Angelina Darrisaw (MA ’10), putting “beauty into action”

8.28.2014 Alumni News, Article, Careers, General

By Stephanie Skordas, School of Business

Browsing through the September issue of O! Magazine, you might recognize a familiar Wake Forest face. Angelina Darrisaw, who graduated in 2010 with a Master of Arts in Management degree, is featured as an ambassador for the national My Black is Beautiful campaign.  And she credits her Wake Forest family with helping to make this opportunity possible.

“I had to tap old classmates, faculty and staff to spread the word when I became a finalist and it went to a Facebook voting competition,” Darrisaw said. “The response was overwhelming and I got so much support, it was both encouraging and affirming.”

A senior manager in digital business at Viacom – with media networks ranging from MTV and VH1 to Nickelodeon and TVLand as well as Comedy Central and Spike — Darrisaw seeks digital partnerships to add value to the company. She might look for ways to drive revenue on her company’s proprietary sites and apps, or a digital tool or platform that helps Viacom better engage with fans. “It allows me to look at digital opportunities for various demographics. Comedy Central content is very different from Nickelodeon, but I’ll work on deals that can benefit both. That keeps work exciting, challenging and interesting.”

Now in its seventh year, My Black is Beautiful (MBIB) is a long-term community building program created by Procter & Gamble to spark a dialogue around Black beauty. Darrisaw said she is excited to be one of six ambassadors, using her business skills to not only help facilitate ideas for the program, but also to maximize this opportunity to give back to the community.

“For me, giving back isn’t an option, it’s a necessity. I’ve made it priority since my first job when I was struggling to make ends meet on a starting salary in NY. Every bit helps and too many people have helped me in life, for me to not prioritize helping others. When I was at Wake, one way I gave back was through my participation in Project Nicaragua.”

Now that she is a working professional, Darrisaw says the career advice she received makes her want to pay that forward. She started a blog, C-Suite Swag, that offers career advice with an emphasis on fashion and music.

“I see my work with C-Suite Swag as very related. I’m using my best skillset to give back. I learned to be business savvy and navigate the corporate landscape and share it with young professionals in a way that’s digestible.”

This isn’t her first time sharing career advice. Last year, Darrisaw travelled to Winston-Salem to offer Class of 2013 MA students advice about how to succeed. (You can read that story here.)

Beyond fashion, music and corporate careers, Darrisaw says the sky is the limit for School of Business graduates – with opportunities that don’t necessarily come with a buttoned-up suit. “Use the education you have from Wake to break the mold. Try anything and everything. Pave your own path,” she said. “There’s definitely room for movers and shakers in the age of the start-up, where business is becoming increasingly flexible.”

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See Angelina Darrisaw in a My Black is Beautiful video about being named ambassador.