As an early career marketing professional, Alison Coye learned to take advantage of all the opportunities that come her way. She lives by the motto that the opportunities you say no to are probably going to be the ones you wish you had said yes to. So, when networking led her to join IAW and become a part of the leadership team, she took advantage of it. “It just seemed like a great opportunity to meet like-minded women, relate to one another, and have accountability,” she says. During the pandemic, when a lot of women were facing career challenges, she felt IAW was a great way to stay connected.
Whether it’s saying yes to an impromptu travel assignment or taking an opportunity to get to know a colleague better, she tries to say yes at work as much as she can. So far, all of her “yeses” have helped her learn and grow as a marketer and as a professional. “The key is not to overthink it,” says Coye. “Just stop what you’re doing. Say yes and worry about the rest later.” As a 20-something with few responsibilities, she’s leaning into that freedom. Her goal is to accept challenges that break her out of her comfort zone and expose herself to as much as possible. “Come my early thirties, I want to feel good about the experiences that I’ve had and what I’ve learned,” she says.
One of her career challenges is fighting to be taken seriously as a young woman in the male-dominated industry of biomedical sciences. Because of that, she’s grateful to have a space of professional women to network with. “It’s nice at the end of the day to connect with women, to have a different perspective because I do spend most of my day surrounded by men,” she says.
Another career challenge has been navigating the pandemic. Much like other professionals, the pandemic changed the way Coye works. “I like to collaborate. I like to be around people; I like social interaction; I like helping. And all of those things are just simply a little bit harder to do when I’m at home,” she says. She also finds that managing productivity and stress can be challenging working from home, but IAW helped. “The pandemic is certainly getting a bit better, and the thought of doing in-person events is very exciting because I’ll get to meet all of these women that I have forged relationships with online and via zoom,” she says.
Even though corporate America can be tough at times, she enjoys being a marketer and is excited about her career prospects. And though her career is just getting started, she’s already learned valuable lessons she hopes to impart to other IAW members. Coye recognizes that it’s easy to get lost while building your career. “At the end of the day, all you have is your own thoughts, your own beliefs. You want to hold on to those.” Another piece of advice that she has for young professionals is to “protect your beliefs and your opinions, because those are all yours and no one can take those away from you.”