We had a pretty impressive junk drawer in our house when I was growing up in Virginia. Dozens of mismatched bolts and nuts, odd lengths of various wires, tiny electronic parts, screwdrivers that were always too big or too small, batteries, pens, pencils, paperclips, thumbtacks, rubber bands–each awaiting its glorious call to arms.
Despite its unfortunate (and inaccurate in my mind) moniker, the drawer became my DIY oracle, always there to advise on my constant questions: How does this work? What can I make with it? Can I use this to fix that? I managed to both make some pretty cool stuff, even if I did probably add just as much to the junk drawer as I used in the process.
I like to know how things work and why they work that way. That’s true of ideas just as much as other things, so I did my best to put it into practice after wrapping up an English degree at the University of Mary Washington. I worked as a reporter for a small regional newspaper where I got to explore the very real, intertwined narratives of people, place, and work. Drawn to a similar sense of community and urged on by perpetual curiosity, I started my journey in higher education at The College of William & Mary in what was then University Relations.
Since that first gig, higher ed has never been shy with opportunities in my experience. I’ve been able to be a part of such remarkable communities at W&M, NC State University, Clarkson University and Beloit College during my career. I’ve been a writer, media relations professional, web designer, web developer, photographer, video editor, social media manager, presenter, conference chair, video host, copywriter, brand manager, creative director, internal agency director, digital marketing strategist, crisis communicator, AVP, CCO and CMO.
I like to think of it as a nice, full job drawer or career cabinet. There have been plenty of successful projects and initiatives in there, and I’ve learned just as much from disassembling ideas and creating new ones, even when they end up as bits and pieces that might come in handy one day.
And now, the best part of it all, is that I get to put all that stuff to use at Magellan Promotions.
As the Higher Education Marketing Manager, my job is to help colleges and universities find innovative ways to engage and motivate audiences through promotional product marketing.