Jacinta Collins, Brand Boss J

“Media shapes mind, mind shapes change & change shapes your future”

The Founding of Brand Boss J

Growing up; I could never figure out what I was actually good at. Creativity is funny; if you aren’t outstanding at drawing, it’s hard to have creativity valued in school. With a visual mind & the fact words come easily to me, I found it better than most to do complete my final exams successfully.

Somehow I had identified law as a good option for my career & studied hard to get the marks; but try as I may to pigeon-hole myself into a career; I couldn’t settle on what I had chosen.

As young as I was, a real intuitive panic set in on the last day where you could ‘change your mind’ & I think I realised I really wanted to do something creative. So I chose at random a Liberal Arts Degree program in Mary Immaculate College awarded by University Limerick for its diverse options including Media & Communications and English. And what a course it was. Lectured by the smartest people in the media sector; you had to earn every mark in your exams. The course was tough as nails because that is what the media industry is. Side by side; I had the pleasure of ‘questioning everything’ through my English studies and I couldn’t have been happier with my choice as my brain was challenged every minute of the day from scripting, to filming, to radio, to journalism, to press releases to video editing. A time before social media…

After graduation; I started immediately in the newspaper industry & landed a job in magazine & newspaper production. Like a black cat; this twenty-something year old was trained by subeditors & designers from the Guardian, The Sunday World & the UK’s Independent newspaper. A baptism of fire but the best training anyone could ask for as I learned everything from subediting to layout, to design to becoming a regional title’s production editor coordinating with journalists, photographers, ads & printers to complete each week’s edition; before the recession struck & the newspaper industry was in the firing line.

Publishing was to be my next career destination & with a progressive, creative & innovative Dutch company like Elsevier, life was looking sunny. As a Journal Manager; I lead the communication and production of a large batch of international medical & scientifc titles working with the world’s most brilliant people to oversee their publications successful print & online deliverables. At Elsevier; was trained as a facilitator, achieved a Yellow Belt in Lean Six Sigma & worked on a huge global editorial project in reducing editorial times as well as being given scope to work on other creative in-house initiatives from team-building to well-being. My in-house and international colleagues were incredibly driven and brilliant mentors in areas such as innovation, brand & change management & I was extremely lucky to have learned so much from them.

As the recession continued; Elsevier moved the majority of their Irish base to India and a move to  e-learning was my next role. As a Quality & Content Specialist; editorially and functionally testing online courses was my role but my production passion led me back to ad hoc project teams in-house to develop apps.

However, by now, the time was nigh for me to do something more… and that creativity thing kept niggling. I just wasn’t satisfying that desire inside me.

In this head-space my friend & I planned a big trip for the latter half of the year…15 countries in 7 months…one she had already been planning; one I had not; but it was an opportunity for change, for time for inspiration. With absolutely no idea how I was going to fund it, I knew I had to make a change as I just couldn’t find that piece of creative fulfilment in my work. Something inside me kept saying; you need to stop working for someone else’s dream and start working for yours.

I will never forget the day I told my beautiful HR manager Amanda (RIP) that I wanted to give my notice as I felt I needed to take this trip. She spoke to the directors & team leads & said why not instead; take a career break & they would give me extra projects to support me on my savings goal in the lead-up.

I remember really being disappointed as something inside me knew that I ‘had to go’ for real and that I couldn’t come back. But I accepted this generous offer.

So as the weeks moved on and the trip date loomed; the financial goal seemed too high, I knew I would not achieve it; but I persevered none the less with the consideration of shortening my time away. One colleague says she remembers me continuously scribbling €4,000 on a notepad beside me as that was the shortfall for this huge trip.

 Life is funny. September 17th was the day we were to travel. On August 17th, I appeared on a National Lottery game show on national tv called The Big Money Show & won €40,000. The trip was on & so was my future of working for my own dream. The dream turned out to be moving to Sligo on my return and before long, I’d moved very naturally into a business development role with an owner who wanted to re-direct his business offerings & increase his income. I could visualise it. A lot of work & a complete rebrand later – his dream was achieved. As life goes, word got out of the rebranding work I did & the phone started ringing; my dream was realised.

From my extensive media background & creative gifts; I visualise personal & professional brands & assist people to put the media & the communication behind it.

I create, communicate & connect.

I am Brand Boss J.