HOW I MADE MY DREAMS COME TRUE

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As unique as every person is, we all share at least one thing in common:  we all have goals in life and we all desire to make them a reality. Today, I’ve teamed up with my friends at Dallas Community Colleges to talk about how I made my dreams come true (and no, it doesn’t involve wishing on stars — as much as I would love that!)

Trust me, I still have my good and my bad days, but at 26 years old, I truly feel as though I am living my dream, and I can trace it all back to one defining moment in my life: pursuing higher education. My four years at the University of Texas at Austin (with the help of several online courses I also took at Dallas Community College) truly transformed my life and what the future had in store for it.

Read on to read the story of how I got to where I am today and the role that my higher education played in that.

Pursuing My Passion

Since my childhood days of playing dress up with my little sister (we literally called our play room our “dress up room” in our house), I’ve known that fashion was something I adored. Then in fourth grade, I was introduced to another of my passions: writing. A few years later, I learned there was a way to combine these two passions and make a career out of it, and I was sold! When I grew up, I was going to become an editor for a fashion magazine. To get there, I knew the first thing I’d need to do is pursue a journalism degree. Flash forward to 2008 and I was a student in the Journalism program at the University of Texas at Austin.

Knowledge is Power

There’s absolutely no way I’d have a self-made business of my own, AKA this bloggy blog of mine, without my pursuit of higher education. Throughout my journalism courses in college, I not only became a better writer, but I learned powerful communication skills that later became amazing assets in the corporate world and help me now everyday in my own business. Each of my professors offered different tidbits of knowledge that helped me develop my skill sets, but I remember a few professors in particular who preached that the future of journalism was no longer in the newspaper or magazines. It was in blogging and social media.

The Intern

My first college internship was with a small home decor magazine in Austin. It was my sophomore spring semester and by the end of it, the magazine was cancelled. That same summer, I received an email through my sorority list serve about a small jewelry designer in Austin who needed a few interns. I interviewed for the marketing intern position, where I learned I’d be taking over the writing and content for the blog the brand had just started and starting the social media outlets. The brand was called Kendra Scott. The entire team of women consisted of about 8 people, Kendra included, and the marketing team was just one person. I’d be her assistant. She saw that I was a journalism major and had a love for fashion, and I landed the internship. I enjoyed what I was doing so much, I came back for the next semester, and the next.

Landing the Dream Job

After two semesters of interning for Kendra Scott and one summer spent with the PR team that represented the brand in NYC, I returned for my senior year where the company offered me a part-time position that would turn full-time immediately upon my graduation. By that time, the company had grown tremendously and had their sights set on even more exponential growth. It was the opportunity of a lifetime! As a 22-year-old, I was sitting in and giving reports in weekly VP meetings. I frequently met with Kendra herself for projects of all kinds. I managed interns who were older than I was. I even went through the interview process of over 90 applicants, all on my own, for the first addition to the social media and copywriting team. I didn’t know it then, but I was soaking up more knowledge about business and developing skill sets than any 20-something year old could have dreamed, and that was all thanks to one thing. Kendra Scott needed a writer to help with her blog and social media, and I walked into the design studio as a journalism student.

Defining My Drive

The moment I decided I wanted to start a fashion blog wasn’t because I needed to find a way to feed my true passion or because I had ample amounts of extra time on my hands and simply wanted a side project (they kept me quite busy at Kendra Scott). In fact, I already had a career I was passionate about:  writing and doing social media for an amazing up-and-coming fashion brand. It was truly a dream job! My decision to start Vandi Fair came from something bigger I wanted for myself and my future. The one thing I’d always dreamed of is to have the ability to be a stay-at-home mother like mine was, but still pursue a career I was passionate about. My job at Kendra Scott introduced me to the women who were doing just that – fashion bloggers, and I knew the answer to my dreams was sitting right in front of me. That is the motivation that drove me to start Vandi Fair.

Taking Action

I’ll save the story of how I started Vandi Fair for another post, but what I will share is that I was able to start this blog without the help of anyone, thanks to the skills that I learned while pursuing my degree and the internship/dream job that my degree helped me land.

Continuing Education

Whatever it is that drives you – if you seek a high paying career to provide for your family or want to pursue a career that feeds your passion – the way to realize that dream is through higher education. You don’t have to travel to another city or enroll in a major university to pursue that dream. Dallas Community Colleges has a number of campuses right here in the DFW area as well as online courses in 100’s of programs. You can start by browsing a list of all of their 15 program areas here and if you have a more specific program you’d like to pursue, you can see each of their more-than-100 programs here.

What’s even better is their amazing tuition prices. There’s no need to break the bank when pursuing your career dreams – tuition at Dallas County Colleges is totally affordable! Whether you’re interested in fashion or interior design, or want to pursue a career as a nurse or accountant, or you simply want to further your education to move up in your current career or take a leap of faith and start your own business, there are so many programs at Dallas County Colleges to help you make your dreams come true.

To apply for admission to Dallas County Community College, click here.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Dallas County Community College District. The opinions and text are all mine.


Fair-well xx,

-Lauren

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7 Comment

  1. Reply
    Stephanie
    August 24, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    Wonderful post and really inspiring! 🙂 so happy for you!

    1. Reply
      Lauren Vandiver
      September 1, 2016 at 11:50 am

      Hi Stephanie!

      Thanks SO much for your kind words!! It’s comments like this that give me the drive to keep pursuing this little dream of mine. 🙂

      xx,
      -Lauren

  2. Reply
    Bonnie
    August 24, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    I love this article and totally agree that when you are doing what you love you gain knowledge and skills without even realising. If you have the drive to pursue your dreams, it will happen!

    Check out my latest post – What You Need To Buy Now For Spring. Thank me later!

    http://bondujour.com/index.php/2016/08/24/what-you-need-to-buy-now-for-spring/

  3. Reply
    Evangeline Yan
    August 24, 2016 at 11:35 pm

    I really enjoy reading this article! Thank you so much

    E- http://www.duogigs.com

  4. Reply
    Tess Felber
    August 25, 2016 at 10:06 am

    This is such a great post! Thanks for sharing <3 #dreamchaser
    xx Tess | Sequins are the New Black

  5. Reply
    Veronica
    August 26, 2016 at 9:07 am

    I also attended DCCCD every summer to save money. I graduated from college debt free!

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