People Persons

My roommate, Nikki, likes to describe me as a networker. Someone who cultivates and sustains relationships, and likes to connect others to do the same.

She also likes to tell other people this description- most notably was to a socially awkward man that approached us at a bar to “practice talking to girls.” Shortly into our conversation, this lost soul mentioned he has a lot of ideas but needs help getting them put into action and creating connections. Nikki jumped at the opportunity to express how perfectly I fit that role, and to my horror, simultaneously excused herself.

Sorority women, this is what we refer to as a real life bump. A flawless wing-woman execution, except for the small flaw of not taking mutual interest into consideration.

Although it made for unwanted advances (literally slithering down a couch towards me), Nikki was right. People are my greatest passion and they are at the root of everything I love. Finding what others are passionate about is by far the most interesting to me, Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 6.06.39 PMwhich led me to be interviewing one of my favorite people, Rebecca Wilson, for Minnesota magazine.

A 2013 graduate of the U, Rebecca quickly found how to integrate various passions into her daily life. Majoring in advertising, with minors in theater and management, Rebecca leads a life that’s spread just as far across the board as her studies sound.

Many people are accustomed to working long or random hours; but not everyone is able to do both and love every moment of it.

Her days 9-5 are filled with cups of coffee, meetings and small talk with the coworkers. Thriving at Wellness Resources, Rebecca utilizes her journalism degree through internet marketing and social media. Regarding the more mainstream aspect of her life, Rebecca loves how “with advertising you need to get inside the consumer’s head…with all the data you form- it’s kind of like acting- you form this consumer character, you have all these attributes to them…it’s very cool to get into the mindset of a consumer.”

Meanwhile, her evenings and weekends tend to be spent on the stage. Acting allows her to get into the head of others as well. Previously, she’s been anIMG_2459 angsty teen, a damsel in distress and an heiress suspected of murder. This wide range of characters all resonated with Rebecca in one way or another, mirroring how well Rebecca connects with others everyday. She’s a people person, too.

What U of M alum readers won’t know, is that I can verify this networker gene in Rebecca not from our interview, but from my personal experiences. This southern belle is my grandbig (again, sorority women, looking at you), my confidant and my mentor. Her ability to follow her instincts, take calculated risks, all the while having better manners than anyone I know, is what allows her to live so purposefully.

When asked if she had any advice for people looking for ways to pursue their passions outside of their primary work, she recommends, “Do something if you can that can be your source of income, so you can follow your passion without worrying about making rent, you can go on your whim more creatively, because you have that stable base. Seek the advice of people in that passion/career path you want, because they may have knowledge and advice you wouldn’t otherwise know. Follow your passions, but use your head.”

Spoken like a true networker.