According to College of Charleston School of Business communications director, Liz Wolfe, marketing is a form of storytelling. 

“It’s about making authentic connections through shared experiences, fears and desires to help people take action or feel a particular emotion,” says Wolfe. 

That desire for connection and understanding is what inspired MBA candidate and future marketer, Lexi Gravino20 to write a book on diversity and inclusion at just 19 years old. 

My brother has down syndrome, and he’s always been one of my biggest role models,” says Gravino. “I was inspired by how loving and kind he is. He’s so genuine and sees everyone for who they are, not for [their] differences.” 

Gravino wrote and illustrated the children’s book Spread the Love to highlight the importance of embracing what makes us unique and being kind to everyone — no matter their differences. “I think there’s always so much that we can learn from people around us,” says Gravino. 

Wolfe believes authors like Gravino are talented marketers-in-the-making. “Both require similar skills sets: strong communication, an understanding of the human condition and a desire to make an impact.”

Gravino published her children’s book, which is available on Amazon, in the hopes of increasing the compassion people have for one another. She continues to channel that positivity into her work with Best Buddies, a nonprofit organization and global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-on-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development and inclusive living for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Although Gravino, who is interested in pursuing a job as a marketing consultant after graduation, isn’t sure if she will be writing any more books, her ability to tell stories continues as an MBA student with a focus in marketing. 

“Oral and written communication skills in marketing go hand-in-hand and are essential for success,” says Gravino. “As a marketing consultant you are constantly stimulated with new projects and different companies. It’s important to have storytelling and communication skills to persuade or influence your audience.”  

Suffice it to say, her career is one narrative we’re going to want to follow.