Meet Dominique Samuels, Stories Inc.’s new Content Strategist and Project Manager. Dominique shares stories about her transition from Africana Studies/pre-med student, to digital communications consultant, to managing projects and developing content for Stories Inc. partners.
What drew you to apply for the position of Content Strategist and Project Manager at Stories Inc.?
My interest in communications and content creation began when I was selected for Cigna’s business development program and was chosen to serve as a c-suite associate, as the intern Chief Medical Officer. There, I had the chance to collaborate with the Chief Marketing Officer, and that’s when I saw my career path change from pre-med to marketing.
And, I have a love of storytelling, which I get from my late great-grandmother, Julia Davis. She was our family griot, and now I’m the “baby griot” because she told all her stories to me. When she passed, I handled all the details of her funeral and in telling the story of her life. That personal experience I feel relates to the work I’m doing with Stories Inc.
You have expertise in diversity and inclusion messaging. Can you tell us about that?
Through my pre-medicine and Africana studies, I focused on community development, propelling me into the DEI world. Studying community within the African diaspora, participating in various extracurriculars and attending diversity conferences illuminated what diversity means to me. Diversity and the feeling of belonging permeates every aspect of culture and society, not just within ethnicity and language, but also neurologically, generationally, ideologically, and so much more.
During my tenure supervising teams at a large supplier company, I had the opportunity to serve as the company’s diversity and inclusion representative at the Human Capital Institute conference. And, in heading up my own digital communications firm, I led companies’ and mission-driven organizations’ JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) communications and messaging. Now, at Stories Inc., I help capture and honor those stories that reveal a real commitment to inclusion, diversity, and belonging.
Is there a story you can share of a time when you felt that your personal values and your workplace values were in sync?
When I was 17 years old, I worked as a ballet teacher and camp counselor for a YMCA summer camp, managing 35 kids. Keeping 35 kids’ attention was where I learned so much about management, and where I learned how important it was to me that I worked someplace with core values that reflect my personal values. I still remember the Y’s core values: caring, honesty, respect, inclusion and responsibility. I felt all five of them, and drew upon them in my work.
I especially needed them on the day that we had to take over 50 kids on an outing to a park and keep that entire group safe and entertained all day long! I’ll never forget that day — the schedule said it was supposed to be a day of golf and football, but not all kids like golf and football! And everyone had different needs and abilities. So, we turned it into a field day, bringing every toy and game we had. I really had to call upon the core value of responsibility: I had to take responsibility for the situation, and for 50 kids!
Anything else you’d like to share with the Stories Inc. community as they meet Dominique Samuels?
My favorite stories are the ones of collaboration between team members that also draw in life lessons. I’m a believer in culture-add over culture-fit. I believe in taking risks, leaps of faith, and creating my own opportunities.