Alumna lifts her way to success

Melicia Limbo (B.S.’09/GPA) takes the reins of VCU Alumni’s Instagram account next week. Follow the marketing director and athlete as she works with her training team to prepare for upcoming powerlifting competitions.

Why did you choose to attend VCU?

I needed a change of scenery but didn’t want to move too far from home, and VCU also has a forensic science program, which helped me finalize the decision.

Also my brother, Mark (B.S.’09/H&S), is a Ram and I wanted to follow in his footsteps.

What are some of your favorite memories from your time on campus?

My entire 4 ½ years at VCU were so fun, but I would say my second and third years were the most exciting. I was that student who was at almost every basketball game yelling and being a die-hard fan, and I still am! This was the same year that Eric Maynor (B.I.S.’09/H&S), Mike Anderson(B.S.’08/H&S), Jesse Pellot-Rosa, B.A. Walker (B.S.’07/E) and Big Sam [Faulk] played [basketball] so they were really making a name for VCU across the country, and that was exciting to be a part of.

My second year, I figured out how to manage good grades and still be involved in student organizations and have a social life. In my third year, I tutored some athletes and was more involved with organizations, which influenced the way I work and connect with people today.

What did you do after earning your degree?

Well, in 2010 I started ROXYGREY+. It started out as a handmade accessory line, but within a short period of time, I shifted its focus into something I’ve been passionate about since I was as kid: writing. It became a platform for underground/local hip-hop artists to showcase their stories and music. I wanted quality music from artists who showed genuine passion for their art and not just fame, so I was very picky about the artists I featured, interviewed and reviewed.

Because of that, ROXYGREY+ earned a lot of respect over the years, and I was picked up by a handful of small networks as a featured interviewer and media personality. I’ve interviewed several notable names and brands like Pharrell, Pusha-T, No Malice, Greg Selkoe, Commonwealth (FTGG) and more.

Now, I mentor and advise a handful of creative artists, musicians, designers and business owners, working with them to generate ideas and create events to help them reach the next level in their career paths.

I think the purpose of ROXYGREY+ is still the same today as it was seven years ago: to serve as a platform for dreamers and doers to showcase their work and be a stepping-stone to their success.

In what ways has VCU tied into your career path?

I started working in the fitness industry at the Siegel Center, and three years later I was working the front desk at a fitness club where I was able to move up in the company to the position I am today as marketing director.

VCU helped me hone a lot of the skills that I use every day. In my line of work, I deal with budgets, events, advertising, networking and negotiating, so the writing and presentation skills I learned [at VCU] are vital. I also learned debate and discussion skills, attention to detail and my passion for people at VCU. Additionally, the connections I made while in school have been very helpful in networking and closing deals.

How did you get into powerlifting?

To give you some background, I’ve been an athlete since I was about 7 or 8 years old. I did tennis, swimming, running, martial arts and I started weightlifting for fun when I was 12. I was really just trying to compete with the guys in PE class.

I swam all four years in high school and while I was working at the Siegel Center, before it was the basketball team’s gym,  my co-workers egged me on to compete in the Bench Press Competition. You compete to see who can bench the highest weight. I ended up placing first in my weight class, and by the time I graduated, I was known as “Mighty Mouse” and “that girl who works out a lot.”

Fast-forward to last spring, a friend asked me if I’d be interested in powerlifting and told me that it would be a great sport for me. She had already been competing for a few years and told me to talk to her coach. So, I went out to one of her meets, met her coach and I’ve been going ever since. My first competition was in Pennsylvania last fall where I placed second in my weight class and qualified for nationals. I just competed again this past March at the SixKiller Open in Norfolk, Virginia, where I placed first in my weight class, was the second-best overall lifter in my division and qualified for both nationals and worlds.

Needless to say, there’s no turning back now!