Friday, January 13, 2012

Another Anniversary

I was so concerned with Tim's big birthday I kind of forgot I surpassed a milestone of my own. Working at 417 Magazine for 5 years! It was my first big girl job and I can't really see myself doing anything else. I've definitely come along way, here's my story...

I started on January 9 (Tim's bday) which was a Tuesday in 2007. That weekend was the huge ice storm of 2007! Pretty memorable first week. I was hired as an advertising designer, which was basically building ads for clients that would run in 417 Magazine, 417 Home and 417 Bride. To be honest I didn't really know what I was getting into. I scored the interview b/c an employee at the magazine was a regular at Galloway Station and I waited on her semi-frequently. When 417 had a design opening she told me about it and I came in for an interview within a few days. After the interview they told me they would let me know by the end of the week if I had gotten the job. At 4:30 pm on Friday I was about to burst. I couldn't take it anymore and finally broke down and called b/c I couldn't wait on pins and needles all weekend. Like I said it was my first big girl job, I was a little anxious. So I called. She put me on hold and then came back on and said, "You got the job!" We hadn't even talked about salary, and at point I didn't even care! I accept! I came in on Monday morning and had a meeting with the big man, aka Gary Whitaker. He was shocked to know I had accepted the job without knowing the salary. He could have paid me anything and I would have taken it. So after our quick meeting he told me to report for work the next day at 8 a.m. Look at me stepping into the work-force.

I stayed in the role as advertising designer for about a year and half and some pretty fun things happened in that time but one has stuck with me... Does the name Kari Hamra ring a bell? Yep, that's where it all began. It took us until March of 2008 to hang out outside of work. Hey, that is a big step in a friendship! Her, I and Katie Pollock went to MAP, a magazine conference in Columbia and it totally broke the ice. Katie and her lived together so they were already pretty close, but I fit right in. After that weekend our Friday night happy hours began to be a regular occurrence. Which was okay b/c it was baseball season and I needed things to do! I also just learned a lot about just being a good employee and how to be in an adult job.

Then in July of 2008 a happy and sad day came all at the same time. Kari had decided it was time to move on from Whitaker Publishing. That was really sad for my personal life because we had become great friends, but the upside was I got to be promoted to her job. So starting the first week in August 2008 I became the official Art Director of GO Magazine and the Corporate Art Director for Whitaker Publishing. For the first few months I just stepped into her shoes and got myself acquainted with the job. Later that year I did a redesign of the magazine and it became mine. My style. It was such a cool transition and really such a fun project to work on. As far as the Corporate Art Director job, that was basically designing the look for everything that had the 417 Magazine logo on it, that wasn't the magazine. This is still a position that I hold today. Before now no one really took time to focus on the 417 Magazine promotions. They got designed at the last minute so I had kind of taken them under my wing already. This was a way to make it official. And since Logan (my current boss) had stepped into the company about 6 months before I started the marketing department had taken a drastic turn for the better and event, contest and promotions were only to get more abundent from here going forward.

I continued on that path until December of 2009. Sadly, Whitaker Publishing would no longer be publishing GO Magazine. My job was never in jeopardy. I wasn't going anywhere, but it was sad that our little magazine that could just couldn't through a recession. This is when I started to make a slow transition into the marketing department. I remember my first official marketing meeting I attended was a planning meeting for The List Party. It was at OzAir a private airplane hanger and we were planning to turn it into a party location! I'd always been semi-involved in the marketing department b/c I design everything they needed–invitations, postcards, ads, signs, tickets, etc., but I hadn't ever gotten to be a part of the planning. I really loved the idea of getting to be in on all of the planning. I've always been a big planner. I say it stems from the fact that no one else in my immediate family is so I had to step up. Planning my wedding was one of the most fun things I've ever done. Building a house, no problem! So starting in January I was officially part of the marketing team. I just jumped right in and did whatever they needed me to do, whether it was a floor plan for a meeting, ordering linens for an event, sending out a mailing. I was learning a lot of new things, but a lot of them came pretty natural to me so it was a smooth transition.

At this time Leah Still (yes, the Leah from GHS and Logan's {my best friend, not boss} big sis) was working just helping us fill in the gaps. She was plugging in as our Marketing Coordinator. Well that summer Seb, her Australian boyfriend, had to go and move to the US of A and she left 417 once again to be with him in San Francisco. So come July 2010 we were looking for a full-time replacement. In the midst of the interview process Logan (my boss) just kept saying "Megan basically runs the marketing department." So after about three interviews (and a talk with Joan and Gary) they decided to promote me to the Marketing Director position. Hip-hip-hooray! Not that I'm going anywhere, but to have marketing experience in a town so small would get me a lot farther than just a design degree and design experience.

Now here I am, January of 2012 still kicking it as the Marketing Director and loving every minute of it. My main roll in the company is to organize, promote and design collateral for any event, contest or promotion that happens with Whitaker Publishing. That encompasses our websites, 417 Magazine, 417 Bride and 417 Home. Our sales team usually sells in a sponsor to one of these four things and then I take it from there. Communicate with the clients, make sure they know what is coming, what they get, what they need to do, etc. I also just started working with all of the non-profits in the area. Their main goals are to usually get an ad for an event in 417. So I work with them on their event, see where it fits and what benefits we (417) would get if we donated them ad space. I also have two new solid co-workers that will assist me on my tasks. This is a little new for me. We've always had someone in the Marketing Coordinator role, but that position hasn't been steady for a while (that's Lauren now!). And Andy is there to help me with designing all of that collateral that has to be designed. My hope for 2012 and my sixth year on the job is that I be a good mentor to both of them and help them feel in the loop and help them become independent workers. Having someone work for is a new task I'm taking on, so I hope I rock it!

So cheers to me! We'll see what the next 5 years have in store. xoxo

1 comment:

  1. I love this post!!! If you can believe it I still have the card you wrote me on my last day thanking me and I don't think I will ever be able to get rid of it. Congrats on 5 years, you have come so far and done so much. You have a lot to be proud of. I have to say I am so thankful for the day you got hired because not only did I get a best friend but a maid of honor and godmother to our son. Love you Megs!


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