Meagan Priselac is a digital and social media content specialist at The Coca-Cola Company. Born and raised in SC, she now calls Atlanta home. When she’s not tweeting out the latest and greatest Coke Journey stories via @CocaColaCo, Meagan is likely off playing tourist in her own city, attempting to make work/life balance a reality and/or seeking her next adventure.
Demonstrating perseverance, strong work ethic, passion, while all encompassing a contagious personality, is why Meagan is our #WCW for this week!
1. What's your story? What makes you unique?
Let’s see… I can jump rope on a pogo stick while saying the alphabet backwards?!
I wish though, sounds pretty unique to me. Okay, I got something. For real this time…
I’ve wanted to be a TV reporter ever since I was about 8 years old. I’m 25 now, and I’m not a TV reporter. Go figure… life happens, things change and plans come and go. But some dreams, they live with you forever. So what makes me unique? I knew what I wanted to be from an early age, and unlike many people who change their mind 982,098 times before, during, and after college, I never did. I’ve always felt compelled to tell stories that others wouldn’t, to find stories that others couldn’t and to do my best to deliver these stories to the masses. Today, I have accomplished that childhood dream. I am a storyteller and a story deliverer. No, you won’t find me reporting on your local news station any time soon, or ever, but you can find my stories HERE! #LivintheDream
2. What motivates you?
“(Almost) nothing is guaranteed”. Not today, not tomorrow, and certainly not success. Pardon the cliché quote but it’s a universal truth that’s well... true and it motivates me in all aspects of my life. Every morning when I first wake up, before I’m fully alive, and functioning, I lay in bed and reflect on what I’m thankful for – from my healthy mind, body and spirit to my “dream job” awaiting me at one of the most influential and recognized companies in the world. I am thankful today because none of this is guaranteed tomorrow. I have major plans to positively impact the world we live in, but there’s no guarantee my aspirations will come to fruition, even if I do everything in my power to make sure it does. It may sound counterintuitive to find uncertainty motivational, but if everything were guaranteed, what would motivate us to dream, believe and achieve beyond our wildest expectations?
3. Who is a hero of yours?
The first time I read this out loud, I instinctively blurted out, “Wait, can I pick two?” Yes, the obvious two… my parentals. But the more I ponder on this question, I would have to say myself. Okay, buzz off with any narcissism accusations in your head, and hear me out. My parents are my life. Literally. If I continue on about how inspiring, loving, and downright awesome they are, a) we could be here all day; b) I would need a box of tissues before I began. Although Cindy Lou and Vito are everything to me, they have instilled in my sister and I that you have be everything for yourself. At the end of the day, there is you and only you. You make the decision to do right or wrong, to face your fears or allow them to cripple you, to follow your dreams or one day regret you didn’t. So while it is amazing to have Superwomen and Superman as mom and dad, it’s just as powerful to know you can be your own hero too.
4. Give us a road map of your career. How did you get to where you are today?
I knew I wanted to be a journalist my ENTIRE life. We’ve established that. Minus my embarrassingly long Spice Girl phase, I idolized Barbara Walters and dreamed of being the next Katie Couric. When I was 8, I made my first “documentary” while on a family trip to Sea World. This was my calling. Fast forward through journalism camp, a rather humiliating palomino documentary, and my high school news show days… and that leaves us at The University of Georgia (GO DAWGS!) where I studied digital and broadcast journalism.
I specifically went to UGA’s Grady College of Journalism to study under Professor David Hazinski. He’s a no holds barred, calls it as he sees it, brutally honest professor who won’t offer a tissue when you cry on his office couch but will instead put your sob story to shame with one of his (#truestory). He’s also my mentor. So when my last semester senior year rolled around and he told me I was going to be a “student reporter for The Coca-Cola Company”, I said, “okay”. Of course I was skeptical because this was so out of the box for a final news reporting assignment, but hey, they said I could cover a story on how electronic dance music is uniting a generation, so I was game. My student reporting gig turned into a summer internship, which then turned into a full time position at Coca-Cola. Today I work as a digital and social media content specialist for Coca-Cola Journey, The Coca-Cola Company’s corporate website turned digital content hub. Pretty crazy how it all panned out. It’s not every day you can attribute your career to a professor who made you a better journalist (and person) by calling 90% of your work in college a “piece of shit.” Thanks for the tough love Hazinski, the crying couch session was worth it in the end.
5. What's your future plan? Your goals?
That’s the gazillion dollar question. In the foreseeable future, I’d like to live and work internationally and completely immerse myself in a new culture. The sky is the limit when it comes down to where and how often I’d move. If it’s a personal and career growth opportunity, my bags are packed! Aside from working internationally, I want to burn through as many passports as possible exploring the depths of the earth before I leave this earth.
On a more personal note, I am actively working to overcome an eating disorder and hope to help others on my road to recovery. I’ve struggled with an eating disorder (B.E.D) most of my life, but it wasn’t until last year that I entered myself into treatment. I hope by continuing to share my story I am able to shed light on this subject and inspire others also working to turn their struggles into strength.
6. If you could give one piece of advice, what would it be?
Perfection DOES NOT EXIST. I repeat, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS PERFECTION. Let’s just erase that ‘p-word’ from the millennial mindset, shall we? Be the best you, but realize even the best you will never be perfect. Life is going to downright SUCK sometimes. Okay, like A LOT of the time. Especially when you’re 23. Blink 182 was really on to something there. But that’s okay. You’ll live. You will survive. And you will come out on top. But that’s only if you allow yourself the freedom to fail first. Perfectionism is a fictitious mindset that stifles creativity, cripples confidence and inhibits growth. So here’s my advice: Say ‘see yah never’ to unattainable expectations and ‘hellur’ to the best you, you can be.
7. What is something you feel strongly about (a cause, belief, etc.)?
LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE! It boggles my mind that this is such a hard concept for people to accept. Especially this day and age. I mean weren’t we supposed to have flying cars and live like the Jetsons by now? While technology hasn’t quite evolved so drastically, how has our compassion and understanding for others not? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to discover that it’s actually O-K to love one another for who they are. Hate is sooooo last century people. Get with the program.
8. What's one of the coolest things you've ever done?
I lived in Madagascar with my sister Brittany, one summer during college. Not gonna lie... that was pretty cool. I always wanted to study abroad in college but couldn’t afford the traditional programs offered (out of state tuition is no joke). I also dreamed of visiting my sister in Madagascar while she lived there as a Peace Corps (PC) volunteer for three years. That’s when the lightbulb went off! I worked with the PC president in Madagascar to create an internship project that would not only provide a unique educational experience for me, but also benefit the Malagasy community. My assignment was to create an informational video illustrating the positive role PC volunteers played in Madagascar, while also highlighting the Peace Corps 50th Anniversary that year. You can watch the video HERE. I had never felt more alive than I did that summer. Ah! I’m getting chill bumps just thinking about it. I mean really, what can top a month living in the land of lemurs surrounded by the most loving locals? Nothing, or tsy in Malagasy.
9. Anything we haven't asked that you'd like to talk about.
Oh man… the can of worms is wide open now. This year has been the most incredibly challenging and rewarding year of my life, both personally and professionally. Earlier this year I went to Rio to help launch a social media influencer program that is part of Coca-Cola’s global campaign for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, ‘That’s Gold’. During Games time, I worked with our social media stars like singer Cody Simpson, to share Olympic ‘gold’ moments with fans around the world. You can click here to see more about that campaign with Cody Simpson. Working with the team responsible for bringing it all to life was pretty surreal.
Then there’s JourneyxJourney. My baby – aka the most exciting project I’ve ever been a part of at Coca-Cola, and possibly my life to date. But that’s TBA. It’s still in the works. For now all I can do is leave you with this teaser video for what will be the trip of a lifetime…
If you would like to reach out to Meagan Priselac for mentoring/networking opportunities, you can reach her HERE.