Spotlight Series: Meet Nicole Powell CEO and Founder of HALCON Marketing Solutions

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hi! I’m Nicole Powell. I was born an ocean away in Manila, Philippines. At the age of six years old, I moved to Bronx, New York bringing along amazing memories obtained from living in a unique country with an amazing culture. I grew up loving Derek Jeter and NY-style pizza; and I thoroughly enjoyed the diverse cultures, tastes, and sounds of New York City.

I majored in journalism at Rutgers University and interned at some fantastic media networks in New York City. Fast forward 11 years later, and I started my own boutique marketing firm, HALCON Marketing Solutions, specializing in brand development, multi-platform storytelling, social media marketing and content strategy.

I’ve traveled all over the world, sometimes by myself, because I love learning about the history and culture of other countries. I’ve lived in New York City, New Jersey, Los Angeles, San Francisco and now reside in St. Louis. In my spare time, I cuddle with my yellow Labrador Retriever, Doug, go hiking with my husband, and although my schedule these days makes it very difficult, I love working out!

What was your first job and how did you get it?

During college, I spent every semester that I could interning in New York City and gaining the experience and contacts I needed for post-college life. I interned at major networks such as ABC, FOX and MTV. I also worked in Washington D.C for a summer, planning and executing events with U.S. Senators, Congressman, newscasters and government officials.

For my last semester of college, I interned at the company I hoped to work for after graduation. That company was MTV. I interned for college credit (no paid internships available when I was in college!) and got hired as a Production Assistant. I started roughly two weeks after graduation! I eventually transitioned into the marketing world, and I’ve never looked back.

How did you decide and get to your career today?

A once-in-a-lifetime job offer for my husband took us to the Midwest two years ago. I continued my marketing career at a local agency serving national clients, but I now bring my expertise to the world of Property Management helping two local properties reach their target audiences. It is a totally different world than what I was used to. I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason as my transition into the Property Management world introduced me to some inspiring small to mid-size business owners.

Working for and supporting smaller businesses has reawakened my love of helping others using the power of marketing. I was always yearning for a career where I used my skills and felt like I was genuinely helping others. For this reason, I decided to venture out on my own and teach fellow entrepreneurs the tools and strategies to grow their brands. I am determined to use my skills to uplift others, plain and simple. I’ve been mentored by some of the best in the industry, and I’m looking to "pay it forward."

I’ve been blessed to have traveled and lived in many places. I have also worked for amazing companies. In my career, I’ve also had some great and not so great professional experiences. You can say the “not so great experiences” drove me to start my own firm. HALCON is in its infancy, but my goal is to expand and become a full-service marketing agency. I want to create a healthy and positive work environment for my future team and myself. A place where everyone feels supported and where we all strive to empower and uplift each other.

What advice would you have given your younger self?

Stay true to yourself and be your own type of leader. There are so many books and articles that give you tips on how to be a great leader. Movies and TV shows depict a CEO or Vice President in a certain way. You have to be this or that to be influential, successful, and respected by your peers. "Be stern at all the time. Look people directly in the eyes at least 3 times during a meeting. Don’t bob your head too much."

Of course, I’m half joking and making some of these tips up; but I spent so much time trying to change my nature and fit the mold of a “great leader” that I could’ve probably built a house from the ground up. Now, I’m not saying don’t listen to advice from mentors, experts or peers. I just wish I knew earlier on in my career that I shouldn’t spend all of my days trying to be someone else. I’m bubbly, friendly, and I love to laugh. I have a work hard, play hard mentality and enjoy the occasional “woohoo” during a brainstorm meeting. I wear funky outfits and love a good neon top. I’ve embraced who I am and decided I’m going to be a kind, supportive, and at times a goofy leader who also knows quite a bit about marketing. Leaders come in all shapes and sizes!

In 5 years, where do you hope to be professionally and personally?

I hope to have a house, another dog, and a child! Professionally, I’d like for my company to be a full-service agency with a solid team and a wealth of clients who share the same views when it comes to business and collaboration.

Stay connected with Nicole!

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