What would you consider to be your job title and what industry are you a part of?
My job title is Digital Content Manager and I work in the finance industry. I started almost 8 months ago to develop the social media program and I also manage all of our internal communications, such as our Intranet, employee emails ... any communication to connect team members and give them updates. It's a busy role.
What drew you towards your career in marketing, especially so focused in social media?
I have a degree in Broadcast Journalism, and my passion is to communicate people's stories, and then I also love photography and kind of dabble in that on the side. At Exeter, I am able to help customers, and also communicate stories about how we are helping or making a difference in their life or situation. Social media really combines my love for writing, photography, and my passion to help people.
What school did you go to?
Missouri State in Springfield, Missouri. We had a really awesome program and I loved it. It was very hands on. It had a great production studio and everything.
Who or what do you believe has been the strongest influence of your own personal style?
My favorite eras, time periods, are the 20s and 40s. The 20s has that classy element and the 40s shapes are more flattering on me. I really like classy and classic looks, but I also enjoy mixed patterns and color. I just love color.
How do you determine what you're going to wear to work each day? Do you have a typical work look?
I wear a lot of dresses. I like skirts and dresses more than pants. I feel free, not confined. People always comment on the fact that I wear lots of dresses. How do I determine my work look? My mood plays a big part into what I wear. I'll usually pick an outfit out in the evening before work so it's ready to go when I get up, and then depending on how I feel in the morning, I may mix a couple pieces or simply change my mind. It also depends on what's going on during the day - such as meeting with a vendor or having an internal event where I am going to be photographing and walking around all day.
Heels or flats?
Heels. I just think they make you look better. I find them comfortable, actually more so than flats. I enjoy them.
Where do you shop for your work wardrobe and when do you find the time?
Usually on a weekend or a holiday. Lately, I've been shopping at The Limited. I really love their professional wardrobe, and they have awesome colors right now. I also go to H&M, Ann Taylor Loft, Ann Taylor, and Francesca's. And I shop at Target, too. I'm big on finding sales. I like to look nice, but I also don't like to spend too much. I splurge on things that I really want.
Do you shop more in-person, as opposed to online?
I prefer in-person. I recently bought a few things online. I do that only when I know my size at a store that I frequent. Sizes vary by stores, so I just find it harder and more of a hassle when you have to return it and find something else. I would rather just go in person and try it on. It's easier.
Where do you shop for shoes?
Well, one of my favorite shoe brands is Jessica Simpson. I go to DSW a lot. I shop at Nordstrom occasionally or Nordstrom Rack.
Do you have anything that's currently on your wish list for either clothes or accessories?
Yes. I do love jewelry, and I was looking for something I think that would always be cool to have ... a champagne diamond rose ring or a pendant. It's a pricey piece. I like going to fancy events when they present themselves. I think it's always fun to have something that's valuable that you could wear with a lot of different things for special occasions.
What type of daily tote/bag do you use
and what is inside?
I carry a Kate Spade. I love her bags.
Inside, I have my sunglasses, wallet,
keychain and keys. I use Mary Kay, so
I have a compact with some blush, eye
shadow, touch-up stuff. I always carry
mints or gum. Right now I have Altoids
mints, usually some Kleenex and my
iPhone, checkbook. I also carry a thing
of lotion because I find myself constantly
needing that. I use Mary Kay's Satin Lips.
It's like the best product I've ever had.
It really does work.
What is something you wear that instills
more confidence on days when you don't
quite feel yourself?
I think that you can make any outfit ten
times dressier with the right jewelry. If
I'm just feeling blah, I think jewelry really
helps. You can make it kind of funky or just
make it dressy. It's an instant confidence booster.
Lipstick or lip gloss?
I wear Mary Kay Nourishine lip gloss in Fancy Nancy or Rock 'n' Red. It also has moisturizing elements in it. It's really good.
What is the most important part of your beauty routine that you feel helps complete your look?
Eye makeup - specifically eyeliner and then gloss. I'm blonde, so I look like a different person without eye makeup.
What's your mani/pedi style?
Very seasonal. I stick with solid colors for work because it's more professional. I like some muted colors, but I also really love bright colors too, so it just depends on the season. I usually use OPI with a top coat because it lasts longer and doesn't chip. Sometimes, I will do the NexGen because it lasts and you don't have to get it done as often.
Is there a particular hair product that you always use?
My favorite hair product is Dry Texturizing Spray by Oribe. I spray it on my hair after I curl it. Then, I tousle the ends and the spray adds a ton of body. Works great!
Do you have standard jewelry go-to pieces?
I always have a favorite pair of earrings and a couple of rings. I love color and patterns and big stones. I used to travel overseas quite a bit for a previous position, and I would go to markets and have things designed and pay a fraction of the cost. I lived in China for a couple years, so when I lived there I'd do that all the time. I've had some made in Guatemala, Haiti, Thailand, Russia, and Korea. It's really fun. I started doing it because it was kind of like a memento from the trip or living there, and then some friends started requesting pieces. I'm going back to China this summer with a list of pieces I want to bring back.
What do you do in the morning that helps you prepare for the day ahead?
I am a big proponent of positive thinking. I have a 45-minute commute so I usually catch up on some celebrity gossip at the beginning, then I listen to an audio book. I find it's a really good way to pass the time and you can learn a lot. I love self-improvement and positive thinking. I just finished Steve Harvey's Act Like A Success, Think Like A Success. Right now, I'm listening to Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People. Also, since I lived in China, I know conversational Mandarin. I have been listening to a Chinese CD to practice language too.
I think motivational things help me to be more creative and just put me in a positive mood and outlook for the day. I believe that positive energy attracts other positive energy and it creates opportunities. So even if you are having a bad day or things aren't going well, it's a mental decision to change your attitude, which will change your mindset and help you accomplish your goals.
What type of car do you drive?
I drive an Acura TL. This is my second one. It's white with tan leather interior. My first TL was black with black interior. I just really like Acuras. My first car when I was 18 was an Acura Integra. I find that they last a long time, if you take care of them. There are usually minimal problems, and it's reliable and cute with a little bit of luxury.
Do you listen to any music while you're at work, maybe under headphones?
I listen to all kinds of things. I have Amazon music on my phone. Sometimes I put on just instrumental music when I'm trying to write and I'm in a block. I've actually found that that does help me. It has to be something instrumental because I love to sing and it's a clash if you know the song when you're trying to write. It just doesn't work.
If I'm just working on re-sizing or editing images, I listen to anything ... top 40 to oldies. I like Taylor Swift, Tori Kelly, Adele, Ellie Golding and The Lone Bellow, from Brooklyn. They are like folk/rock. They are really awesome - really good harmony and just really good music.
What is your typical morning beverage?
I make coffee with cream before I get to
work. I usually have that and a glass of
water as soon as I wake up, and then
I feel awake.
What does your typical workday look like?
I manage two areas - our social media
program and then internal communications.
My typical workday is always different.
It depends on what is going on.
We use a platform called Sprinklr to
monitor social engagement, analytics,
content management, so I am always in
that checking immediately what's going
on for the day. It notifies me if we were
mentioned in any press releases or
articles, what comments we have coming
in from customers - which I am responding to as soon as possible. I am also always trying to work ahead of time to create our monthly content calendars with images, and working with our graphic designer.
On the internal communications side, since I manage the intranet, I am setting up interviews with team members for stories. For example, our company recently started a Toastmasters Club. So I went to their meeting, interviewed a couple people, took photos, and then put together a story with a little gallery and then worked on creating content for a web banner. I may be in a meeting with my director to get approval on content or update her on where I'm at with my projects. I also meet with different vendors. It's not a set schedule every day. That's why I like it. I don't like to do the same thing every day.
When you go into meetings, what essentials do you need to have with you?
If I know I'm going to have to record things very quickly, I'll just take my laptop. I'm much faster at typing than writing. If it's a meeting with my director, then I usually just grab my notebook, pen and whatever I'm drinking at the moment. That's pretty much it. I try to keep it simple. I like to keep things digital as much as possible so I don't have a bunch of notes.
How do you handle job-related stress?
I try not to take it home. It's a mindset. I think you can choose to dwell on the stressful situation or not. If I'm under a deadline or project stress, it usually makes me work a little faster, and then when I go home, I work out or do a hobby or something I enjoy doing to not think about it. I really like what I'm doing and I love my team. I also believe that you'll never find a perfect company. There is going to be a hiccup anywhere you go. So, it's really my choice to make the best of what I can control.
What are some of your work pet peeves?
I don't like going to meetings without an agenda. I feel like it is kind of vague and I don't know what we are trying to accomplish and I don't leave with takeaways.
What is your happiest moment at work?
I really like helping others and that is my 'why.' That was from a marketing team book study based on a book by Simon Sinek, Start With Why, about what drives your passion. Through social, our whole purpose and strategy is to surprise and delight customers. I want to really help them. One example of this, our team has created a financial literacy program, called FIT, to help educate our customers on managing their finances. My 'why' is that I really love helping people and communicating stories about helping people.
How would you describe your workspace?
Chic and trendy. My color theme is gold with a little silver, black, white and a pop of color. It's hard to dress up a cube. I just like it to be comfortable and organized.
What would you say is your favorite office supply and why?
My gold stapler. It's a limited addition by Nate Berkus from Target.
Target, I love that.
I do too! This stapler is where my inspiration came from. And
then I found a quote that I liked on Etsy, which I framed. I really
like gold. Even my folders and push pins are Nate Berkus.
Do you have anything on your wish list for the décor in your
I want to get a yoga chair. It may not look as cute, but it
would be comfortable. It's good for your abs and posture.
How do you organize your desk space?
I'm usually facing towards my monitor, so I keep notepads next to it or in my drawer. I see what I think looks good and what's most practical for doing work and every day tasks.
What is a work tool that's a must-have for you (app, hardware or software)?
Sprinklr or Sprout Social. We don't use Sprout Social at Exeter, but it's another social media management tool. I use Adobe Lightroom for editing photos. Also, one of my favorite photo editing apps, which we also use for content creation, is Word Swag. You can overlay text on images. It's really cool. You can use a picture of your own or you can select one of their backgrounds. You can select different fonts and everything. It's good for quotes or you can use your own photos, too. You can do it on the go.
How do you prioritize and manage your email inbox?
I create folders within the inbox, and then check messages daily, and go back through it weekly. It bothers me to have notifications of unread emails, so I just try to take care of it. If an email needs a response, and I have to come back to it, I'll leave it as unread. Then I can just go back and if I didn't get to it yet, scan for unread messages and respond to them quickly. But sometimes it's not a quick response. Sometimes I have to finish a project, download or research something in order to write a response. If it's something that I know will be longer then a day or two, then I take it off and put it on my to do list. When I see all the email numbers, I view it like tasks and I want to decrease my tasks. So if I know the answer, I respond and get it done. If it's a password or something I'll need later, then I move it to a folder. It's a system that works for me.
What is your secret to achieving your daily objectives?
I update a daily list and status of ongoing projects. I review my
calendar in the morning and then I'll block out time to schedule
certain projects so I won't get pulled into a meeting. Then, at the
end of a day, I'll write down the top six things I need to do the
next day and prioritize them in the order that they need to be
done. Each day, I just try to knock those items out in that order,
so I don't need to think about it as much when I come in.
Obviously, there are fire drills and things that come up so
sometimes I have to switch gears or rearrange the priority.
Where do you keep your to-do list?
I use a legal pad for that. For quick things, I have my little post-its and I try to get rid of them and throw them away. I don't like clutter. Whatever was important is already digitally captured. I try to do that with my desktop too which makes it easier to find things. Also, in the financial industry, you get audited and you have to have track of everything. So even when we're working on projects and I get an approval, I take a screen shot of the approval, put it in a folder on a company server along with the different drafts, each having their own label.
How do you keep track of your content status?
I use an excel sheet. A lot of times I'll write something and then it's a week or two before it is approved. So I keep a status of whom I'm waiting on and what my next steps are for each project.
How do you stay on top of industry news or your career?
I use Feedly. I used to subscribe to emails, but then it became distracting to receive those messages throughout the day. So instead, I've started subscribing to my favorite blogs through this site. It's nice that everything is in one place. I usually check it in the morning or occasionally in the afternoon, if I need a brain break.
My favorite blogs to subscribe to are Entrepreneur and Jay Baer. He actually has an awesome blog called Convince & Convert and is very well known in the social/marketing industry. He also sends out daily 3-minute videos that I watch. I also read Buffer, Hubspot, Mashable, Social Media Examiner, and Peg Fitzpatrick's blog to name a few. I also participate in webinars regularly.
Are there organizations that you're a part of for that, too?
Yes, I participate in the Social Media Club of Dallas. They have monthly meetings and I attend a couple times a quarter. I also participate in networking groups such as Dallas Young Professionals and groups on LinkedIn. I use LinkedIn a lot. I'm a networker and connector naturally. LinkedIn is a great way to network and introduce people.
Do you have a mentor?
Yes, I have a couple of older women in my life that I reach out to for wisdom and advice, and bounce ideas off them. We discuss everything from personal to professional goals. What they have to say is important to me. I value learning from wiser women.
What advice have you received in your professional life that has really stuck with you?
I don't know who said it, but somebody said, you should surround yourself with people and follow these people whose shoes you want to fill or whose life you want to have. I love what Mary Kay Ash said, "Show me your friends and I'll show you your future." So, I really do believe you're influenced, whether you want to be or not, by the people you spend time with. I think it's important to learn from and be around people that you want to be like or be where they are. I'm a big believer in learning from other people's mistakes. I think it's smart. Watch and learn, and ask questions.
Do you have a work motto?
My life motto is, 'You don't know if you don't ask,' and it transfers to my professional life. Whether you are looking for a promotion or wanting to launch a new idea, what are they going to say? No? I think it's the journalist in me. I like to ask questions.
What do you do during your downtime
to refresh and recharge yourself?
I do lots of things and have lots of interests. I love Zumba and
salsa dancing. I love to dance. I love music, so listening, or even
singing - I've been in choirs off and on. Not currently. Then, to
even relax more, I'll take a bubble bath, read a book, flip through
a magazine, watch a good movie, or even just hang out with
close friends - something chill to take my mind off of things.
People are energizing to me.
How important has traveling been for you personally?
I love to travel. Living overseas has totally changed my
perspective on life really. The first time I went overseas was
while I was in college. I went to Thailand to help with the
tsunami relief in 2004. I just had a desire to make an impact
and a difference. I moved to China for two years and traveled
After that, I moved to Dallas to work on the marketing of a
humanitarian aid organization and that's how my interest in
social media began. I developed the social media program -
set up and managed a WordPress blog, Instagram, Facebook
and Twitter. I would write copy and do photography as well.
Through that I was able to travel to a lot of different countries.
I've been to several third world countries, and seeing people
who are very joyful despite their circumstances has just changed
my perspective. I have been around a lot of people who do not
speak English as their first language. Traveling to many different
places has also made me more patient and accepting.
Where do you hope to travel to next?
I am planning a trip to China in early summer. It energizes me to travel. I love different cultures, exotic colors, trying new things and I love people. I'm able to roll with the punches in foreign countries and I like adventure. I find it exciting because when you go to a new country you don't know what's going to happen the next day or who you might meet. There are so many cool people out there.
How did your parents influence your career?
My father owns an insurance agency and my parents work together there. They are constantly interfacing with customers and helping people. They are both very hard workers. He literally built the business from the ground up. It was very grueling and took a couple of years to really get it going. They are very loyal to their customers. They're very passionate about providing exceptional customer service and people stick with them because they treat them really well. We've had a lot of business owners in my family, even my grandparents and cousins. Our family has a very strong work ethic and I have seen first hand how treating people fairly and with honesty has a huge impact on customers and a business. You can find bad customer service anywhere, but it's exceptional when you find great customer service. My family taught me how to treat people.