20something profile: Brittany
What are your career aspirations, and what have you done to fulfill those aspirations?
My vision is to have the greatest positive impact on the world as possible, through business, writing, travel, education, and community engagement. With a holistic perspective of business, I am passionate about finding the intersection of business strategy and sustainability.
Through sustainability consulting, I have worked with Fortune 500 companies across industries, developing sustainability strategies and reports/communications, analyzing and benchmarking sustainability performance, and facilitating workshops and stakeholder engagement initiatives. I capture sustainability trends and best practices from client engagements through blog posts and articles on SustainGenuity and GreenBiz Shift Happens.
I am fluent in Spanish and enjoy traveling the world and learning about international cultures. I have studied and traveled throughout North America, South America, and Europe, appreciating and learning from each new place and person that I visited or met.
I capture these inspirations in my personal blog, inspirNational, which provides readers with international inspiration in their daily lives. I help others develop a similar appreciation by volunteering to research travel and credit card deals for Abroaders and teaching English as a Second Language and United States culture to Latin Americans at El Barrio Workforce Development Center in Cleveland.
I look forward to continue finding ways to connect my varied interests through my day-to-day work and extracurricular involvement in the community.
How have your travels affected your outlook on your life and career?
After traveling throughout the world, and especially studying abroad in the past few years, I have realized that I would like to live every day like a traveler. I am passionate about exploring the world, learning from others, and inspiring others.
In order to combine my passions, I decided to share what I have learned through my travels and my daily life in my blog, inspirNational (inspirnational.wordpress.com), in order to help others find international inspiration in their daily lives as well.
With a traveler’s mindset, or an inspirNational mindset, I am curious, open-minded, and spontaneous. I seek new opportunities, try new things, meet new people, think global, and act local. No matter where I am, I can live with this mindset, which helps me live life to the fullest and make the most of any situation.
Transitioning from a student to a young professional, I have realized that going to new places is not the only way to “travel.” Now that I have worked in Cleveland for over a year, I have lived with a traveler’s mindset: exploring different neighborhoods in Cleveland, trying new restaurants, going to new events, joining new clubs, meeting new people, and truly “putting myself out there” like never before.
I have made the most of mini-vacations, such as trips to Michigan, Chicago, New York, Virginia, and South Carolina to visit family and friends. I was also able to travel to Costa Rica with one of my good friends from college and to Hawaii with my mom for a work conference.
I was able to travel, literally and figuratively, much more than I ever would have expected. I have captured these experiences in my inspirNational blog and hope this helps others develop a new appreciation for their daily experiences.
What are your thoughts and opinions about being a young adult in today’s economy?
Being a young adult in today’s economy is much different than I ever would have expected. There are no guarantees. It is challenging to find a job that meets all of your needs (financial, wellness, social, etc.). It is also challenging to know what is right for you.
Unlike every previous life stage, there is no textbook answer or recipe for success. You can get an undergraduate degree, gain work experience, live abroad, go to graduate school, get married, etc. in any order, and while some may challenge you, you can easily challenge them back and demonstrate that the path you choose works.
Those of us in our 20s are in various life stages, and I have learned that age no longer matters. Instead, we end up associating with those who are in similar stages (career status, marital status, housing status, etc.).
There are varying degrees of uncertainty, which can be scary for those who like structure. Changes are inevitable, and I have learned to remember that “the world is mine” at this point in life. I have few commitments and can make choices that are right for me.
With this adaptability and flexibility, I remember the wise words of Ben Franklin, who said, “Those who are wise learn from everyone.” I take this as inspiration to continue to meet people, ask questions, and explore the world to learn what is the best path for me and how to set up my life trajectory to have the greatest impact on the world.
With our youthful spirit and desire for a positive, sustainable impact on the world (as demonstrated by various studies on Millennials), young adults are blossoming into change agents who have the opportunity to move the world forward in a positive direction.