#BlackGirlMagic : Dupé Ajayi

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I’ve been blessed to encounter so many educated, beautiful and overall phenomenal women. They make me laugh, smile and are sources of inspiration. I can no longer be selfish, I have to share them with the world! So here you go, Black Girl Magic

Tell us about yourself…
I believe in the power of marketing for good and am not afraid to take risks as a marketing and communications professional, whether it is to promote my clients or myself!

After interning at ABC News 20/20 while at Hunter College, I could not accept that the experience was over, despite the fact that the interns were told just that. I penned a letter to the Executive Producer of the world-renowned news magazine, expressing what I would bring to the table as a journalist and storyteller. One week later, my phone rang. It was the EP calling to personally offer me a job. That was just the beginning. I went on to work in production at MTV and BET before I made the natural transition into the non-profit space. As a branding and marketing specialist, I have since consulted to and worked for several corporate, non-profit and governmental agencies including Burson-Marsteller, The City of New York, MSL Group, BroadCause, Abyssinian Development Corporation, Starbucks Corporation, Taproot Foundation, City Year, Target, Mobile Commons, Mary J. Blige, Jazz Foundation of America and more.

Being a woman of color, what has been your biggest adversity in your career?
Always having to prove! It may be having to prove that I belong at the table or that I know what I am doing once I get there. I have studied the social media space and I loved it. However, I found that oftentimes, I wasn’t welcomed in offices, which were mostly white and male. I was questioned, challenged, hazed and disrespected. An interviewer at a very well-known Foundation called me a ‘unicorn’ – she could not believe the caliber of my references and was, ‘looking for a flaw’. In my last role, someone who arrived a month before I did began questioning my ability two weeks after my arrival. At times, it angers me, I can’t lie. To get through it, I redirect. I pour mentorship into others who are just starting off in the space. I also go harder. I have always believed that I am my only competition. Finally, I keep God at the center of it all.

How would you define black girl magic?
Black Girl magic means rising above it all despite diversity all with amazing hair, nails and lip-gloss.

What motivates/inspires you?
The idea of what my legacy will be inspires me. I constantly think about what will be said about the mark I work so hard to leave on this earth will be after I have left and will it endure. I also am inspired my mom and sister!

If you can give black women any advice (career, life, love, etc) what would it be?
Know what you know what you know – at work, in love…don’t doubt your gut,
know that your steps are ordered. My favorite Bible scripture is Jeremiah 29.11. Check it out 🙂
Know that you cannot fail. You may fall but cannot fail.

How can we stay connected with you?
I love staying in touch! I’m on LinkedIn and also on Twitter @theajayieffect

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thoughts? feelings? opinions? comment, let’s talk about it!

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