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Brielle Franklin – A Lion Always Returns to Her Pride

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This article was penned by Brielle Franklin, Associate Director of Recruiting for AC Lion, upon her return to AC Lion. 

My career aspirations were lofty as a child. On my first day of Kindergarten, as I sat in a circle with my fellow bright-eyed (and some teary-eyed) five-year-old classmates- most of whom wanted to be some variation of a teacher, a princess, or a firefighter- I announced to my peers that I planned to be either a cowgirl, a cheerleader, or a doctor when I grew up. The first two options seemed perfectly logical and were both cheered on and encouraged by my ambitious new friends. However, I knew in my heart of hearts that out of all of the costumes in my dress-up wardrobe, the scrubs and my stethoscope would be the last to go.


Fast forward to my senior year of college at the University of Pennsylvania- past three years of pre-med course requirements, past four years of interning at various hospitals during every winter and summer break, past the countless all-nighters I spent on publications to bolster my CV for the country’s top med schools- I was right on track to follow my childhood dream…to finally wear those scrubs for more than “playing dress-up” and to use that stethoscope as more than just an accessory.

There was just one small problem. I no longer wanted to be a doctor.

Admittedly, I can be a bit obstinate. When I get an idea in my head, I pursue it with a vengeance- come hell or high water- and I rarely look back. So at 22-years-old, when my friends chatted excitedly about job offers they received or grad school acceptances for programs they couldn’t wait to start, I spiraled into a “quarter-life crisis,” plagued with uncertainty and a lingering feeling of failure- a feeling I have now come to recognize as opportunity.

Rather than contacting career services or seeking advice from friends, I turned to the one source I knew would have the answers I desperately needed: Google. I put my entire future in the hands of this mystical search engine and with the type of blind, unadulterated faith only naivety could foster, typed in the word “jobs.” A few pages in, I stumbled across AC Lion, a Digital Media Executive Search firm with an intriguing name, a striking orange logo, and a business I couldn’t even pretend to understand.



Seriously. I found AC Lion by Googling the word “jobs.” The irony of my having to subsequently look up the term “digital” when I can now marvel at the work of our SEO specialist is not lost on me.

To this day I can’t pinpoint exactly what possessed me to blindly email our COO, or what possessed her to respond to a rambling cover letter from an overwhelmed college student, but I do remember the feeling I had the first time I stepped foot in the AC Lion office, which was then located in the heart of Times Square. It was a strange blend of familiarity- something akin to déjà vu- and family, which was odd because these people were virtual strangers.

My interview process was long and convoluted. I couldn’t explain why I wanted to be a recruiter because I didn’t know what the job even entailed. I had no experience in digital media and had spent far more time working in a hospital than in an office. To say I was a risky hire would be an understatement; however, what I lacked in experience I made up for in enthusiasm and persistence. And what AC Lion lacked by way of security, they made up for in trusting the integrity of their culture.

Four days after my graduation, I had my first first day as an Associate Executive Recruiter at AC Lion. Five years later, I had my second.

When I walked through the [new] office doors on Monday morning, after a year of trying my hand in various roles in house, I was overcome with the same feeling I experienced during my first interview. The only difference was this time I had a name for it.


AC Lion Team


It felt like coming home.

As they say, there’s no place like it.

Bri Bio Picture

Brielle Franklin is our most recent addition to the team. A UPenn alumni, Brielle has worked for MediaLink and Bounce Exchange before returning to AC Lion as Associate Director of Digital Recruiting. You can reach out to Brielle on her LinkedIn or at

Alan Cutter

Alan Cutter founded New York City's premier digital media recruiting agency, AC Lion International, and continues to lead the growing company as their fearless CEO. For over 20 years, AC Lion has been the trusted provider of revenue generating talent in the digital and technology landscape. Our reach spans from innovative venture-backed startups to enterprise level organizations. AC Lion is a proud member of the Lionseye Group, a collective of brands furthering talent acquisition through Venture Capital, HR Technology and Thought Leadership.