How many years have you been in tech?
Tell me about your background. What were your early years like?
I have a degree in history and religious studies. Upon graduation from college, I had a job with the Missouri State Archives working with legal historical documents from the 19th century.
After a couple career zig zags in my early twenties, I ended up at an educational nonprofit in St. Louis working in the ed tech department. These were the days before Skype, Google Hangouts, FaceTime and a big part of my job was connecting K-12 classrooms to content providers via videoconferencing- coordinating curriculum, time zones, IP addresses, ISDN and bridges with educators. As technology evolved and higher end videoconferencing in K-12 schools phased out, I turned to blogging and a new tool- Twitter- to communicate ed tech opportunities that my organization offered. This segued into a move to the marketing/communications department and using various social media platforms to share out information about the whole organization, educational issues, etc. I dabbled in a bit of photography (as one does when on social media) and also took ownership of email newsletter production and distribution. Some ask how any of this ties back to history and my answer is context and analysis. I gather information, determine what I want to share, and succinctly do so.
All in all, I worked for over a decade in educational technology and communications before accepting a position at World Wide Technology in business development department.
How were you exposed to tech?
Commodore 64 and Nintendo NES.
What is your current role?
At WWT, I’m a digital marketing manager. I have both internal and external messaging job tasks. I manage the social media platforms. By reading industry news and sharing the blogs, case studies, videos and white papers our creative services department puts together, I have the information for our external social. This material also provides content for the internal communications I work on: digital media signs that are on display in our offices worldwide and an internal weekly enewsletter that recaps what’s happened in the previous week.
What are you learning right now?
Acronyms. In the tech industry there are lots of abbreviations to learn, understand and use. They make #GoodHashtags too.
What advice do you wish someone had given to you? What advice would you give to others starting out?
It can be hard to find a job, period, let alone one you like. Talk to people, you never know what opportunities may open up, or how a position could evolve. It can be intimidating, so stay within your comfort level, but try to make those connections.
What are your hobbies?
I love history so when I have spare time (which is not terribly often working full time and having two young sons), I like watching historical dramas then reading up on what’s true and what’s been fictionalized. I just finished watching the first season of The Crown.
I also have volunteered for two causes I care about, the Gateway Media Literacy Partners (educating media consumers and producers to think critically) and the Mercy Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Parent Support group. Those two little boys who keep me busy also were preemies and NICU grads.
What do you like about St. Louis? The midwest? Why do you live here?
I grew up in the Midwest and stayed in town. I like that St. Louis is a ‘big city’ but isn’t too large.
Who inspires you?
Too many to list.