Self-Improvement Month: Marguerite, Andrea and Rachel

September 12, 2019

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September is Self-Improvement Month, an observance designed to encourage people to make empowering changes to reach their goals. At FleishmanHillard, we encourage our teams to never settle. This month we’ll highlight employees across our global network who embody our bold approach and strive to grow professionally and personally. Responses will be shared in Q&A format featuring their unique perspectives.

This week, we’re featuring Marguerite Pinheiro, Andrea Myers and Rachel Coleman.

Marguerite Pinheiro, account supervisor, supporting our Technology sector in New York

Marguerite Pinheiro

Q: How do you stay up-to-date with new offerings in your industry, practice group and/or sector?

A: The best way to stay up-to-date with new offerings in the technology industry is by always being plugged into the news. My favorite way to get my news is through newsletters in the morning – like the WSJ, Quartz and Axios. Staying up-to-date across practice groups at FleishmanHillard is easy because everyone is so collaborative and we’re always sharing news with one another – from breaking stories to new analytics offerings. My favorite part about being on the technology team here is our weekly tech team meetings. It’s in those meetings that I am reminded of how intelligent my colleagues are and how lucky I am to work alongside all of them.

Q: What do you think is the best thing someone can do to advance their career?

 A: The best thing someone can do to advance their career is to get out of their comfort zone. Whether that is experimenting with a new specialty or practice group, meeting new people and/or taking on projects that you wouldn’t normally do, it will only take you to the next level. Some of the most rewarding accounts or projects that I’ve worked on are the ones that weren’t the obvious choices. Having a voice in that decision and advocating for yourself for that chance is brave and will inevitably allow you to take your career to the next level.

Q: What is your proudest career moment so far and how do you aim to build on it?

 A: I have proud career moments every time a coworker or client has something positive to say about me, whether it’s to me directly or to someone else. I take my career very seriously and am always trying to be the best I can be so when that is recognized, it truly means a lot and I will never stop trying to build on that, especially as I continue to evolve and grow. To master PR, it’s crucial to have excellent people and media relations skills, so as long as I never lose sight of that, I hope to keep expanding as a professional.

Andrea Myers, senior vice president, supporting the Talent and Transformation team in St. Louis

Andrea Myers

Q: What do you think is the best thing someone can do to advance their career?

A: Be open. The best things that have happened in my career aren’t because I set out a goal to achieve that specific thing. I had a general idea of what I wanted to do, but then stayed open to experience as much as possible. Also, say yes to the stuff you don’t want to do sometimes. When I know an opportunity is a good chance to learn, I try and say yes even if I’m scared and know I’ll dread it up until the moment I have to do it. But then it’ll be done, I will have learned something and I can say I did it.

Q: What is the best piece of advice you can give to others working on their own professional development?

A: Think outside your profession. Professional development doesn’t have to mean attending a conference specific to your line of work. Maybe it’s attending an improv class to think on your feet better during presentations. Maybe it’s chairing a nonprofit committee to get experience leading others. And, follow your curiosity. Taking on a new hobby you’re passionate about, for example, can be a surprising way to gain experience that will make you better at your day job.

Q: If you could go back five years, what is something you would tell your younger self?

A: Keep perspective. Sometimes when you’re in the middle of a project, it can be all-encompassing and you get swept up in the drama. All the sudden, a project that’s pretty innocuous can start to feel like life or death – and that’s almost never the case. Keeping things in perspective will help you stay calm, not over-react and ultimately, help you make better decisions in the moment. The bonus of that is while others are swirling, you are the voice of reason and they’ll respect you for it.

Rachel Coleman, managing supervisor, supporting our Reputation Management practice in Chicago 

Rachel Coleman

Q: What’s a specific area of your career you want to develop over the next year? How do you plan to do so?

A: Over the course of my career, I’ve been lucky enough to work on a variety of accounts, which has allowed me to learn about different industries and gain experience supporting a wide range of communications initiatives. I tried to be a sponge earlier in my career, and everything I’ve had a chance to work on has not only contributed to the counselor that I am today, but also helped guide me as I continue to grow. Looking ahead, I’m starting to focus on better understanding the type of work I’m passionate about and identifying opportunities to raise my hand for more of that work.

Q: What do you do when you experience a setback? How do you overcome it?

A: I let myself privately process the emotion. Whether it’s frustration, anger, disappointment, etc., I think it’s important to take the time to understand what happened and why I feel the way I do before I reflect on what I can do better in the future. Sometimes I just need to take a walk or vent to a colleague. Other times, depending on the issue, I sit on it for a night and regroup with a fresh mind the next day. I also find it’s helpful to talk through setbacks with my supervisor and my mentors when I need another perspective or want help thinking through a solution.

Q: How do you seek and implement feedback?

A: When giving feedback, I’m a fan of sharing it in real time. I think everyone reacts to feedback differently, so my approach may differ slightly from person to person, but I focus on being direct and having a rationale. I also think feedback is best when it’s constructive and there’s a clear action item for the person on the receiving end.