Visit Emily's travel blog for cut-out doll Rowland here.
Share your own memories of American Girl with the hashtag #AGTaughtMe on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
On Feb. 3, Emily Halley, senior marketing major and SGA treasurer, will send off a résumé to a company she has been dreaming of working for since middle school.
While many students may not think to send their résumés off in the form of a cardboard cutout look-alike doll, for Halley it makes perfect sense.
“Knowing that American Girl was my dream job, I wanted to do something a little different,” Halley said. “I didn’t just want to send a résumé without them seeing the true passion behind this idea of working for American Girl.”
The project has been a long time in the making.
Halley fell in love with American Girl at 5 years old when she received her first doll, Kit Kittredge, under the Christmas tree.
The number of dolls, and Halley's love for the company, grew from there.
“Emily got her first American Girl from Santa Claus. Her reaction, she was thrilled — smiled ear to ear. It’s something I will never forget. A little girl’s dream,” said Pam Halley, Emily’s mother.
Her passion for marketing also grew from a young age. While Emily originally wanted to be a pediatrician, and often acted out this career with her American Girl dolls, she changed her mind to focus on business after she realized she was afraid of blood.
She credits her father and grandfather for inspiring her to pursue a career in business.
“We have talked a lot about business, politics and life experiences, even at a young age,” said her father, Keith Halley. “I always feel like the very lucky coach who just won the national championship every time she reaches one of those milestones. I consider her to be my best friend.”
As an avid planner, Emily began preparing for her career early. She ran her high school’s store, The Red Zone, after a marketing teacher asked her to help out with it sophomore year. At Ball State, she started the Women in Business organization to support other female business majors on campus.
While she excelled at marketing, Emily’s dream of working for American Girl never faded. As graduation approached, she decided to apply for a job at the company, even though there are no specific beginning marketing positions open.
“This is a way to get my name out there for future positions, as well as to show the love I have for the American Girl company,” Emily said. “I think that if it hadn’t been for American Girl, an idea like this wouldn’t have come to mind, so everything about this campaign is about how AG has taught me to think and be. It’s a dream job.”
Emily hopes to capture the company’s attention with several creative tactics. Her résumé will come with a cardboard cut-out of a look-alike doll she made with a family friend from home.
The doll, Rowland, comes with Emily’s résumé and a cover letter from the point of view of Rowland about Emily’s accomplishments and love for American Girl.
Under the guidance of her Miller Business Honors Program advisor, Emily also started a travel blog to chart Rowland’s journey from Muncie, Indiana, to Madison, Wisconsin.
To engage others in the community, Emily has also started a social media campaign that asks collegiate women to share their memories about American Girl using #AGTaughtMe. Several of Emily’s sorority sisters have already agreed to share their memories and spread the word on social media.
Freshman English major Marlee Jacocks was eager to get involved with the campaign. She still remembers bringing her first doll home, and how monumental and exciting it felt at the time.
“My American Girl doll gave me chances to play dress up and experiment with clothing, but also to just enjoy all things girly,” Marlee said. “From all this play time, AG has taught me what it takes to be a brave, caring and passionate woman. With these traits always in mind, I have become the person I am today.”
Junior fashion merchandising major Kellyn Mcmullan also jumped at the chance to participate in the campaign. She still remembers taking yearly trips to the store in downtown Chicago with her mom and sister.
“I still have my two American Girl dolls that I got when I was younger, and they always bring back fun memories. This campaign gave me an excuse to dig through old pictures,” she said. “I feel like American Girl makes girls feel confident and AG motivated me to follow my dreams at such a young age.”
The lasting impact American Girl has on their customers is one of the main reasons Emily is so excited about the possibility of working there today.
Though she realizes that she may not get the job right away and has applied for many other opportunities, Emily hopes the campaign and résumé will be enough to get her on the map at her favorite company.
“They always seem to be one step ahead of every other company in terms of encouraging girls to love who they are just the way they are,” Emily said. “It’s hard not to be for a company that does that for young girls."