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SXSW - The Unexpected Experience

Kylie Mills, Vice President

I am not sure what I expected South by Southwest to be like, but I can tell you that I did not expect the overall experience of the festival to be as enriching as it was. For seven days, I attended as many sessions, events, and experiences as possible and took the time to ask questions and learn as much as I could.

One of the biggest takeaways came from my first session with Mark Cuban and TikTok creator, Tinx. So many of us follow our passion because that's what we've been told to do for years, but how can you follow your passion if you might not know what that is? Whether personal or professional, the more important thing to do is to follow your curiosity.

I don't think I could have picked a better first session for myself because it helped get me in the mindset for the rest of the conference. During my time in Austin, I learned how memories help establish future buying decisions, that brands should be working with creators to develop content rather than avoiding them, and that brands have to stop chasing views and create what they want to make. One of the most important things I learned is that accountability is required, but perfection is not realistic. From a PR standpoint, that last bit of knowledge was huge, and I can't wait to help the people we represent with everything I learned!

SXSW 2022 will forever be a core memory for me. I learned so much and met people that I have admired their work for years. Did I mention that I was able to MEET Nathanial Rateliff and Busy Phillips?!

Having the ability to work somewhere where your leadership puts professional development at the forefront is a big win for me, and I am so grateful for the opportunity that I had to be at SXSW! Until next time, Austin!



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