Dai Baker is the Founder + Creative Director of Dai Baker Creative Group LLC in Tempe. She is a marketing and branding strategist, publicist, serial entrepreneur, academic scholar, and a mother. She is also an adjunct faculty member and mentor. Dai enjoys empowering young mothers and women to achieve their goals. Learn more about Dai Baker…
Hometown: Ann Arbor, MI
First job: My first real job technically was as a hostess during my senior year of high school. It was not the best experience as the restaurant I worked for really did not like hiring minors (I was 17 at the time). I did not get a lot of hours, I only worked eight hours a week! I barely made any money. Thankfully I only worked there for a few months before transitioning to my on-campus job, which I stayed at for my entire undergrad career. I consider this to be my first job as I was here for about 5 years and grew in my role. I started as a cashier but worked my way up to being a marketing and Human Resources manager. I really enjoyed my time here as it allowed me to grow as a young professional. This is also my first marketing job before I founded my agency.
Favorite AZ restaurant: Macayo’s Depot Cantina in Tempe, the food and drinks are great. I love being out on the patio during a cool day. The happy hour menu is not too bad as well. It’s a great spot to wind down after a long day of work.
Person who has impacted your life the most: My daughter has made the biggest impact in my life. I became a mother before I was established in my career, so she can be the push I need to remain focus. Because of my daughter, I found purpose in life. Being a mother kept me focused and goal driven. Looking back I don’t think I would have accomplished as much as I have without her. Ultimately I just want to set an example and lead the way for her.
Your biggest accomplishment in your eyes: Obtaining my master’s degree in December 2019. Getting my master’s degree happened during a transitional phase in my life. I started my program right when I discovered some health problems. Adjusting to grad life and dealing with medical issues at the same time was not good. At times I did not think I would be able to finish the program. In fact, I almost did not even make it to my graduation ceremony. But after three long years, transferring songs and programs and losing a few credits I graduated in December 2019. Being determined and remembering the goal kept me going.
The biggest obstacle you have overcome: The biggest obstacle I had to overcome was becoming a young mother. Becoming a mother unexpectedly changed my future plans. I had to learn how to realign my goals and vision to accommodate having a child. The journey into motherhood was rough for the first two years. Luckily I had the support of select loved ones to guide us along the way. The biggest obstacle of my life became my greatest blessing.
Someone who inspires you: My team at my agency inspires every day to continue following my dreams. Knowing I have people who are willing to support my dreams and goals makes it even more rewarding to keep going. Some days as an entrepreneur can be very rough but having the support of my amazing staff makes it easier to get up the next day. There is still a part of me that cannot believe I have a team at my own business almost three years later since hiring. I will be a business owner for five years in September.
Favorite quote: “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: For future marketing professionals, I recommend finding your specialty or niche while you are in school. Use your electives to strengthen your talent and knowledge in a specific field. Participate in internships to further enhance your resume. Graduating with a degree will not be enough to enter the job market. You must have a specialized skill set, portfolio, and experience. There are tons of opportunities through internships, volunteer experiences, and student organizations. Be proactive in your career to set yourself apart.
What makes someone fabulous: A fabulous person is a fearless person ambitious and brave enough to chase after their dreams.