Dariana is the Chief Strategist of The Rebelle Agency, a development and management company, that works with clients in the "entertainment, lifestyle, sports, and non-profit industries."
How did you end up choosing a career in your industry?
When I was in college, I was studying to be an investment banker. However, after a summer internship in the field, I quickly realized that it was not my ultimate blessing (although it did highlight my aptitude for numbers and my ability to be a “bulldog”). I was in a transitive point in my life leading into my Junior year, and a Spelman sister of mine asked me to be her Presidential Assistant for a new student organization she founded, the Black Public Relations Student Society (BPRSS). Always up for a challenge, I said yes with no prior knowledge of the industry. It was the perfect introduction to my career and to the PR industry. I became the President of BPRSS my Senior year, networked with PR professionals across industries, and I started my own PR firm in July 2012. I believe God had a plan for me when my Spelman sister asked me to serve as her President's assistant. I am glad I was open to listening to her and to Him!
What would surprise people most about your role?
People think because I am a business owner that I don't have a boss. In reality, I have many bosses: my clients, and, at times, my interns or contractors. I have to show up and execute for them more so than I would have needed to for a boss if I were an employee. Also, being an entrepreneur is stressful and not glamorous at all [laughs].
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I find inspiration in my faith. I find inspiration in other women, especially other women of color, because our resilience is inspiring. I also get inspiration from children. I feel energized around children and adolescents.
How important is a good support system?
I strongly believe in a great support system. I would not be an entrepreneur without my support system. I do not believe anything is accomplished singularly. However, a great support system is not rooted in family, friends, or significant others. A support system can be a person that gave you a chance when you weren't qualified, or any time you were helped by a stranger. I am blessed to have had a strong foundation in my family, friends and significant others, but if you don't have that it is not the be-all and end-all. Your support system is all around you.
What advice would you give women who are interested in your industry?
Networking is everything. Whether natural or learned, you have to master the art of people, build a strong network, understand what people need before they do, and consistently be a humble servant. At the end of the day, Public Relations is a service industry, so wanting the spotlight for yourself will keep you from top-level success. There is a fine line that publicists walk between being the one everyone knows, and supporting your client by falling into the shadows.
What are some lessons you've learned?
Always be early.
Communicate above and beyond.
Execute, don't just talk.
Don't be in the mix without a purpose.
What are a few of your favorite must-haves?
My phone, a notebook and red matte lipstick.
*To learn more about the Rebelle Agency, visit their website at: http://therebelleagency.com/*