Finding My Lane: Alero Akuya of Nike

Name: Alero Akuya
Hustle: Nike Women Brand Marketing Director
Website: nike.com
Follow: @missharmony

Behind every great brand is an amazing group of great people, and with Nike, one of the most innovating brand in sportswear, it’s no surprise that every one in the team is committed to living the mantra, “Just do it.” Meet Alero, the Brand Marketing Director for Nike Women. Her journey to becoming great didn’t come easy. From failures in college to using her voice to create opportunities to now using her passion for storytelling and culture, she’s a reminder that with perseverance, skill and enthusiasm, anything is possible.

Alero spoke with Behind The Hustle to offer advice to the next generation of game-changers ready to turn their passion into a purpose. Learn from her words of wisdom to inspire you to become the best in what you do.

Let failure push you further.

As a senior in college, Alero applied for summer internships with the top advertising agencies in New York but didn’t receive any offers. Quick to be proactive about changing the disappointment into success, she picked up the phone and networked with the top ad agencies. Her initiative landed her a job as an Account Executive at Havas Worldwide, one of the largest marketing agencies in the world. With every “no” you hear you have two options, 1. Accept it and let it disappoint you or 2. Brush it off and be relentless. Alero chose the latter, and ended up landing a job right after graduation.

Networking is equally important as hard work.

From her role as an Account Executive in the marketing agency, Alero moved to a trade publication where she worked as an event producer. As an event producer she used her personality and skills to leverage that job into another opportunity, eventually landing a job at Nike. Alero used each opportunity given to her to create another opportunity. What opportunity do you have right now and how can you expand that to the next level?

Be a sponge.

Upon landing her job at Nike, Alero immediately listened and observed on how information was being shared, analyzed and presented. She treated every day as a day in school and was hungry to learn more, do more and exceed expectations. Her naturally curious personality allowed her to excel in each responsibility she was given and three roles later, until recently, she was the Nike Sportswear and NikeFuel Brand Manager for the West Coast. Alero’s current position as Nike Women Brand Marketing Director in New York City is a reminder that being committed to excellence pays off.

Have a unique point of view.

Alero’s advice on those interested in getting in the same hustle as herself: “Think about your skill set and what you have to offer. What is your point of distinction from everyone else. What do you offer that no one else does?” Whether it’s branding or your business, find your unique point of view and use that voice to create opportunities for yourself. Don’t let anyone’s perception box you in, your voice is one of the most important attributes you have, use it.

What’s Alero’s next hustle? In addition to starting her role in NY, she will be launching No More Ms. Nice Guy, a blog that will feature the stories of women who Alero has met during her travels around the world who have committed to chasing their dreams and have taken the leap of faith to successfully pursue their passions. As Alero describes, “It will serve as a modern guide to conquering fears, self doubt that arises as you come to grips with your purpose and passions, while providing authentic, uplifting, inspirational stories.”

————

by Mary Elainne Dizon  | |  Read more articles by Mary here  | |  Follow her at @DizonDreams

Photos by Don Kang  | |  Follow him at @donjkang