Rowan University has a network of alumni thriving in many different fields and professions all around the world. Today, we got a chance to sit down with one of these successful individuals — Nadya Ramos, a 2020 graduate of Rowan Global’s Strategic Communication program.
A young girl sits atop a green chair in her kitchen, her feet dangling off the edge. She’s too young to understand anything it says, and the adults around her are getting more entertainment watching her than she gets out of reading it, but there she sits day after day trying to make sense of the words on the page. There’s something special about that little girl even though she doesn’t know yet. Something unique that’ll come to inspire many other women and girls.
This young girl went from pretending to read newspapers to becoming a wife, mother and the CEO of her own small business.
Rowan alumna Nadya Ramos is the founder of Modern Millennial Mom, a blog to express her own reality and experience being a mother in the modern age as well as a businesswoman and has grown to allow her to create content for others. Modern Millennial Mom has allowed her to reach many other women who are experiencing being mothers in this modern age while simultaneously juggling the whirlwind of this world around them.
An Atlantic City native, Nadya currently lives in Arizona working as content creator, marketing consultant, business owner and full-time mom creating content for companies like Walmart and Office Depot, but life wasn’t always like that for her. When asked about her past, Nadya shared not only her experience being a first generation young Hispanic girl but also explained the multifaceted layers of the word “first.”
She explains: “I was the first person to get a bachelor’s degree, I was the first person to get a master’s degree, the first to start a business. All of these opportunities and ‘firsts’ come with a lot of struggles and challenges. I didn’t have someone to go to in my family to say I needed help or to even ask. It’s a double-edge sword. You dream bigger when you’re the first, but with it comes many challenges.”
Many who can’t relate to the experience of being the first would then ask, “How do you do it?” If Nadya were to respond with the advice given to her by her mother it would be: “Work hard and go to school,” a mantra many of us may know from our own parents. But Nadya felt as though there was more to life than just working hard, going to school and building enough to get by stating: “When my mom came to this country, a single mother of five children, it was all about survival. For me, I wanted to build more than just enough to get by.”
Nadya did face her own set of obstacles and challenges, but instead of treating them like adversaries, she used them as stepping stones to get to where she is today. For starters, Nadya had initially had plans of attending Rowan for her undergraduate degree but was not accepted. Taking the setback in stride, she chose to instead go to school locally working as a blackjack dealer on nights and weekends as well as interning for $10 an hour (and sometimes for free) to put herself through school.
She would eventually enroll into Rowan’s graduate program for Strategic Communication and, while would receive her degree in August 2020, there still came numerous setbacks.
“It took me longer than expected,” she explains. “I got married in the process. I had a baby. I moved. I took a break from work and was a stay-at-home mom for some months. But, looking back now, I can see that everything happens for a reason, and I understand now why it took me longer than expected. I actually ended up writing my master’s thesis after influencer marketing blew up, and so I was able to switch my topic and write about something I was really passionate about after initially choosing something I wasn’t all that interested in. Now, I do this for a living. I work with many influencers. I do brand collaborations. I do influencer marketing campaigns. And now I myself get to work with other brands doing those collaborations.”
On the launch of her own small business, Modern Millennial Mom, Nadya lets us know that it didn’t just fall in her lap and was the result of yet another setback: “I launched my marketing consulting business because I was let go from my job last year. There were things about the workforce that didn’t align with my goals now that I’m a mom with a family to raise. I wanted more freedom. More flexibility. I just didn’t want uncertainty. I want to regain control of my life. Be the CEO of my life. Now, I teach other women how to gain the confidence to market themselves and their business better.”
As a woman of color in a field that is predominantly not filled with faces that look like hers, Nadya has had to deal with her share of misogynoir. For those unaware of what misogynoir is, it is defined as the culmination of racism and misogyny, and it’s something that many women of color are all too familiar with. Nadya was very candid about her experience with misogynoir, holding no punches.
“I’ve definitely experienced misogynoir,” she shares. “I didn’t know how real it was until it was me who was experiencing it. I came home one day and sat in the kitchen talking to my husband and mother-in-law about how this is not something that’s in my head. You know how people say, ‘Maybe that’s just in your head’ or ‘Maybe you’re overthinking it.’ Well, when it’s you on the receiving end, it’s hard to justify it or explain to yourself what just happened.
“Not very long ago, in my last job in the field, I experienced, myself and other women, microaggressions in the workplace. Other women and I started to notice a lot patterns that just didn’t make sense and it felt very targeted. It just didn’t make sense and it felt very targeted. I feel it’s important to give voices to women who own businesses and women of color so they can get out there and create more opportunities. But it’s also important to provide these same women with the resources to be able to do so.”
One of the ways Nadya helps to provide these resources is through her series, Growth Through Conversation. The show, which started out as a Facebook Live series, has now expanded to pre-recorded conversations that are posted to YouTube. Nadya describes the show as: “A conversation you might have with somebody in your living room or at a networking event.”
When asked about how it feels to be able to use her platform to elevate the voices of women, specifically Latina women, Nadya gave an answer this writer wasn’t quite expecting. While she took the time to praise the women who have been able to achieve great success in their field, she reflected more admirably on the women who are still working day in and day out to achieve their end goals.
“So we read these books,” she starts, “about how this person made it or how that person made it and they’re inspiring, but the thing about that is that we’re looking at somebody who is already on the other side. I’m not going to say it’s easy, but it’s a different point of view when you’re looking back. You can say now: ‘I made this mistake but thank God I did because it led me to X, Y or Z.’ And, while there is value in that, I think I find myself more inspired by other women who I either know personally or who I have connected with that are just living life.”
It can be easy for a person dealing with multiple responsibilities to sometimes lose track of them all and just feel beyond overwhelmed. In order to prevent this feeling, Nadya understands that in order to be her best self to everyone around her, she needs to take time for herself, by herself.
She says: “Through therapy, I learned that I can’t be my best self if I don’t take care of myself. I see self care as building time into your day to get out and move. For me, I go on power walks and listen to a podcast or a DIY video about a new skill that I want to learn and master. I listen to that when I first start my walk but then, on the way back, I unplug. I take out the headphones and allow myself to rest. I allow my mind to rest. Overconsumption is very overwhelming to someone like me. I battled with anxiety and depression so I have to build in these moments where I can unplug.”
From the little girl reading the newspaper to the accomplished woman she is today, Nadya doesn’t serve as an inspiration to us because she’s a woman who can juggle it all and has just achieved so much. Nadya is an inspiration because she showed strength and persistence in the face of adversity and has never backed down when it arises.
“That’s who I’ve always been,” Nadya smiles happily as reflects back on the rollercoaster ride life has been. “It took me too long to realize I was special and I am special! And so are you! And so is the person reading this. And if I can say anything to that little girl in that chair, reading that newspaper, I would say: Thank you for being you!”
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Bianca Gray, senior English major
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