So I’m sure you heard a few weeks ago about how Hollie moved to Sydney and left the QLD Milaana team in the very capable hands of the wonderful Lucinda!? Well it turns out that Hollie is making a big name for Milaana down south in Sydney and is recruiting some awesome team members while she is at it! You’ll be introduced to the rest of the team in coming weeks but first meet Ruby, our PR extraordinaire!
Tell us all about yourself. What is your story?
I’m Ruby and I’m a 22 year old uni student from the Central Coast, studying Communications at UTS in my very last semester. I chose communications because there’s nothing like crafting the perfect sentence or hearing something phrased in a way that sticks with you and changes the way you’d always thought. Words create the world in the first place, so it stands to reason they’re what can change it. I am passionate about human rights, feminism, writing, reading and pesto pasta.
There is nothing more attractive than a good conversation, intelligence and incurable optimism and nothing more boring than apathy. I think there’s no problem that can’t be alleviated by blasting Bob Marley first thing in the morning and dancing it out.
How did you first hear about Milaana?
I heard about Milaana just recently when I attended a volunteering networking event at UTS. I was drawn to it because it seemed to perfectly fill a gap which I had experienced in my own student life – Where could I find internship experiences that were truly about skill exchange, for positive and cause-driven projects? I wanted a volunteer opportunity that wasn’t just about shaking money tins but about offering up my professional skills to a project that could use it to increase their capacity for social good – the definition of social enterprise! I applied, met with Hollie and had the most refreshing conversation about her vision for Milaana, the direction we’re heading in the social enterprise space and why I wanted to be a part of it. I walked away feeling like I’d tapped into something big.
Image: Ruby and Miguel in accttiioonnn at Milaana HQ
What made you want to join Milaana?
Joining Milaana combines my passion for social change and communications and it immediately felt relevant to me. Given that I’m finishing a degree in public relations and know many young people trying to stake their claim in competitive creative industries, I’m well versed in the catch cry that you need hands on experience, not just a university degree if you are to break into a job market. But where do you turn for these positive and genuinely beneficial internship experiences? And how can you exchange your growing skill set for social good? And having recently immersed myself into some NFP work, I can recognise that NFPs and social enterprises need these skills to consciously utilise the power of communications, public relations, design and media if they are to gain the traction and following necessary to achieve their wonderful ambitions.
Milaana is on the cusp of something big. Social enterprise and entrepreneurship are only going to become increasingly important for young people particularly, so its a very exciting time.
What is your role and what does it involve? What is your favourite part of the role?
I am resident NSW PR hero. This means mapping out who Milaana’s audiences are and how we can best reach them through the treasure troves of publications, magazines, blogs, websites, you name it! Then it’s about how we write Milaana’s story and become respected and known in the social enterprise, entrepreneurship and change-making spaces. Milaana doesn’t just want to be a participant in these conversations, it wants to be a mentor for start ups, volunteers and interns alike. So basically, I’m trying to work out how we put Milaana on the map so those who need us can find us!
What skills and abilities are you improving?
At this point, everything is a learning experience and every challenge is a good one. I’m learning about time management, research and how to effectively use the infinite resource that is the world wide web. I’m learning more about how to target relevant media and broadcast Milaana’s message to those who can really help drive it further. Perfectionism is sometimes an issue of mine and that gets in the way of fun, exciting and prolific work, so I’m trying to put it on hold, go with the flow and learn on the fly.
What have been the highlights of working with Milaana and what has really challenged you and made you grow?
It’s really just the beginning but already I’m feeling excited and challenged by how much potential there is in Milaana’s story. So much good stuff to share and not quite enough hours in the day!
I think a big part of my learning is how we are only limited in what we can achieve when we set up roadblocks for ourselves. And we are limited if we suffer burn-out, which is why it’s so great to be surrounded by young people who have nailed the work/life balance- by making sure the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
What has been your biggest aha! moment? When did you start feeling like part of the Milaana family?
I’ve only just been welcomed into the family but already I’m inspired by all these young people who just don’t take no for an answer and who manage to juggle a million things at once and maintain the fire regardless. My aha moment is realising that there are so many like-minded, passionate and excited people around you if you take the time to seek them out.
What really drives you and how are you going to change the world?
I think what I’m seeing in action is that young people don’t have to wait. I found this quote recently which spoke to me by Alain De Botton where he critiques how adulthood ‘involves learning to conclusively bury a great many of our hopes’. I guess what drives me at the moment is wanting to flip this on its head. Because it’s true that there are going to be a lot of people who tell you you have to wait your turn, wait in line, wait til that amount of time has expired before you can start doing what you want and helping contribute to the kind of world you want to live in. And it just isn’t true. Young people can take action precisely because they haven’t shut down the part of themselves that says they can. Maybe that idealism has to be qualified as you get older and undoubtedly there are barriers, but to extinguish it altogether seems like the greatest tragedy. We need to be excited by our potential, not scared by our own light.
What do you hope to achieve during your time at Milaana?
I’d like to expand my communications and PR skills and learn from passionate and inspiring people. I’m coming to understand that at this point in my life, there are lessons in everything. Everyone has something to offer, be it personal or professional and you have to embrace the power of asking if you’re to keep growing.
Something that I’m trying to live by now is: if you’re the smartest person in the room then you’re in the wrong room.
What is next for you? Where do you see yourself in five years?
I’d like to be happy, I’d like to have travelled and I’d hope to have built an ever growing network of connections with inspiring and exciting people. I’d like to be working in the communications field, to be writing, to be involved in gender justice and to have been engaging the youth sector in the areas of social change, leadership, empowerment and self determination. If we want a better world, we need to invest in our youth and especially our young women.
If you were inspired by the incredible words of PR Hero Ruby and are also studying a similar communications degree then why not check out the amazing internships we have on offer for you! Be a global communication change-maker for Yunus & Youth, spread the health and wellbeing message for Joining Hands or become a part of the Volunteering Gold Coast journey. Be the change!