growing up that stayed with you?
G: “I can show you better than I can tell you!”
C: “¡TE LO DIJE! (I TOLD YOU!)”
N: “Know your worth and never let someone make you doubt it.”
We’re so grateful to all the mothers who did their absolute best to raise their children and support them through life’s most difficult decisions. Moms deserve all of the good things, and this Mother’s Day, we encourage you to give them to her!
Happy Mother’s Day!