The Power Of The Alpha Female
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RELA_INTRO_AlphaFemale1 of 11
Teacher's Pet2 of 11
Who she is now: CEO of a corporation
How she got there: "Girls are often the teacher's pets because they are the smartest students in the room," says Rebecca Siegel, a psychiatrist based in New York. "Their teachers serve as mentors who give them positive reinforcement for their intelligence and drive, which translates into self-esteem. As adults, this self-esteem allows them to take on leadership roles and serve as mentors to other young women."
School Paper Editor3 of 11
Who she is now: Editor of a national blog
How she got there: "Even in middle school, this sort of alpha girl kept her finger on the pulse of what was going on at school," says Catey Hill, author of Shoo Jimmy Choo: The Modern Girl's Guide to Spending Less and Saving More. "Her early dedication to staying on top of breaking news, as well as her passion for the latest media trends such as Twitter and Tumblr, helped her become a news media innovator."
Team Captain4 of 11
Who she is now: Leader of a startup
How she got there: "As a competitor, this alpha girl learned how to handle both successes and setbacks with aplomb," notes Siegel. "She knew how to lead teammates to perform to the best of their abilities, while also being self-motivated. The combination of these skills gives her the confidence to recognize a great idea for a product, and set in motion with the best team possible."
Too Cool For School5 of 11
Who she is now: Fashion designer with her own label
How she got there: "Not one to follow the crowd, this rebel knew early on that she'd break out on her own—and be the one creating the trends rather than following them," says Hill. "She decided to go to art school rather than a traditional college, and could frequently be found in underground scenes looking for inspiration for her next idea. She never settled for the status quo, trusting in herself rather than waiting for someone else to tell her what to do."
Miss Popular6 of 11
Who she is now: PR executive
How she got there: "She's seemingly always had a knack for 'cool'—knowing the right clothes to wear, the right thing to say, the right people to know—and more than that, she knew how to exert her influence," says Hill. "She could turn an outdated accessory into the next 'it' thing or the nerdy guy into the prom king. Public relations is all about spinning the best version of reality, and for the popular girl, it's second nature."
Art Nerd7 of 11
Who she is now: Graphic designer
How she got there: "She spent countless hours in the school's art studio mastering her creativity," says Nicole Williams, founder of Works by Nicole Williams. "She volunteered her talents by helping to design sets for the school play or the front page of the yearbook. By doing so, she learned how to take someone else's idea and give it a visual life. Now she's melding the artistic with the corporate as a graphic designer."
Debate Team Captain8 of 11
Who she is now: Criminal defense lawyer
How she got there: "Some called her opinionated, while others called her a bitch. Either way, this girl knew what she wanted, and that was to win the argument," says Williams. "On the debate team, she learned to think fast, argue both sides of any issue, and effectively persuade her audience. Now, she uses those skills both to counter the opposing team and win over the jury."
Class Clown9 of 11
Who she is now: Comedy writer
How she got there: "She cracked jokes, talked in class and always managed to make everyone laugh, even the teacher. Her quick wit and ability to engage people helped parlay her into a career in entertainment," says Williams of this alpha type. "She might not have been on honor roll or an A student, but her sharp wit got her a gig as a TV sitcom writer."
Prom Queen10 of 11
Where she is now: Marketing manager
How she got there: "Believe it or not, this girl is smart and ambitious. Of course, the common misconception is that she's just a pretty face—but that pretty face isn't what won her the title," says Williams. "She campaigned among her fellow students, mastering the art of persuasive marketing by promoting herself, and she did so with undeniable confidence."
Student Body President11 of 11
Who she is now: VP at an investment bank
How she got there: "A natural born leader, her greatest strength is her equanimity. In high school, she appeased the demands of every student and learned how to pander to all sides," says Williams. "These skills allowed her to easily climb the corporate ladder. Her days spent 'working for her fellow students' translated into working for her clients."