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Conversations with the Inspiring Kayla Dungee

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kayla Dungee.

Kayla, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Since I was little, I always found an escape in reading or writing. I remember winning this Language Arts award in second grade, and my teacher told me I would grow up to be a writer. My bills wish I had grown up to be a doctor, but writing means everything to me.

I’ve interned at TUC Magazine, Her Campus, Seacrest Studios, and Q99.7, so I’ve gotten a taste of multiple aspects of journalism. I recently graduated magna cum laude from Georgia State University with my degree in journalism.

Strangely, I think I got to where I am today through hardship. Experiencing hardship – whether it be related to mental health, finances, or personal relationships – and deciding not to succumb to any of it has helped me transform into the writer I am today.

Has it been a smooth road?
A big N-O.

I often feel like I’m currently walking the unpaved path of the road. I always envisioned that I would graduate and have a job lined up at some renowned media outlet like CNN days after I walked the graduation stage. In reality, I joined a start-up and we just launched in the U.S. market. I’m also writing a poetry book, which is so far off from where I saw myself.

My advice to young women is it’s okay to be confused. It’s okay to quit job after job until you find your niche. It’s okay to be single. It’s okay to be in therapy. It’s okay to be broken. And it’s okay to eventually gather your brokenness and unapologetically love yourself out loud. You are so insanely enough. Remember – growth isn’t linear,

And then start working. But instead of fighting for a seat at the table of the patriarchy, make your own table. We’re too brilliant of a species to wait on a man to allow us to use our voice.

What do you do, what do you specialize in, what are you known for, etc. What are you most proud of as a company? What sets you apart from others?
I’m a journalist for Narcity Media. We specialize in entertainment, travel, food, and drink, pop culture, news, etc. I’m writing on all things Georgia, so I’m immersing myself in scouting all these locations with hidden gems around the state. I’m most proud of how well things are going. I’ve hit a quarter of a million people viewing just one of my articles. It’s awesome to see that people are receptive to the words and ideas I’m publishing. I also think the perks you get in exchange for publicity on a certain company are super dope.

What sets me apart is that I don’t want to seem like I’m better than anyone – I want to relate to my audience. I swear in my articles, joke around, make light of our human imperfections… I just want to come off as a friend. I’m also super transparent in my work. I’m writing more than articles, I’m drilling my emotions into my poetry, which will finally come together in my first book. Overall, there’s just a lot of humanity in my writing.

It’s also super freeing to be part of a company where you aren’t simply confined to an office. I can grab my laptop and do my work in a coffeehouse or even at the beach. So, my working day doesn’t often really look like work to someone on the outside looking in. Still, I feel very lucky in that sense.

Do you have any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general? What has worked well for you?
I’m incredibly hard-headed and like to do things my way, which can easily translate into a downfall of mine. While I can’t speak for having the most positive networking experience (social anxiety is a killer), what has worked for me is have a mentor digitally and connecting with people on the internet. I know that’s so millennial and frowned upon, but I’m still working on myself and building that confidence!

I know there are people like me who are nervous to network, and I just want them to trust that their mind is made of gold. Get what information you need from a mentor or company, and invest back in you. You’re capable of creating a billion-dollar idea on your own, you just need a little guidance and courage to act.

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1 Comment

  1. Keli Durner

    August 21, 2019 at 12:43 pm

    Kayla – You may not remember me, but I have always remembered you from your time at MCAA as an incredibly mature, intelligent, gorgeous inside and out young lady with a spirit of compassion and an intense protective quietness. I know school staff weren’t supposed to have favorites, but…you were always one of mine.🤫 I am thrilled for you that you have found your passion and are brave enough to pursue it! I wish you all the very best in your journey and look forward to reading your book of poems when published!!
    Keli Durner

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