Hometown: Bradenton, FL
I am the marketing coordinator for two different brands at United Franchise Group, Experimac and Fully Promoted. Both of these brands have over 100 domestic locations and are in several countries worldwide. Day to day, that looks like a lot of different things. My job role is always changing, and a lot of what I do is help fill in the gaps on both of my brand teams and help the communication flow from our corporate team to all of the franchisees across the country. At the end of the day, it is my goal to help our franchisees in their local marketing efforts.
I had several internships in college, as well as normal hourly jobs. I did everything from nannying to working as a tour guide in admissions, to taking stats for the men’s lacrosse team, and even working a fun summer job at a trampoline park back home. Each experience taught me something about customer service and problem solving that I still use today. My best experiences, though, were marketing internships with Neal Communities in Sarasota, FL, LinkedIn Club, and Non-Profits First.
I think I realize now that you don’t have to know everything going into your first job, but you have to be willing to work harder than the people around you that DO know everything. Being one of the youngest professionals here at the office, I am very aware of the years of experience around me, and that while I may have good ideas to offer at times, sometimes the best course of action is to ask questions and learn from what has already been done. Lean on your superiors and let them pass on their experience to you!
"Before you start to overwhelm yourself, just make a list."
PBA helped lay a good foundation for me of juggling a busy schedule and learning how to interact with a lot of different types of people on a day to day basis. I was an honors student, and that specific program taught me how to think and problem solve on my feet. The business world is incredibly fast paced and changes all the time, but basic principles of work ethic, leadership, and communication never change. PBA made those second nature to me.
Gain as many experiences during college that you can. Shadow a professional, travel, volunteer at events, take on a leadership role, try out an internship, work a new job—whatever it is, pick something new and valuable to do every semester that you are there. That will really help build your resume when you are trying to get that first job. It will also give you plenty to talk about in that first interview!
I had a lot of mentors in college, and everyone gifted me something in the process that will always be a part of my career and philosophy. I was especially close with a few of the business and honors professors, and they helped encourage me and prepare me when I was running the gauntlet of interviews for jobs in the area. Now that I am working full time, I have gotten closer to several superiors at the office. My direct boss is really incredible, and he sits down with me monthly to talk about how things are going and where I want to end up. These meetings have helped a lot with the transition into an intense company culture, and a new job with a lot of moving parts. I also still call my dad all the time to ask for business advice or to talk through a tough day, and it helps to hear that he experienced the same types of things in his first job 30 years ago.
Spotlight posted in October 2018. For current updates from Shannon, visit her LinkedIn page.