Jeff and I at the senior awards ceremony when I graduated high school
Jeff thanking me for my 2 years of service as Student Representative on the Franklin School Committee
It’s getting down to the time SBDU fans. What time am I talking about? PACKING TIME! Only 1 short day left until my departure to Australia, but what shall I wear? Normal BMAC protocol states that I want to stand out from the crowd as a unique individual and strategically differentiate myself. So let me know tell you a little story of how I am going to do just that because of a phenomenal opportunity that came my way…
After making it as a Top 3 Finalist for Chief Funster, my friend Rachel congratulated me and said she wanted to do something for me that really showed her congratulations because she was so proud of me and all of my hard work. Rachel is in my graduating class and graduated from Marist as a fashion design major. For her the best favor she can do for anyone is to make them clothing, and whenever she does, the person is always so thankful and it’s the most rewarding feeling ever, and plus it’s what she loves to do. I couldn’t believe that Rachel wanted to personally design me clothes for my trip to Australia and I jumped at the opportunity!
During finals week at the closing of our senior year of college last month, Rachel and I sat outside in the grass on a beautiful sunny day brainstorming different “looks” for me for Australia. We wanted to incorporate the themes of Australian patriotism (since the job of Chief Funster is to promote tourism to Australia) as well as my Send BMAC Down Under campaign of being a small town girl from Massachusetts and receiving my higher education in New York. We wanted to incorporate different parts of Australian and American culture, so both served as inspiration for the “BMAC In Aus” fashion designs. Here are the results!
For my “off the plane” attire, Rachel designed the “I ❤ AUS” shirt. She got the idea from our “I ❤ NY” shirts that many people who visit NYC buy. Being residents of NY for four amazing years of college, tying in the “I ❤ NY” shirt idea brings in part of our New York culture. I will also be incorporating a little more of my Massachusetts roots with a blue blazer, nantucket red shorts and boat shoes. My favorite part about this shirt is that in the heart, Rachel drew the Australian flag!
Next Rachel designed me an evening dress to wear at night for a more formal occasion. This dress was inspired by the Union Jack on the Australian flag and the color [red] was chosen because it combines the Australian flag and our Marist school color. The color has a meaning that is close to both of our hearts, and it ties both aspects of Australian patriotism and Marist school-spirit all in one dress. The most intricate part of this dress is the cuffs. Rachel hand beaded the Union Jack of the Australian flag on the cuffs of my sleeves for this dress.
When I asked Rachel what her favorite design was that she made for me, she said, “Definitely the red dress. At first I was afraid it would be too simple but the contrast of the fabrics and the little bit of glam on the cuffs made it simply elegant and I’m just in love with how it turned out!”
THANK YOU, RACHEL for designing and personally handmaking me such beautiful clothing! I am SO excited to wear them in Australia, tying both of our cultures together and killin it in Aus 😉
While Rachel’s love is fashion, it’s time I share with you one of my own personal loves and obsessions: nail polish! It was kind of a “no brainer” when it came time for me to choose what color to paint my nails for my trip to Australia on Monday. I went with “Tasmanian Devil Made Me Do It” by OPI from the Australia Collection.
I’ll only be rockin “Tasmanian Devil Made Me Do It” on my piggy toes though because I want to really be able to get involved in the Chief Funster challenges and not have to worry about my nails looking perfect for the evening events. My fingers will be going “au naturale” in the land down under, but it will be more than worth it!
I am super excited to show off my Aussie inspired designer fashion in Australia in only one more day! I am hoping Tourism Australia and other followers of the Best Jobs In The World contest get a kick out of my strategically designed clothes. I’ll let you know how it goes and will post pictures of me sporting the “BMAC In Aus” fashion line by Rachel Elle 🙂 Now it’s time to get packing!!!
This past Wednesday Massachusetts State Representative Jeff Roy invited me and my family to the State House for an official “send off” of me to Australia! It was quite the day! My family and I got the royal treatment once we arrived to the State House. Jeff and his assistant, Chris, met us in front of the State House at noon where we took a few pictures outside of the building. One of my favorites from the day is Me, Jeff, my mother, father and best friend Pats all holding the “SEND BMAC DOWN UNDER” sign in front of the State House! Check it out!
Next, Jeff gave us the grand tour of the State House. I felt like royalty! I got to meet everyone we walked by. I was introduced to many different state representatives and other officials in the building. Jeff had informed everyone in the state house about what I’ve been doing with Send BMAC Down Under for the Best Jobs In The World contest. It was really cool to have so many people already know what I have been up to and congratulating me on my accomplishments! I was scheduled to meet the Governor, but sadly he was not in that day. I did, however, have the privilege of being taken out onto the Governor’s balcony where you can see, as Jeff put it “the best view of Boston”
Not a bad view, huh? (And I’m not just talking about Patrick 😉 ) The house was in session on Wednesday so after this, Jeff took my family and I into the House of Representatives chamber in the state house. Once inside, I continued to meet state officials and spread the word about the Best Jobs In The World contest and my quest for Chief Funster. I was then introduced by the Speaker of the House for all of my accomplishments thus far in making it as a Top 3 finalist for Chief Funster. The chamber was buzzing with conversation and it didn’t appear as though anyone was even really listening, but when the Speaker of the House finished speaking, the chamber erupted in applause! I was overjoyed with excitement. I received a standing ovation from the House of Representatives in the Massachusetts State House! WHOA! I don’t think I’ve ever smiled so largely in my life! When we left the chamber, Jeff told my family and I that it is rare for the house to give a standing ovation. I have never felt so special in my life the way I felt when I was in that room.
Next on the agenda, Jeff, my family and I had an official photograph taken of us with the citation that Jeff presented to me on behalf of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The citation congratulates me and recognizes my achievement of making it as a Top 3 Finalist for Tourism Australia’s Best Jobs In The World contest. Now that’s an official document if I ever saw one!
It was an incredible experience being at the State House where so much important history has taken place and knowing that I am also making history. There were many rewards from this special day in my life and I’m going to tell you the two biggest ones [in my opinion]. The first happened at the conclusion of the day when my best friend Pats said that joining my family and I and watching me earn this recognition was a huge motivator and inspiration to him. I was so happy that I could serve as an inspiration to him. I’ve always believed that if you can dream it, you can do it, you just have to believe in yourself and not set any limits. You should live life and act as though there are no limits, that is when you will find success. It’s such a rewarding feeling to know that I’ve impacted more lives than just my own with the success I’ve had in becoming Chief Funster thus far.
The second most rewarding feeling was when we were in the car driving out of Boston. I was quiet and smiling at my mother gushing over the day we just had and my accomplishments. She looked at me and said, “Brittany, I don’t think you understand how incredible of an honor you just received…” My mother was surprised at my “lack of excitement”, however it wasn’t that I wasn’t excited, because believe me, I certainly was! For the first time since I found out about the contest in March, I felt satisfied and proud of myself because I have finally seen that all my hard work and sacrifice has paid off. Of course the contest isn’t over yet and I am not giving up, but it was nice to take a quick breath and be proud of myself.
The fun of the day wasn’t over yet though, kids! After dinner, my parents and I headed to my hometown’s Town Hall where I was recognized by the Franklin Town Council with a proclamation in congratulations and recognition detailing my success and achievements thus far in the Best Jobs In The World contest for Chief Funster.
It was a jam packed rewarding day full of fun! As if it was even possible, this day really built up my excitement to head down to Australia for finals week!!! Only 2 more days now until I leave! I have purchased a few necessities ( a converter, bathing suit and a couple new outfits) but now it’s time to get packing! I can’t believe this is really happening and I could not be any more excited! (I know I’ve used the word “excited” a lot in this blog post, but I just can’t contain my excitement!!!!) I am looking forward to spreading the word even further of how fantastic Australia truly is! I wish I had a dime for every person who asked if they could come with me over the course of the day. I should really just transport the entire state of Massachusetts down under! They’re all jealous of my experience and itching to get down there! See you soon, Australia!
Chief Funster Search Committee
Sydney, New South Wales
You have all been hearing about my daughter Brittany MacLeod (BMAC to her friends) from her co-workers, mentors, professors, Dean of the Marist School of Management and one of our State Representatives but as her mother I wanted to give you a different perspective of my impressive daughter. I know right about now you are all thinking every mother thinks their child is impressive but I want to give you specifics where she has shined and caught the attention of the world around her.
My husband, Malcolm and I knew Brittany was special when she walked at 8 months old and was conversational at 18 months old but one of the things that has continued to set Brittany apart from others is her singing. When Brittany was little, I would take her out with me shopping and Brittany would entertain herself in her stroller by singing to herself. People would stop me and ask me if I realized how beautifully she sang and at such a young age. After a while instead of just thinking it was a “mother’s pride” that thought she was special, I brought her to a vocal coach to see if there was something different about her. I came to find out she had perfect pitch at age five.
At ten years old we were visiting a historic home in Newport, Rhode Island where they were hosting a Renaissance Faire and they finished a planned event early and asked if anyone had any special talent. Brittany said she could sing and they thought they were humoring a child when they invited her to go ahead and entertain everyone. She was so much better than they ever expected that a couple of hundred people were blown away by her unexpectedly professional voice. People even came up to Malcolm and I afterwards asking permission to take their photograph with our daughter. Pretty impressive!
Brittany continued to sing and set herself apart by becoming the “go to” person in our town to sing our National Anthem at sporting events. One event in particular to be mentioned was the re-dedication of our local Ice Rink, to honor the memory a fallen Medal of Valor recipient and veteran from our town. That was in addition to performing in all kinds of music performances and venues. Brittany still performs while at college gaining attention with her beautiful voice still performing our National Anthem and performing in showcases of talented students.
I was astounded by Brittany one day when she came home from High School at age 14 and she told me she wanted to play Ice Hockey. Well, you’re now asking yourself why is this impressive? Well, you see, Brittany had never watched an Ice Hockey game before. Sure, in principal she knew what it was, what New Englander didn’t, but she had never been interested before. So she set out to play Ice Hockey and had to learn the game very quickly to be able to make the team and compete. Brittany not only made the team, she played Ice Hockey all 4 years of High School. To mine and Malcolm’s amazement, our daughter who is bright, sings and was a cheerleader for 4 years had another talent to add to her list, Ice Hockey player!
But Brittany didn’t stop there. Brittany became the voice of the student body for her High School by representing the student’s point of view at our School Committee meetings for two years as you learned from State Representative Jeffrey Roy. This was the beginning of Brittany’s foray into public speaking and this is important when you consider when Brittany went to college she joined an international organization called Toastmasters International, an organization with over 280,000 members. Brittany is on target to earn her Distinguished Toast Master (DTM) in three years. Once she gets her award, she will also become the youngest DTM ever in the world. It normally takes a Toastmasters anywhere between 5-8 years to earn this honor but when Brittany sets her mind to something there is usually no stopping her.
So now that I have told you all that, I can tell you that the reason I picked these unconnected factoids about Brittany is to tell you that she often surprises us but never disappoints. She is energetic, talented, driven, intelligent, thinks on her feet, and you would be lucky to have her representing Tourism Australia because she will give you 100% of her effort 100% of the time in communicating to the world how awesome Australia is and that everyone will want to “go down under”. That is the type of young woman she is.
I am so very proud of my daughter and all that she has accomplished! She can, and always has captured the attention of all the people who encounter her and Australia will never forget her, I promise you that!
Hey everyone! Thank you all so much for your love and support for Send BMAC Down Under so far. The second round of the Best Job In The World Contest is almost over! Tomorrow I report back to Tourism Australia with everything I have done in the past 2 weeks to show off my creativity, passion and commitment to becoming the Chief Funster by generating advocacy and media interest about why I am the best person in the world for this position. I find out May 14th if I make it to the next round of the contest. Fingers crossed.
A large part of who I am is because of how I was raised and how I grew up in Franklin, Massachusetts. Now that I’m only less than 3 short weeks away from graduating college and entering the “real world” it’s time I take all of those life lessons and values with me to tackle my next challenge and make my mark on the world. I wouldn’t have made it this far if I didn’t have my friends and family back home cheering me on to become Chief Funster. Check out my Franklin peeps showing their support to Send me, BMAC, Down Under!