Running a public relations and social media agency in a fast-paced environment means that every day is filled with excitement, challenges, and opportunities. I wouldn’t have it any other way. But it’s also important for me to take a moment every once in a while to reflect on where I came from and the road I’ve traveled to get to where I am today. It’s a great exercise that helps me keep things in perspective.
The University of Chicago, my alma mater, recently gave me a chance to reflect in grand style. The alumni board notified me that I was the recipient of its inaugural Early Career Achievement Alumni Award. I flew back to Chicago the last weekend of October to receive my award at the University Club. It brought back a lot of memories and gave me the opportunity to share how the school that I graduated from 15 years ago made such an impact on my professional life.
The University Chicago is famous for its Nobel Prize Winners, the intellectual rigor of the common core that every undergraduate is required to take, and infusing a level of gravitas into every academic interaction that students have while on its campus. Attending the University of Chicago honed my own personal capacity for analysis – how to best approach a problem, view it from every angle, and make a decision quickly. What goes unsaid about UofC is that it also infuses you with the ability to quickly analyze people as well – their motivations, intentions and overall intellectual curiosity.
These skills have proven indispensable for everything ranging from solving client problems, deciding who to hire, and determining if a client passes my “no asshole” rule. Possessing these tools allows for the confidence to take calculated risks and make opportunities happen that otherwise wouldn’t for a relatively young business owner.
At the awards ceremony, I got to share these experiences and also speak about how the #struggleisreal for women business owners. Helping women has always been a cause close to my heart. In the current environment, it is more important than ever that we focus on opportunity, not just for women, but for everyone.
I shared this message in distinguished company. Other alumni awarded that night have done groundbreaking work in genome research, medicine, and space exploration, helped improve the economy of Mexico, and negotiated NAFTA. I wondered briefly what I did to be honored among these great people. It turns out that the rapid growth of my business, its ethical stance, and philanthropic endeavors made me stand out among the many people considered for this award.
It was nice to hear, because the unique journey my career has taken offers very few opportunities for comparison. And the recognition helps me to recognize that what I am doing matters—creating a company with a healthy culture, doing excellent work, and trying to make the world just a little bit better. Thank you, University of Chicago.
Megan Driscoll is recognized as one of the most innovative communicators working in the realm of women’s healthcare, aesthetics, and prestige beauty. She has cultivated relationships with physicians, consumers, key opinion leaders and tastemakers to gain her clients national level recognition. [...]