#bossgirls ep. 2: haley sparkles in nyc

Disclaimer: this is not a story about a small-town girl making her way to the big city. This is a story about a bad-ass woman whose zip code finally matched her worth.

I introduce to you: Miss Haley Sprankle

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Haley Sprankle is a force. She’s all woman, all sass and all heart. She has bright, fiery hair with those kind of Farrah Fawcett bangs that we all wish we could pull off—but she actually does. She’s tall and slender with fair skin, and like Farrah, can be found effortlessly clothed in high-waist, flare jeans and a graphic tee that makes you giggle.

Haley is unexpected and even a bit unconventional, as was our introduction. She was my intern. But with less than two years between us, I quickly felt unqualified to give her instruction. Not to mention she had been the intern at my job for nearly two years before I even arrived. Nevertheless, she offered her thoughtful questions, dynamic skill set and less than subtle opinions, in order to help me settle in.

We were fast friends. Work wives. Intellectual challengers. I taught her to drink craft beer and she help me master a selfie. In many ways, much to our boss’ surprise, we are similar. We crave meaningful connection and equal rights, and we both have a knack for putting our feet straight in our mouths. We are emotionally-charged in the best and worst ways.

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But my #girlboss piece today isn’t about how similar to me or wonderful or unique Haley is; instead, it’s about how being exactly who she is, landed her in Time Square, two months after graduation, writing for VH1.

Haley grew up just west of Columbia in a family unlike many of those around her. Her mother was the bread-winner, working long hours and climbing the ladder, while her dad, a talented actor, stayed at home with Haley and her two younger siblings. It’s an environment she says gave way to her ultimate passion: writing.

“When I was homeschooled with my dad, he really encouraged my brother and I to express ourselves and learn through writing rather than taking tests. That really helped establish a base skill set, so when you flash forward to taking my first journalism class in high school, it was a no-brainer that I fell in love with it. After I took that class, the rest was history -- I joined the yearbook staff and never looked back!”

But when it came to college, another passion was tugging on Haley’s heart: theater. She’d grown up on stage, usually sharing the spotlight with her dad; and singing and acting were extensions of her first love: storytelling. Like many young actors, she had eyes for Broadway, or at least the world around it. She loved New York and its busy people, unapologetically themselves, loud and confident. So, when Haley met Chris and Chris moved to Manhattan, the long-distance relationship sprung a countdown to graduation and her move to the zip code that matched her worth.

But when the day finally came to make the big move, she wasn’t an actor or a writer, but a temp at an apartment complex.

“The summer before my last semester of college, I applied for countless internships with company after company in the city, and at the end of the day nothing came to fruition. Naturally, that was a pretty sobering experience. I realized that this journey, no matter how much I wanted it or how qualified I felt, could be a long one,” says Haley.

But now, in hindsight (most likely through those really hip, yellow-tinted glasses she rocks), and with the reality of her now finally setting in, she wouldn’t change a thing.

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It's literally so insane to me that I'm working at VH1 right out of college. I never could have imagined this for myself. 

“After I graduated, I came her with a completely different job, expecting to work there for a while until I found my footing and got my "in" in journalism. Needless to say, I was shocked to not only get an interview at VH1 within less than a month of being here, but to land the job as well.”

In her own words, Haley’s current job is as a “an entertainment news writer for VH1.” Basically, she writes about shows VH1 “produces, by recapping episodes and following {their} talent's many escapades, while also writing about other relevant celebrity and pop culture news.”

Nbd right…

As a friend and former boss (ugh that word is weird), I’m not surprised. And that’s easy to say, but when it comes to Haley, it’s beyond true. Haley has a voice that’s all her own, and yet somehow perfectly encapsulates the narrative of an entire generation. She has this knack for recognizing poignant moments in time and commenting in a way that echoes through time.

My most favorite thing about Haley is her need to play devil’s advocate. For someone as passionate as her, it’s a rarity to be able to see the other side of the coin. And while it doesn’t always mean she agrees, she is constantly seeking to find meaning and knowledge in the things she doesn’t understand.

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As for her life in New York, it’s as Instagram boujee as you’d expect. Haley is neckties and cocktails on the streets of Brooklyn, and as a follower, I eat that shit up. But she’ll be the first to admit that behind the filters and her dog’s hilarious account (s/o @chichi_the_frenchie), is someone still trying to find the motivation to go to the gym and just adult well.

“I'm honestly having a hard time adjusting to being somewhere for 8 to 9 hours straight a day. In college, even though I was likely doing more overall, I was able to break up my day a little more,” says Haley. “But having a salary has made my self-esteem higher because I'm taking care of myself the way I've always wanted to, and I'm loving it!”

Working and living alongside Haley has taught me something my college classes never could: the power of my own perspective. She’s shown me that while it’s important to copy edit, to stay informed and to work hard, daring to have a voice is perhaps the biggest key to success. And perhaps the most impressive part of Ms. Sprankle, is just that, that in a sea of voices vying to be heard, hers cuts through the big-city noise.

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Follow Haley on Instagram and Twitter @haysprank.
And check out her author page at VH1!