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- Alicia (Viscomi) Williams '09 - Alisté Internet Marketing, Inc.
Alicia (Viscomi) Williams '09 - Alisté Internet Marketing, Inc.
Starting your own business in the middle of a recession is hard enough.
Doing it at the age of 22, right after graduating from college is even harder.
That's why the rapid success of Alicia (Viscomi) Williams '09 is so remarkable. After graduating from Curry College with a degree in Communication with a concentration in Public Relations, Williams decided to chart her own course.
"My family asked me 'what do you really want to do?' and I said I want to own my own business," Williams recalls. "So I had nothing to lose, I didn't have a family to support; so it was easy to take that risk and I started."
That risk paid off. Williams soon launched Alisté Internet Marketing, Inc. - helping other companies and small businesses expand their reach online, and through social media.
People are already taking notice of Williams' work. In September 2012 the Worcester Business Journal named Williams one of its '40 Under Forty' honorees for 2012. The Journal describes the list as an "annual celebration of up-and-comers in the Central Massachusetts business world."
Williams is also an in-demand expert on the business of marketing-partnering with Constant Contact to teach other business owners about social media and email marketing.
It's been a meteoric rise, but even Williams will admit that it was not always an easy road. She was a young woman in an industry full of older professionals. That's why she found her education at Curry College so valuable, "I took a lot of public speaking courses. I'm so happy I did," Williams says. "Just because you get up in front of the audience, you forget everything you say, you get nervous. But, when you do so many of them, it's so natural, that it feels extremely comfortable."
Williams also found motivation, guidance, and support once she left the Milton campus. She says the small class sizes helped her stay extremely close to her professors-building relationships that play a major role in her business success today.
One of the professors dishing out insight and advice has been Communication/Public Relations Professor Kirk Hazlett. Williams has called him one of her most influential mentors. Hazlett said he was "bursting with pride" after learning that his former student had been selected as one of the Worcester Business Journal's '40 under Forty' honorees.
An internship at Curry College also gave Williams some valuable real-world experience on her path to success She worked alongside Alyssa Samuels in the office of Institutional Advancement, learning about donor relations and non-profit event planning. Williams also left with a key lesson that guides her business today: the importance of research and preparation.
"You don't know how much a company or person can ever give or contribute unless you research who they are and learn about their business - they are not just dollar signs " Williams explains. "Now, when I go into client meetings, I never go into a meeting without researching the company, knowing exactly what they're doing for marketing, [and] what they're not doing for marketing."
Relationships and networking are common threads through Williams' life and career. That's one reason why she says Curry was such a perfect fit for her, "I chose it because I really enjoyed the campus feel, I felt safe there. I also looked at the students and I saw me. I felt like I could relate to them. I felt comfortable and that was really important-just fitting in. I went to the orientation and ended up meeting this girl who ended up being my roommate for all four years. And just the friends I've made, I've still stayed extremely close with them and had a great connection with faculty and students at Curry."
Williams has found success at a young age, but she's not stopping now, "I've already learned so much. I'm a sponge for learning more and I am able to apply that to my clients. So it's constantly adapting and changing and using the skills that you learned years ago, and applying them a little bit differently, in order to make them work." Based on her track record so far-Williams should have no trouble accomplishing that goal.
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