How I Got a $10,000 Grant Through Twitter Outreach

Author: Michelle Ioannou, Career Advice

Yes, you read that correctly, I received a $10,000 grant for the nonprofit I work for solely from Twitter outreach.

How did I do it? I connected with people. Yes, that’s all. And yes, that was it.

Social media is meant to be social, it’s right there in the title. Not only should you respond to people who tweet at you, but you should start conversations with others as well. If you see someone tweeting about something applicable to your professional field or your interests, simply respond to their tweet. Show them you know what you’re talking about, show them you have an interest in the things they’re talking about, and show them that your missions are aligned. You truly never know what connections they have, and that’s how it worked out for me!

Yes, this can be like finding a diamond in the rough. It can sound tedious. And yes, it can take an aggressive outreach campaign in order to see results. I dedicated a couple of hours each day solely to reaching out to those on Twitter who were tweeting with similar hashtags that my nonprofit was using. It can sound like a lot, I know. But, I can also tell you firsthand that you can see results, and that it works.

All I did was tweet at someone with a bit of information on my company (within 140 characters, of course), and a bit of incentive for him to help us — a give-get, so to say. And it worked. The person responded. They were interested in us and the work we were doing. And this person just so happened to know a foundation that donated $10,000 to us. This then turned into another $10,000 six months later. And then another $10,000. And so on and so forth, you get the picture.

These thousands of dollars all came from a simple tweet. From connecting with someone on Twitter, and showing him a nonprofit he’s never heard of before — but one that falls directly in line with his mission. 

Social media is truly a powerful tool. It connects us with people in a way that we have never connected with people before. And we need to take advantage of that, because there’s so many opportunities out there on the web, you just need to find them.

Don’t be afraid to directly tweet at someone. Worst case scenario? They don’t answer. Best case scenario? You may just have someone fall in love with your nonprofit/business/brand so much, they want to help fund it, or know someone who does.

dating apps

Sometimes, You Need a Break From Dating Apps

Author: Michelle Ioannou, The Dating Game

The title of this is so 21st century, right?

But, it’s true. Sometimes, you need to delete those dating apps right off of your phone. Not forever, but for a little while. Give yourself a little break. Stop worrying about needing to respond to someone in 24 hours, or accidentally swiping left on what could’ve been the love of your life. Stepping away from dating apps for a short, but extended period of time, can be beneficial. And, it can help you feel a bit better about the thought of dating.

But, when is it the right time to delete these apps? Well, don’t just do it for the heck of it. Or because you’re annoyed someone hasn’t responded back immediately. Do it because you need to.

You’ve become cynical
How many of us have gone months and months of swiping, for pretty much nothing? Sure, you’ll talk to someone here and there, but it doesn’t go anywhere. You may have even been asked for your number, and have started texting… but then, nothing progressed there either. It’s so easy to get discouraged if this continues to happen. Taking some time off from swiping right before you get lost into a “why doesn’t anyone want to take this to the next step” situation could definitely be beneficial.

You’re just not into it right now
No, regardless of the pressure you may feel from your family members, you do not have to be putting yourself out there all of the time. You’re allowed to take a break from “the hunt,” and that includes taking a break from dating apps as well. If you’re just not into it, you’re likely to be indifferent anyway, which could mean swiping left a bit more than you normally would. Delete the apps for a little, until you feel like you’re ready to get back into the dating game.

It feels like a chore 
Going on dating apps feels more like an obligation rather than something you want to do? “OMG if I don’t spend a half hour every day on Tinder/Coffee Meets Bagel/Bumble/etc. how am I supposed to find someone?” No, you cannot think like that, and you shouldn’t. Dating apps are not supposed to be a chore; they’re there to help you find someone — on your own terms, when you want to. If it does feel like an obligation, you’re likely to be pessimistic about the entire experience, and not opening your eyes (and your heart) like you should.

You feel like all you do is swipe left
There has to be at least some people you’re kind of sorta maybe interested in. There is no reason to solely swipe left, or swipe left 90% of the time or more. If this is happening, something else is going on — and that very well could be that you’re just not into it right now, or it’s feeling like a chore. Going on and swiping left to everyone truly is not going to do you any good, but a break from dating apps will.

It has taken over your life
Like all things, you can (unfortunately) become addicted to dating apps. No! This is not something we should become addicted to! No addiction is good, and one to a dating app likely wouldn’t be beneficial. If you find yourself needing to check Coffee Meets Bagel at exactly noon every day, or if you find yourself obsessing over why that really attractive person you matched with has not responded to your message, take a step back. Nip the obsession in the butt before it gets any worse.

Beauty and the Beast

Disney Movies Tried to Forewarn Us About the Future

Author: Michelle Ioannou, Entertainment

We all know that our beloved Disney movies are full of doom and gloom. Walt Disney lost his mother at a young age, which is why all Disney movies include a parent’s, or a grandparent’s, death in some way shape or form.

But, upon watching Disney movies as an adult, you realize that they’re filled with lessons on dating, life, adulthood, and much more. If only we had realized these things in our youth, maybe adulthood would’ve been much easier? Who knows for sure, but as they say, better late than never!


When Cogsworth blatantly showed us how fixing relationships really worked.


When Jasmine showed us that love should be the reason for marriage, not anything else, not even for money.


When Rafiki taught us all that no matter how hard we may try, we cannot in fact successfully run from our pasts.


When Genie tried to tell Aladdin that telling the truth is the only way to have a healthy relationship.


When Jiminy Cricket tried to tell us all that we’re going to face a lot of temptations in the future — ones
that we have to ignore and get through.


When we learned in heartbreaking fashion that those we love will die, our parents unfortunately included.
Death has no timetable, and can affect you at any age.


When Mulan explained why she felt the need to change herself — to be someone she wasn’t, in order to be accepted.


When Aladdin showed us the struggles of not having money, pretty much forewarning us all of
how much we will have to in fact work to pay off our student loans or our rent.


When Gaston showed us gender inequality at it’s finest.


When Buzz Lightyear told us that we will, in fact, be surrounded by idiots on a daily basis.


When Fairy Godmother tried to teach us patience, because miracles take time.


And of course, when Peter Pan forewarned us all that growing up does really suck.


How to Prove Yourself to Your Boss

Author: Michelle Ioannou, Career Advice

It seems like an easy thing being able to prove yourself to your boss, right? But sometimes, it just isn’t. This is especially hard when you’re the youngest one in the office. It’s not always the easiest to be taken seriously when your boss is old enough to be your parent.

But, you’re there to do a job, and you not only need to do it, but you need to impress your boss as well. Why? You want a promotion. You want him or her to write you a letter of recommendation when you eventually move on. You want to make a good impression.

Always be early
Don’t stroll in 20 minutes late with your Starbucks in your hand. Stroll in ten minutes earlier with your Starbucks in hand instead. Early is on time, on time is late. Get to work a bit early to bang out those emails you need to respond to, ask your boss if there’s anything they need help with, or just to get settled in before the mad rush starts.

Take initiative
Don’t overstep, but don’t be afraid to create your own projects, or ask to take on something that you know needs to be done. You don’t want to sit there twiddling your thumbs until your boss comes to you with a full to-do list that needs to get done by 5p.m. Instead, create your own projects that you know will benefit the company or your department. Make a list of ideas you want to run by your boss. Brainstorm new programs, events, and so on.

Don’t take advantage
If you have an hour for lunch, stick to being gone for under an hour. Don’t turn it into an hour and a half or closer to two hours. If your boss isn’t there for the day, don’t take advantage of this and fool around; things have a way of getting back to your boss. You want to show your boss that you’re there to work, not to take advantage of the bar down the block’s lunch specials.

Ask questions
How can you learn if you’re not asking questions? Ask your boss why they did something. Ask how the company achieved certain milestones or results. Ask your boss how they got to where they are right now. You’re showing that you do want to learn and better yourself — both as an employee of the company and as a young professional.

Be helpful
Ask your boss what projects he or she is working on, and if any help is needed. Ask about future ideas are for your department or company, and see if you can start working on anything to help spearhead those. Show that you’re a reliable worker — one who can handle a strong workload.

Don’t cut out early 
Work until the time you’re supposed to. Don’t try and sneak out a half hour early. Of course, if you do need to leave early, just be honest and let your boss know. Your boss will likely appreciate the honesty, and be entirely okay with you leaving a bit early — especially if you don’t make a habit out of it, and if you get all of your work done first.

Be honest and respectful
Don’t lie to your boss. It truly will just come back to bite you. Be open and honest, especially if it’s about something that’s negatively impacting your work. Additionally, whether or not you like your boss, at the end of the day, they are your superior, and the one who can help pave your future career path. Always be respectful.


Stay in Touch With Your College Professors

Author: Michelle Ioannou, Career Advice

The final is over. You want to run out of the classroom and never set foot in it again. We all know that feeling. But, don’t waste this opportunity — don’t just burn a bridge with your professor.

Professors are great people to add to your network. And college is a fantastic time to start adding to that network. The class you took in college should be the first step to cultivating a professional relationship with your professor. Why?

They’re experts 
Whether or not they’re experts in the field you want to go into, they know what they’re talking about (for the most part at least). Use this to your advantage. Don’t be afraid to ask them how whatever topic the course is on can help you in your professional life down the line. Especially if they are in the field you want to go into, pick their brain even more. Find out everything you need to know, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

They can be your references
Chances are if you’re applying for your first job, your list of professional references are slim. But, professors can vouch for your demeanor and work ethic. List them. Establishing a relationship with them will let them take that recommendation one step further, resulting in them being able to truly attest to how you should get that job.

They have contacts
And their contacts can become part of your network as well. When your network becomes bigger, your opportunities become bigger. Plus, one of their contacts can have your dream job, or help you on the path to reaching your career goals.

They know of job openings
Former students reach out to their old professors all the time with job openings. If your ex-professor is aware that you’re looking for a certain job, and one comes across his desk that could be a great fit, of course he’s going to send it to you. They also have friends in various fields, who will know of job openings as well.

They can help you professionally
College professors know about the transition from college to the real world. They know that they are preparing their students for more than just passing tests. Ask them to review your resume. Ask them for their opinion on your cover letter. Ask them where you should be looking for jobs. They just may know more than you think.