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about me!

My name is Melaina (Lainey). I'm 20 years old and I'm originally from Southern Connecticut.

I have always been passionate about communications, media, and the arts. I am a third-year senior and Presidential Scholar pursing a Bachelor’s of Science in Advertising at Boston University’s College of Communication. I hope to use this degree to aid and uplift businesses with underrepresented leaders to help them shine in their respective industries, and/or work with non-profits or small businesses to help make an impact.


Being a bigger girl has always been ostracizing. Typical schoolyard bullying and offhand remarks well into high school definitely hurt my confidence, but it struck closer to home watching plus-size people always being the butt of jokes in movies, or being portrayed as anomalies in brand’s commercials. While I assumed the cruel opinions of some people were in the minority, having my “unsightliness” reinforced on the big screen made my perception of myself all the more unstable.


As I grew older, I realized the importance of representation in the media. I did not see myself represented positively or authentically, and neither did my friends of color, my LGBTQ+ friends, my friends with disabilities, or anyone else who did not conform to the current social norm. The effect of not seeing yourself acting in a commercial, modeling clothing, singing on stage, or animated in a movie, no matter how inconsequential it may sound, is permeable and palpable, and makes you feel lesser than your peers. But, by combining my passion for diversity in the media with my love of fine art and design, I committed myself to working towards genuine representation in the advertising industry. The power of a good advertisement can influence the outlook of any person when done correctly. I have never been afraid to speak out against injustice, and advertising provides me the perfect avenue to voice my concerns in a digestible and highly influential manner.


As soon as I got to college, I immediately became involved. Most recently, I became the Vice President of Branding for AdLab, the largest and oldest student-run advertising agency in the country, where I am responsible for the visual identity of Boston University AdLab across digital and physical platforms, and act as a bridge between the brand team and senior leadership, responsible for facilitating discussions and securing buy-in, as well as manage the semester work plan for the brand team, ensuring that objectives are met efficiently and effectively. In my past three years at BU, I have also been involved with AdClub, COM Student Government, The Bunion (a satirical news publication), and BU on Broadway. Throughout all of these activities is a desire for connection with the BU community and beyond, and a great deal of committed leadership I have dedicated myself to and demonstrated. I can confidently say I have made influential contributions to every organization I have been a part of, a pattern I strive to continue in my advertising career.


Professionally, in the summer of 2022, I was a Digital Marketing Intern with Premiere Creative, an advertising agency based in Millburn, New Jersey. Immediately after ending my internship, I was offered a position with the Sarita and Claire Wright Lucas Foundation (SCWLF), established in 2015 to honor the foundation’s namesake, a talented Black female prosecutor, and her unborn daughter. I am responsible for creating content, contacting awardees, maintaining the donor database, and promoting events through social media outreach. In addition, we worked together with the Urban Institute and Microsoft through their Catalyst Grant Program, surveying the community at large about knowledge, attitudes, and biases Greater Boston has towards prosecutors, with the goal of uncovering the societal gaps that prevent more Black women from going into prosecutorial roles. I headed the social media outreach for the survey, as well as the distribution of data across multiple different colleges and professional institutions. In addition, I aided in survey data quality assurance and qualitative data cleaning and analysis. 


In addition to continuing my work with the SCWLF, I took on two internships over the summer of 2023. In March I was offered a position as an Associate Media Planner with Digitas North America, where we received a month of intensive training from professionals at Digitas agencies across the country, followed by an assignment to a Digitas client account. I was assigned to the Victoria's Secret & PINK account, where I helped with search marketing management, including keyword development, ad creative and strategy, trafficking recommendations, and reporting. I also assisted in the copywriting adjustments for the new PINK beauty campaign, reviewing individual headlines which would appear in Google search, optimizing phrases to better match the new campaign. After completing the 3-month internship program, I accepted a position as a Social Media Intern with Wasserman Next Gen, where I was assigned to the Amazon Prime Student account. Working with my manager, I created content for Amazon Prime Student brand handles on TikTok and Instagram, which have over 600,000 followers across both accounts. We ideated content angles and created content calendars for months in advance, following the schedule of a college freshman and providing product and service recommendations new students might need to conquer their first year and the events and traditions college brings. Throughout the internship, I worked to source college influencers across D1 schools of interest to build a bank of possible content creators for Prime Student to pull from in the future. Working with the diversity, equity, and inclusion team at Wasserman, I created an educational resource titled "From Misunderstanding to Empowerment: A Comprehensive Analysis of and Resource Guide to Combating Fatphobia" to be used as DE&I curriculum and guidelines for both employees and clients. I created a Wasserman-centered research paper to use as a base for the resource, both to pursue my mission of fat liberation, particularly in the media and corporate spaces, as well as provide multiple sources for the many people that will undoubtedly criticize and question the validity and accuracy of the resource.


Being able to work with the SCWLF as well as create a resource about body diversity and the effects of fatphobia for company use has given me insight into what my advertising future could look like. By advocating for and representing the struggles of Black women in the law field, as well as for larger-bodied people in advertising and the workplace, I am already pursuing my lifelong goal of increasing diversity in the media and making tangible changes in the way that society views and treats marginalized groups. I know that with my drive and passion for making people feel seen and valued, I can continue to achieve my goals far into my future career.

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