The Opportunity of a Lifetime

On a sunny day in July, I was anxiously taking it all in. There were over 350 incredible women gathered on the first floor of the Altman Building for the Women: NOW Masterclass, a female empowerment event that culminated in the announcement of the 2019 Advertising Club of New York Women’s Fellowship Class. The day was packed with phenomenal speakers and insightful panel discussions, but every so often my mind would wander and I would hope.

When someone asked me how I heard about the conference, I had to be honest. I was hoping to get some good news.

Through breakfast, lunch and networking cocktails, I introduced myself as one of the finalists for the Advertising Club of New York Women’s Fellowship. It was my way of sharing my dream with the women I met. Hundreds of women had applied with personal statements and professional recommendations, but only 30 made it to the finals. It was an honor to make it this far, but I was hoping for more.

At the end of the day, once the attendees had clinked glasses, networked and exchanged information, all that was left was the announcement. As the names rang out through the hall, I crossed my fingers.

With each name read aloud, I felt my chances fading. Was it a mistake to tell people I was a finalist? Should I have just kept it to myself? I crossed my fingers tighter under the table.

“Claire Mirisola. Isobar.”

I could hardly believe it. As I walked to the stage, I could see some of the women I’d met that day clapping and hooting. All of my nervousness faded away and excitement started to bubble up. I was so excited that I jumped up and down on the stage after we took a Fellowship Class of 2019 photo.

I was selected to be an Advertising Club of New York Fellow.

Each year, 15 women are selected as part of the ACNY’s investment in the future of diverse professionals in the industry by committing over $100,000 to help women like me pursue their dreams and elevate their executive presence by providing the tools and access necessary to help them grow and thrive. This investment in the ACNY Fellows includes a year-long membership to ACNY, access to the industry’s top leaders in an executive salon series, all-expense paid trips to industry conferences, executive leadership training at PwC and the support of the ACNY community.

This year, I’m looking forward to the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities this fellowship grants me and to share what I learn with my Isobar team, but most of all I’m looking forward to connecting with the other fellows who I hope are as excited as me.