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Grit Became my Mantra

Updated: Jun 12

When my first interview for BrandJRNY came around, I still remember how nervous I was. I called my mom to help calm me down on my way over to Martin Hall and I still had to stop in the bathroom right before to give myself a pep talk. There wasn't any sole reason for me to be nervous, other than how badly I wanted this opportunity. I knew it was going to be a challenging experience where I would grow, but I had no idea I would grow this much.


Point Pleasant, West Virginia | Source: David Smith, BrandJRNY Storytelling team

Before BrandJRNY, I wasn't ready for my next step. I didn't feel confident in meetings, nor did I feel confident in my professional self. This capstone changed that for me. It pushed me harder than any other course ever had and helped me learn all kinds of lessons along the way. It taught me about professionalism, gave me real-life experience, and pushed me every single day. It also taught me a lesson that I don't think I otherwise would have learned this semester, and that lesson is called 'grit.'


Grit is exhibiting passion and sustained persistence toward a long-term achievement, with no particular concern for rewards or recognition along the way, according to Psychology Today. This became my mantra. There were times when I was exhausted, sick, and felt defeated, but I had no choice but to keep pushing. This extreme work ethic was something I always knew I was capable of, but it wasn't until I joined this team that I felt I had reached it. I was surrounded by intelligent, strong, and very hard working women who I couldn't let down.


This term "grit" is also essential to the company I will be working for starting this summer. During my second to the last interview, I remember almost everyone that talked to me asked me to share a time when I displayed grit. In other words, they asked me about a time in my life where the numbers were against me, but my hard work prevailed. Each time someone asked me this question, I turned to my experience with BrandJRNY. I told them that when I first joined the BrandJRNY team, I was an underdog. I was far less qualified than anyone else, but I wanted to prove to myself that I could do this; that I would be able to complete something as amazing as BrandJRNY.


I can't condense into this blog all of the amazing lessons I have learned from this experience, but I can say I now have a different feeling when I walk into an interview. I have confidence and experience that I never thought I would. I have seen firsthand how hard a team like this works. I am incredibly thankful for this opportunity. Through BrandJRNY, I learned the beauty of helping out a community, all while having constant hands-on job experience. It created this beautiful combination of being able to give back to the state of West Virginia, which has given me so much over these four years, and work experience that will help me to be successful post-graduation. For that, I am incredibly grateful.


Thank you, Dr. Colistra, Sam, Hannah, Adrianne, Chelsea, Jessie, and Adison for an amazing semester. You all are truly spectacular.


My name is Rebecca Jerome, I am the Social Media Director for the Point Pleasant project. I copy my brother in simply everything he does because I think he is one of the coolest people alive (true for both of my brothers.) Make sure to follow me on Twitter - @rebeccaajeromee!




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Housed at the WVU Media Innovation Center, BrandJRNY is a community branding initiative that is a grant-funded collaboration between the American Electric Power Foundation and WVU Reed College of Media.

The Initiative was previously funded by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation for our three pilot projects.

Original website designed by Mariah Elliott, under the direction of PI and Director Dr. Rita Colistra.

Photos and content may not be used without written permission by contacting brandjrny@gmail.com.

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