Photo Credit: Emily Wise
Each year, Academy of the Holy Names welcomes a visiting artist to come and speak to the students and share stories of their background, the path they took to find a successful and fulfilling career, and the importance of following your passion. This year they welcomed AHN class of ’94 alumni Nicole Corvette Hockin at the Tampa Museum of Art. She is the owner of Hockin Communications and currently authors www.travelsmartblog.com, the travel advice blog for Hotels.com. Her past positions include Chief Marketing Officer for REBEL Travel Corporation, Public Relations Manager for Hotels.com, Marketing Communications Director for Travelweb, and Marketing Communications Manager for Scientific-Atlanta, Inc. She was named one of the leading female bloggers by March Magazine and regularly shares her travel expertise across America on television programs that include Home & Family, The Rachael Ray Show, The Daily Buzz, and FOX’s The Morning Show with Mike & Juliet.
She discussed her career in working with companies in creating brands, as well as the importance of her Academy education, with those in attendance. According to Hockin, “A brand is not a product. A brand is a relationship you have.” Branding affects the way we view products, companies, and even people. Creating a brand is an art form. “To me working with a company to create a brand is like working with a blank canvas. A brand can grasp an audience, just like a great work of art just like a great work of art captures a museum patron’s attention.”
When asked what the most important part of her time at AHN was Hockin responded, “All of it. I can’t think of a piece that would have made me less successful. The religious aspect gave me my morals and values in faith, and now more than ever, it’s important as I raise my own family. Regardless of the field you’re in, science and math are just hugely important. I feel like you can’t isolate a subject or say, ‘I’m only going to focus on one thing.’ To get ahead in this world you need a little bit of everything and try to be as good at it as you can. What did I enjoy most? Art, History, and English; I loved anything with a story and the history behind it. I liked English because I could always write my way to the answer, and I couldn’t do that with Algebra. [But] it’s all important.”
She also believes that it is important for high school students to begin building their own personal brands as soon as possible. “A brand is a relationship or a good friend. Do you trust it and do you want to buy it? So the brand of you; are you someone other people would want to spend their time getting to know? If you are living out the motto of esse quam videri you shouldn’t have a problem with this. Be true to who you are and you shouldn’t have a problem with the brand of you.”
Hockin’s speech was eye-opening and especially beneficial for students pondering their future career paths. Careers such as hers offer positions for creative types in the corporate world, and she is an example of how living out the Academy motto past graduation can help you succeed in both your career and your personal life.
Senior Khalei McKown stated, “She was definatly different than I though she would be, but I mean this in the best way possible. I really enjoyed that she came from a marketing background instead of being a traditional artist, because not everyone is artistic, but we could all benefit from her message.”