Sunday, May 20, 2012

Closing a Chapter

Today, I am officially closing a chapter in my life:


I graduated from Missouri State on Friday morning 
with a B.S. in Public Relations and Spanish.
All the work has finally paid off.

Although I never plan to stop learning,
after tomorrow,
my life will not be the same.
I will be a professional
not a student.

On Friday, I had a lovely time with my and the beau's families. 
It was great to have their love and support on a special day.
I would not be where I am at now without them.

I had the privilege of sitting next to two of my awesome PRSSA buddies, Doug and Chelly, who were of course live-tweeting the whole time.

I also had the privilege of having my new boss, Shawn Askinosie, give my commencement address after receiving his honorary doctorate in Public Affairs.
His words were both honest and inspiring.
He shared his post-grad struggles and how that shaped him as well as the lessons he has learned from farmers in poverty-stricken areas of the world.
I could not help being moved to tears thinking about the people I have encountered myself in Latin America over the years.

My thoughts wandered to their
and joy.

I feel so honored to begin making a difference in some of those people's lives starting tomorrow at Askinosie Chocolate.

One of my special guests was my Aunt Pam Parry, who drove nearly EIGHT hours to see me graduate. 
She is a public relations professor at Belmont University, 
and one of the reasons I decided to pursue PR and join PRSSA. 
She has been such a great support and resource throughout these four years.

After graduation, I got to watch the beau graduate as well.
It was just too perfect to share that day with him.
I am so proud of all he has accomplished in his college career.

After two graduation ceremonies, I took my family to the chocolate factory and gave my first tour. 
It was great to share this next part of my life with them, 
and I think everyone had a blast trying all the chocolate. :)

Tomorrow is my first day at Askinosie, and a million emotions are running through my mind, but I am mostly excited. 
Because I have no other point of reference, I am treating tomorrow as if it were the first day of school.

I went to Staples and bought supplies.
I picked out my outfit.
I have packed my little briefcase,
and now, I am just waiting for tomorrow to come.

The sermon at church this morning was about Elijah passing his job on to Elisha, which was so fitting.
It is time for me to close this chapter and fill some big professional shoes tomorrow.

Here's to NEW beginnings!

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Chocolate Girl

This Coffeegirl is about to become a Chocolate Girl, too!

If you keep up with my blog, you may have heard of this wonderful local chocolate factory in Springfield that I adore,

In fact, I counted earlier this week, and I have mentioned them in 7 blog posts.
I may be a bit obsessed.

Askinosie Chocolate is a small batch chocolate manufacturer located in Springfield, Mo., that sources all of their beans directly from the farmers. Shawn Askinosie, the founder, works directly with the farmers and source cocoa beans for his yummy chocolate. They also go above and beyond Direct Trade by investing the farming communities and the Springfield community. They have dug wells, set up food programs and taken high school students to Africa.

Well, this week, I was offered the opportunity of a lifetime.
Starting the Monday after graduation, 
I will be the new PR girl for Askinosie Chocolate.

Words cannot express my joy over this new adventure.
I cannot wait to learn more about the chocolate industry
and to make the world a little better by telling Askinosie's story.

This job combines everything that I love:
PR, Spanish, Speciality Food and making a GLOBAL impact.
It could not be more perfect for me.

Mallory and me celebrating with lunch on C-Street!

On a personal note, Shawn will be receiving an honorary doctorate from MSU as I graduate in TWO short weeks as well as giving my graduation commencement speech, which is really exciting for me.

I will also have the lovely opportunity to work with one of my lovely friends, Mallory Roth.
I'm about to enter the professional world, and I could not be more thrilled. 
I promise to share lots of fun chocolate tidbits as I learn them!


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