Current Job Title:
APTIM/Focus on Energy
Describe your current job:
As a Marketing Specialist and Copywriter, my responsibilities at Focus on Energy include creative and technical writing as well as design and brand management. These tasks encompass various layers of internal and external marketing communication and design objectives, including:
- Engaging with program implementers to ensure brand consistency in all marketing collateral.
- Designing appealing marketing materials to generate greater customer interest and participation.
- Composing and editing numerous print and digital copy targeted towards both customers and stakeholder partners, including monthly email newsletters and webpages.
One of my principal duties is to oversee award abstract and presentation proposal tracking, development, composition and submission. I serve as primary or secondary writer, editor, and material packager for a variety of award types, ranging from technical program content to creative marketing content submissions, for both Focus on Energy and our parent company, APTIM.
What is the most rewarding and the most challenging part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is not only knowing that my talents are very useful in helping Focus on Energy effectively carry out its purpose, but also recognizing the various ways that the company's collective work helps save energy in the state of Wisconsin and benefits the health of the planet. The most challenging part of my job is knowing when to say no. I have grown significantly in my position over the past year and a half and my list of responsibilities has grown even more. Therefore, I am often extremely busy and my natural tendency to try and please everyone can easily turn against me. While it’s something I’m still mastering, I’ve learned that it is important to recognize when I reach my limit and tell others that I am too busy to take on additional assignments. Doing so will spare me the stress of an overbearing workload and them the disappointment when I struggle to meet their expectations.
What activities, resources, or people helped you prepare for your career?
The resources, activities, and people that helped me prepare for my career were those offered through Western Michigan University's Rhetoric and Writing Studies (RWS) and Environmental Studies programs and professors, the Career and Student Employment Office, the Lee Honors College (LHC), and my study abroad experience. My courses and professors in the RWS program were extremely beneficial to my success. The primary research and reader-centered writing techniques I learned helped me immerse myself in my fields of interest, learn more about the professional workforce, and understand how to engage my target audience with my writing. Knowledgeable and helpful professors who openly offered their assistance and services and who assigned meaningful assignments designed to enhance my skills gave me a significant advantage when I began my career search. Additionally, the services offered by the career office helped me recognize effective strategies to set myself apart and refine my approach to job applications and interviews. My enrollment in the LHC provided me with another set of student advisors and services that helped guide me down the path that would most benefit my future. Finally, the summer before my senior year, I went to Berlin, Germany for an internship in an urban sustainability garden. This experience was one of the most beneficial and influential of my college career because it served as an introduction to complete independence. I was thousands of miles from my family and based in a foreign country, so I found myself forced to learn more about myself and recognize my self-confidence. I was also able to travel all around Europe, learn about new cultures, and meet life-long friends from across the country. I am incessantly grateful to WMU for providing me with so many incredible opportunities and unending support.
What advice do you have for students looking for their career after college?
My advice to students looking for careers after college is not to limit themselves. Job postings often list qualities and experience they want in candidates and, while those are important, they are not always the employers' top priorities. Everyone has a unique set of skills that are exactly what (at least) one company is looking for at that moment. So, even if you don't meet all of the requirements, if you are passionate about the position and have the skills needed to move the company in the direction it wants to go, there's no risk in sending in your application anyway. My current position (Marketing Specialist/Copywriter) asked for 3-5 years of marketing experience in addition to a four-year college degree, but what they really needed at the time was a great writer. Because of my English: Rhetoric & Writing degree and my understanding of basic marketing concepts, my application stood out among the others and I was contacted for an interview.