On the Rise: Tola Lawal

2015headshot2-1When I think of the word Go Getter, there are a few individuals that comes to mind and Tola Lawal is one of them. Having been the driving force behind some of the best marketing brand , Tola’s work ethic and knack for marketing speaks for itself. These days, you can find Tola doing another type of branding – one that involves providing the youth with the tools needed to pursue a higher education. Read more about Tola below!

1.Where were you 6 months after college?

I always knew I wanted to be in PR/ Marketing but I didn’t know how to get there. After graduation, I applied to various roles in marketing however, after many failed attempts I came across a temp agency that helped me get to my destination and the rest was history. I highly recommend college graduates to reach out to a temp agency and build a relationship with a recruiter in the beginning of their job search.

2.Tell me about your career journey to counseling.

Throughout out my career, I have always been the point of contact for advice, especially when it came to college counseling. When I was laid off in 2014 from BET, I took that opportunity to fuel my curiosity. I first started with doing a tour discussing the transition from high school to college which was sponsored by Black Enterprise. I then launched my non- profit organization Gyrl Wonder. Now, as Assistant of Director of College Success I have never found myself more comfortable and passionate about my job and I enjoy every second of it.

tola_in_class3. What sparked Tola Speaks?

I am a Marketer by nature, I realized that if I wanted to do speaking engagements focused on the youth, I needed to create a successful brand around it.

4. What do you enjoy most about working with the youth?

I am getting more from it then I am giving and that for me is the best part of my job. This generation is much more woke then I was at 18. They have a voice and they are not afraid to use it and that’s something that they are teaching me everyday.

5. We all stumble at some point of our lives, was there ever a time where you wanted to give up? What did you learn from it?

2015 was a challenging year for me, biggest stumble of my life to put it quite frankly. However, I weathered the storm and lots of lessons came from it: patience, diligence and being focused.
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6. What does my freshman year of life mean to you?

Freshman year of Life is that point where the training wheels come off and you’re tasked with applying your key learnings from your first 22 years to your real life experience. It’s when you leave the safety net and pond behind and learn how to swim in the ocean. It’s where you make mistakes, but keep going. It’s where you learn the lesson, and apply it.

7. What is your favorite quote you live by?

Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve.- Christopher McDougall

8. If you were to write a letter to your younger self about pursuing your dream what would you tell her?

Find out one or two things you are passionate about and see it through.

Stay connected with Tola

Instagram: @Tolaspeakstome

Website: www.tolaspeaksto.me

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