Q&A with Carmela Montenegro

Oct 26, 2020

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a freelance social media manager that is also starting up two other businesses.

How has being a first generation American shaped who you are?

As a first-generation American, I have another culture that influences my decisions and my current lifestyle. My parents have taught me to work hard, achieve higher than anyone, and be humble.

What led you to decide to make a change from music to marketing in college?

Throughout my time as a music education student, I had a passion to teach and play music. However, there was always something that didn’t seem right. There was a distinct moment that made me realize that I couldn’t do it anymore.

I was sitting in my Intro to Music Education course and the news popped up that Betsy Devos was to be the Secretary of Education. Teachers have it hard in a system that doesn’t support them and Betsy Devos is proof of that. At the time, I was also working as a substitute teaching assistant in North Milwaukee. Teachers were underpaid, overworked, and disrespected. Eventually, I failed the course and wasn’t allowed to stay in the music education program. I had to choose a different major.

When I was talking with some of my colleagues, they suggested that I look into marketing. They mentioned that I love networking, planning events, connecting people, and have the ability to raise funds. Later that summer, I switched majors and haven’t looked back since.

What was the transition of switching career paths like?

Changing career paths for me was simpler than most would think. At its core, the two can overlap in skills. As a marketer, I know how to communicate with empathy and clarity. I can also educate whenever I have to do product or service demonstrations.

From a music standpoint, I have strong public performance skills and a strong sense of self-awareness. These two skills alone helped me stand out when I went through business school.

What inspired you to become an entrepreneur and start your own company? Could you tell readers more about it?

Graduating in a pandemic forced me to become self-employed. I thought that if a company isn’t going to hire me, I’m going to hire myself! It also allows me to practice marketing on my own terms and gives me a competitive edge. Now, I have my own email list, a website that I’m updating, and hosting educational webinars to find clients.

Starting it was easy only because I’m slowly working on another business with my partner. We know the steps in how to grow and I have the drive to work for myself.

What are your future hopes and ambitions?

I hope to work at a start-up company of about 200 staff or less and grow the company as an intrapreneur. This will give me insight on how to grow my own business. At the same time, I will be continuously be working on building my own companies to scale and sell.

What advice would you like to share with others that have helped you throughout your journey?

Always. Seek. Feedback. If you aren’t open to feedback, you aren’t open to growing.

What does being Simply Unstoppable mean to you?

To me, it means that it’s easier said than done to be unstoppable

How can readers get in contact with you to continue this conversation?

Readers can feel free to email me at montenegro.carm@gmail.com or connect with me on Linkedin: LinkedIn.com/in/carmela-montenegro with a personalized message.