Episode 8: Great Work Through Great Relationships

Episode 8: Great Work Through Great Relationships
Season 1

 
 
00:00 / 35:16
 
1X

J.S. and Joel and joined by the always wonderful Erin Supinka to talk about how she goes about developing relationships with her coworkers. This episode contains a ton of great insight into working successfully with other people. Whether you’re new to your job or a seasoned pro, Erin’s thoughts are well worth a listen.

Episode 8: Great Work Through Great Relationships
Season 1

 
 
00:00 / 35:16
 
1X

J.S. and Joel and joined by the always wonderful Erin Supinka to talk about how she goes about developing relationships with her coworkers. This episode contains a ton of great insight into working successfully with other people. Whether you’re new to your job or a seasoned pro, Erin’s thoughts are well worth a listen.

Podcast Transcript

Erin Supinka  
Let me tell you when you’re spending all your time in the duplex that you’re renovating you suddenly realize how much you hate your duplex. Just kidding. I do love it.

Joel Goodman  
Welcome to the Thought Feeder podcast. I’m Joel Goodman here, as always, with Jon-Stephen Stansel. And we have a very special guest, our good friend Erin Supinka is going to join us today, and we’re so happy to have you here and thanks for, thanks for coming on the pod.

ES  
I’m so excited to be here. I’ve been listening since, I think day one, and I just really like what you’re doing.

Jon-Stephen Stansel  
Well, we’re big fans of your work as well, and we recently asked some questions to our audience and one of the biggest responses, we got was people want to hear some advice for people starting out in the field of social media and digital marketing in higher ed, and we thought you would be the perfect person to bring on. Just because, you know, really I think your career has been a meteoric rise from when you first started doing social media to where you are today. And I remember the first time we met in person at HighEdWeb in Sacramento and just sitting down and talking to you, I was just blown away by, not just the wealth of knowledge you have on the topic of social media and higher ed but of working in higher ed and getting everybody on board and working together which can be one of the biggest challenges of the job. 

So we’ll start with the basic question, what advice do you have for those folks who are just getting their start or just got hired at a university in… in “these unprecedented times.”

JG  
Hey, but do you know that we’ve had another pandemic so it’s not unprecedented. There has been, there is precedent for this. 

J.S.  
But specifically, you know, how can those starting out, just navigate some of the university politics and actually get, not just get work done, but get good work done that they can be proud of.

ES  
Can I talk a little bit about my background? Is that helpful? 

JG  
Of course.

J.S.  
Please do.

ES
I just feel like it’s useful. So I started into higher ed right out of college so I left my job as an undergraduate at my alma mater and knew that I wanted to get into higher ed marketing, social media and so, you know, back in 2014, that was a newer position and so you weren’t seeing as many pop up. And so I was just looking and digging around and looking at what was available and what that kind of helped me realize was the variety of structures that existed in higher ed when it came to marketing and communications, namely being that “marketing” did not exist in many, many universities’ directories or any form of communication that they had out there. It was usually public affairs, communication, etc. And so that kind of immediately tipped me off to, okay, so that’s maybe not a word that we use in this space. 

And then the other bit is that I am a short female that is very bubbly and honestly looks like I’m 12. And so most of my life, I’ve had to convince, I’ve had to kind of come into the situation and convince people that you know, no I’m here seriously. Like, I’m a serious human, I swear. And so those two pieces kind of have always been in the back of my head. So when I first started at my job now, at Dartmouth, one of the things I quickly realized was that in the space that I was entering, there were a lot of good-intentioned people. Like, people knew that social was important or valued what was happening online, it was just bringing them into a conversation where they understood what that meant. And so, you know, a lot of the conversations that I have with people, we talk about how we’re the first people in our university or institution that is doing our type of job. And that’s something that I always like to remind people, is that you have to do a lot of education and you have to come at it from a way that isn’t talking down to someone. 

And one thing that I always tell people to do is, you know, when you come into a new situation you always see all of the mistakes or all of the things that you think could be done better. What you don’t have is that context of why we’re at that situation and so you know, when you go in and you’re analyzing a situation or you’re, like I do a lot of audits for people and so, you know when I’m writing up my audit, I try not to attack something as just a poor idea. I try to say, so I noticed you do this, and I’m curious to know what the background of this is. Is this something that you’ve tested out before and you notice that this works better for your audiences etc? Because the other really quirky thing about social is that there is no one size fits all, in this industry. And so, something that technically goes against best practices could actually work really well for a particular audience or the audience that your institution is dealing with. 

And so, the first kind of big pieces of advice that I like to tell people is one, prepare to be an educator and kind of, you know, save up materials that help break down what you’re doing, that talk about it, so that one you’re not the only voice in the room, so that they can see like hey this is not just what, this is not what Erin thinks, this is what industry thinks. And then also working with them to understand the context of decisions that have been made and reasons that things have been moving forward in a certain way so that you’re not unintentionally causing tension in a situation because you’re coming in as a new person, a new set of eyeballs and just ripping apart, an idea that maybe someone cared a lot about and is really upset that it didn’t come together the way they thought it would come together. Or they maybe don’t know another option is available. So, those are the two really big pieces of advice that I try to tell people because I’ve dealt with people that come in and, you know, say all these things and then when they hear the reasons of why decisions have been made, they usually are on the same page and say okay and then now we can come together and figure out actually a solution to a problem versus, Oh, awkward not going to work here.

JG  
I had a lot of really similar experiences when I worked specifically at a university with that whole relationship management side of things, right? I mean, this is good advice for any time you’re working with other people, you generally don’t want to make them feel stupid or bad about themselves or that they’re wrong. You know you can explain that in a lot of different ways. Some of it is power dynamics. Like, cool, if everyone feels good about themselves and you made them feel good about themselves, you have a little bit more power in the situation. But I think, if you’re a nicer person than I am, then you would think of it just in terms of, this is how cooperation works, right? Like it’s when everyone is happy, everyone works together. And I learned very similar lessons as I got into higher ed. I had a different path than you did Erin, but I got into higher ed pretty much right after college, and a lot of it was, okay, I worked for my alma mater and I was, I’m glad I made those relationships with these people when I was a student doing different leadership things. And now I need to just be careful to develop those in different ways. because in some ways similar to you I think anyone that comes in, into a position as a young adult coming just out of school, you know, you’re gonna get a little bit of that — well, for me at my alma mater, the “I knew him as a student he’s still a student,” that mentality sitting there. You had the short bubbly female thing, you know, and just being youthful in general, it’s interesting to try and find ways to, I think the education part is interesting because it does kind of establish you as someone who’s thoughtful and thinking through what what you’re doing and then if you can manage those relationships around you that’s it’s even better. 

J.S.  
Yeah, and I think that’s something that comes up, just in social media in general, people assume that whoever’s in that social media manager position is an intern, or less experienced, let’s say, I am not… the word “bubbly” would never be used to describe me, but people’s demeanor changes dramatically versus emails I have prior to a meeting to after the meeting, when I come in and, you know, I’m very professional and knowledgeable about my topic and whatnot and they go, Oh, wait a second, you’re not just somebody we brought in off the street or on social media, you’re not just somebody’s nephew, with a cell phone, you’re, you know, you know what you’re doing 

ES  
You’re a real human with like training in this area.

JG  
Right.

J.S.  
Exactly. Uh, so, yeah, I think that’s something we all have to overcome and that take takes time but also takes doing that outreach and talking to people and, back to what you were saying Erin, definitely education. 

JG  
So what are some specific ways, or I guess specific techniques that you’ve found to be helpful in terms of forging those relationships, and helping kind of like foster that sense of collaboration and that sense of — it’s helping people find value in the work that they’ve done while also helping them to think how they can always be improving? I think smart people always want to be improving themselves, in general, and they want other people to think in those terms, too. We recognize that we’re never at that level of perfection, but what what’s, what’s worked well for you in terms of fostering those relationships?

ES  
One of the big things that I always do both in my professional and personal life is that I try to maintain the relationships outside of the asks. And so that’s something that I’ve noticed and unfortunately, it can be a side effect of higher ed in general because so many of us are stretched thin, is that the only interactions that you have with a co-worker, a colleague are whenever you need something from them or they need something from you. So we have monthly meetings with a lot of our main brand managers around campus, so people, you know, that manage the library accounts, the art centers, etc., so that even if we didn’t have something to talk about specifically at that meeting we would still have it, and grab coffee and just kind of sometimes commiserate about what’s like frustrating us with the career because so many of us were our only. We’re the only person in our area that dealt with what we did. 

And so, those meetings kind of also turn into an opportunity to catch up on best practices, just generally to share examples we’ve seen from institutions or even outside of the industry, and just kind of an opportunity to check-in and be with one another. Connecting with someone that is doing what you do is beyond validating, which I know you know very well. And so it’s maintaining those relationships where and when you can even if it’s just a quick check-in. Something that I’ve been trying to do during all of this COVID stuff, particularly is, you know, at the beginning of every email I’m not just jumping right into, Hey, I need this from you, or, I was wondering if you could…, or, what are you doing about this? I’m saying like, Hey, I hope this email finds you and your loved ones healthy and well, these are wild times, you know, please let me know how I can help. And then I always end it with again saying like, stay safe. Take care. If there’s anything I can do to help or if this is too, if this is a lot for you to take on right now, please just let me know and I’m happy to like figure out another solution. Because the thing that I am grateful for about this pandemic which is interesting to say and I always feel a little weird is that we’re able to now see people with their different labels. 

And so, you know, you’re having a meeting with someone while they’re also about bouncing their child on their lap to keep them entertained during the day because the other their partner is on a phone call with their business. That’s been something that’s been really eye-opening to me and I’m trying to incorporate that more and more into… Okay, you know, I’m notorious for sending emails after hours because if I think of something I have to send it or else I’ll forget. And so what I’ve been trying to do is if I’m on my desktop or my laptop I try and schedule it for the next day during work hours if it’s not an emergency or it’s not information someone’s waiting on me for just so that it’s, they’re not getting a notification and feeling, even if it’s not something they have to respond to, they feel pulled into that moment, or if I’m sending it from my phone which I haven’t found a good way to schedule that from my phone. 

My poor Social Media Manager, Brelynn, has received so many of these, and it’s usually in caps: You do not need to read this right now this has this is not important at all this is just a random thought I had and I needed to get onto paper before I forgot. And like that’s a subject line, because I don’t want them to feel like okay, not only am I required to be doing work after hours but I need to be checking even if there isn’t something going on in the event that something pops up. Because I have a way to reach them in the case of emergency and so I don’t want these emails and these little interactions to be seen as after-hours asks when they’re really not. It’s just because I’m a forgetful person. And when an idea comes to me I have to get it out, or else who knows when it’ll come back. 

And so that’s been very specific for me is you know, remembering that these other humans that these people are humans and even if something weird happens or there’s awkward tension, that there are a million reasons why that could have been awkward or like a weird moment, and that most of the time it probably has nothing to do with you. It could be that they are getting pressure from somewhere else in their job or from home or whatever, and that, you know, it just came out in a shorter answer to you or they’re running doing a million things and so their email was three set three words versus their normal longer email and so that those are the two things is you know, maintaining those connections outside of just the ask and then also, remembering people are human, and, and, even if it isn’t an ask, maintaining that human connection that you’re you’re kind of in this together and you both realize that there’s a lot being asked of you or there’s a lot going on and and you both are trying to work together to usually a similar conclusion or solution.

J.S.  
Yeah, I think that’s really important, especially right now everybody working remotely and kind of on different time schedules and. And I think as so many of us are new to working remotely. There’s a lot of pressure to be responsive, when we get that to let you know our supervisors know hey, we’re here, we’re paying attention. You know, I’ve got my phone out while walking to my mailbox. But, you know, I think it is good to have supervisors set those reasonable expectations and say that this is not I’m sending it to you now but don’t deal with it now like I that that sort of that level of communication I think it’s very important or, or even just a slack message like if you can’t get back to somebody right away you know you you kind of chat back and forth and then suddenly there’s like a giant gap because somebody, you know, that’s happened to me, you know, need to go tend to the three-year-old for a little bit, and there’s a gap in there just a little quick little BRB, you know? Go back to those ICQ 

JG  
AOL Instant Messenger!

J.S.  
Early 2000s chat abbreviations. We might need, we need to bring some of those back like I need a, just a little AFK.

ES  
I don’t want to even tally how many hours I spent designing my way messages and info. Oh, like, during that time period that was like my favorite time of my life was like oh I’m gonna do rainbow colors and all these things.

The other thing is that, like you were just mentioning how you like people sometimes disappear for a little while, I am notorious for typing out a message and then never hitting send like I’ve gone back to text messages or emails or I’ll close out my email for the day and I’ll, I’ll like close on my windows and there will be three emails or three text messages or whatever, that I just never hit send on because I’m in the middle of it and a notification caught my attention or, you know, something happened behind me that like threw me away and the next thing I know it’s buried. And so, like, that’s the other thing that I’m I like I have been trying been kind of really clear with my team about is that if I haven’t got back to you on something, please ping me because there’s a very good chance that it’s sitting right there and I did not hit send. Or that like, it got buried in a bunch of other emails and I don’t want to hold you up, because, you know, a lot of the times what they need from me is a quick review or a quick kind of, “looks good, let’s go with this,” or “yes this look, this is right,” or “no let’s try this.” So it takes totally like five minutes but those things typically will get buried in email. 

So that’s the other piece of it is figuring out that system of how do I appropriately ping someone again to reengage them. And I do want to say that if you’re on the flip side of a relationship and you’re not a supervisor and you’re having trouble figuring out where kind of the boundaries are, don’t be afraid to ask. That’s been something that I know that I’ve talked to my team about is saying, you know, if there’s ever something that you’re unclear about, or if I’m doing something that makes you feel like you have to respond and we may not be on the same page about something, like please let me know. Like, please set the pace and let me know what is reasonable for you and what makes sense for me and I will then meet you and compromise and say like, Okay, this makes sense but I do need to switch with you on and off for after-hours and stuff like that. And so don’t be afraid to lead that conversation because again, for a lot of us we’re working with people that don’t know truly how marketing or social media works and so like when we say that we’re on 24/7, we mean that we’re on 24/7. Like even if we’re not checking our phone like J.S. said, we have it in our pocket on the way to the mailbox or like for me, I answer a lot of emails when I’m like on a walk or just like walking to the kitchen. And so, you know, I have it ready and always on. And that’s a habit I’ve developed because of the way social media interacts and works within my life and so being able to set those boundaries and work with your supervisor to bring them on board and to a better understanding of what that looks like in your life. We’ll help them set way better boundaries for both of you and it’ll increase their mindfulness of it in the moments when things are happening,

J.S.  
Yeah. Especially as we’re going through, you know so many varieties right now, I’ve got one group on Slack, GroupMe, how many slack channels? You know, Basecamp, ClickUp. You know some people want to use email, some, I’ve got one guy that’s just texting me, you know? Getting everybody on board with streamlining some of these communications can be really difficult and knowing what people’s preferences are and remember, this is, it’s too much for a lot of people to handle. 

But let’s shift gears here for a second. We’re recording this on, on a Wednesday, you’ve got a webinar tomorrow which the podcast probably won’t be out in time to promote.

JG  
It might be! 

ES  
It’s actually later today.

JG  
Oh, then definitely won’t be out. 

ES  
Come on!

J.S.  
What day is it again? 

JG  
It’ll be out tomorrow.

ES  
There’s one today that I’m hosting for my college and then I am doing one tomorrow for eduWeb.

J.S.  
So that segues very well because as I said, you do a lot of webinars and conferences and you put yourself out there professionally. You do podcasts, like this one, and you’ve gone quickly from being a fresh voice in the field to a leading expert. And I think you’re putting yourself out there with presenting at conferences and webinars and these sorts of things outside your regular job duties. And I think that’s very important, not just professionally but specifically in higher ed where we’re working with a lot of people that are of the mindset of “publish or perish.” You have a lot of faculty who you know you present, you share your knowledge. So, that can be a little intimidating to people just starting out in the field, but I advocate for it and I think it’s really important. How do you encourage your team to take part in sharing their knowledge with the greater professional community?

ES  
For me, it’s always been a great way to get my thoughts onto paper. So that’s something that, like you said, publish or perish like that’s something that these things will sit in my brain and I will think them and I will like. And, you know, work them out in my head and figure out all these different things but I won’t put them onto paper, because for the longest time that you know, again I was the only person so there was no one that really needed them except for me and so as long as they were in my head or jotted down on a notebook like I was good to go. 

And so with presentations and conferences that forced me to kind of organize my thoughts in a way that, even if I wasn’t selected to speak, helped me process and kind of nail down what exactly the like nut graf of my project or this or this idea or this strategy or policy was, which to me was incredibly helpful. So that’s like my number one thing is seeing conference proposals and opportunities to talk about your work as a way to boil it down to what is really driving what you’re doing. 

For instance, I was just on a webinar last week and even though I’ve been talking about it a lot, it didn’t click to me until I was talking through it, practicing for that webinar, was that a lot of what I’m doing right now is social care and thinking about our audiences and trying not to overwhelm them or overstimulate them with information that they may not need to know. So we’re boiling down exactly what we need to get out there. So we’re not just adding another piece of content that you know is only maybe sometimes relevant to me. And so until I had that practice session, it was in there, like, that’s what we were doing, but I hadn’t put words to it. And so those conferences and the webinars really helped me with that. 

And then the other bit of it is — and this is totally selfish — but it helps me connect with, first of all, like people like you, like, I would not have been going to conferences had I not started one attending them and just getting a feel for them but also just submitting to talk, because a lot of the times, you know, it made it more accessible for me to go speaking or volunteering. So that’s another thing that I think conferences and webinars really help out with is, is connecting with people that then when you’re off the air or you’re not presenting you have the opportunity to open up another conversation and just friends. Like, Meg Bernier Keniston from St. Lawrence. I met her when I was presenting at a conference in, 2013 I want to say. And like our relationship has become so wonderful over the course of the year and we’ve mostly only interact at conferences. And so, it’s another opportunity, in my experience, to interact and get more resources. And so that’s been kind of the two driving forces behind it and the other thing that I like to say is that, especially in higher ed, our campuses and our universities are so unique and our audiences are so unique, even though you know there is a lot of similarities that we can quickly identify that your story and that and your work and your information is most likely different than mine. And what you’re doing is different than what I’m doing, whether it’s slightly or a big difference. And I will always be able to learn something from you because your audience and the way that you approach things, and the goals of your institution, although probably sound similar are different than mine. And so, you always have something to offer someone to learn from you. And so that’s the other thing is that that’s a really great part of higher ed, everything is so different and the same at the exact same time that you can offer advice about what you’re doing and someone can hear it and think about it and process it and then take it back to their own universities and apply it in a different way, but a way that makes sense to their university and audience.

JG  
Well, Erin, you and I met at ConfabEDU because we were moderating a session room or whatever like a track room or something.

ES  
Oh yeah! I’ve been around the conference world. That’s the other thing, I volunteer all the time because that also gives me an opportunity to just attend and see the behind the scenes and meet new people. So, like, volunteering, met you. 

JG  
Yeah. 

ES  
It’s a blast.

JG  
I think one of the things that a lot of us that, you know, aren’t you notice about you is that you do have confidence and I think that’s probably something that goes to that third point that you made it’s that, people talk a lot about imposter syndrome in higher ed. I’m not a person that struggles with that personally. Very often… at all.

ES  
[laughs] I appreciate your honesty in that.

JG  
But I think part of it, and when I’ve taught college classes in the past or I think even, you know, different conference talks that I’ve given a lot of times I try to instill this message of “you have value, the stuff that you think about has value, the stuff that you do has value.” It just takes a little bit of confidence and a little bit of courage to go out and start talking about it and those are the things that are, going back to your first point within this like you were saying, when we teach stuff, when we talk about the stuff that we have been thinking about, that we’ve been working through, that we’ve been practicing and especially when we’re sharing that with others, it’s a teaching process and we do find out you know a lot more of, or we find new ways to talk about the stuff that we’ve been doing. Teachers always talk about how they learn more from teaching their students than they think their students learn from them and that sort of thing and I’ve, I’ve definitely found the same true when I’m putting together a talk. A lot of times it either generates a lot more thoughts in a totally different direction and it opens up some new pathways to thinking about and practicing the work that I do but I think it also is one of those things that very much teaches me how to, how to better communicate with people, it helps me formalize and condense or yeah I guess condense what I’m thinking already so that I can be a little bit more precise and leaves a lot more room hopefully to more clearly communicate the work I’m doing to people, so I think yeah I think those are all super valuable I think all of that comes along with a very you know just just trying to find a little bit of confidence to to believe in yourself, you know.

ES  
And I will say that one of the best ways to gain that confidence is to have a conversation with someone that is either at your institution and kind of far enough away from you, that they wouldn’t have kind of insider knowledge of if what you’re doing so that if you say something and it doesn’t quite make sense they can’t fill in the blanks, is to have a conversation with someone in the space and kind of just say hey, you know, and I’m happy to be that for anyone like if you ever want to run through an idea and talk through a proposal, I am more than happy to listen, this totally comes from like, I think my FOMO and some other things but I like being an insider so I’m always happy to listen. 

And so, you know, I’m, it’s good to run it through with someone else and even just one person to provide a little bit of feedback, like, I will, I’ll say like, I shared an office with this wonderful woman named Hannah, for most of my career at Dartmouth, and we just recently broke up and that’s okay. And, you know, I would literally just read her emails I would, I would say you know this is what I’m thinking about saying and she’d say, that sounds good, but that doesn’t sound good and, or if I was hemming and hawing about something she’d be like okay stop it you know that you can do this. And it was like the most useful like little voice on my shoulder that I had to like literally shut up, all of the imposter syndrome because I definitely struggle with that. And she’d just come in and say no. What’s wrong with you? Like she would yell at me and I would yell at her that was our relationship so we were like, we would just make sure that the other one realized what they really were worth, and that they weren’t getting in their own way. And if we had to be a little bit argumentative aggressive about it. We were fine with that because it worked for us. But it’s really good to have that, that just even one other person to kind of go to regularly and say like can you check me on this? Is this right is this wrong or am I overthinking things?

J.S.  
And while we’re on the topic of imposter syndrome, let’s talk about that but what I think is one of the leading causes of imposter syndrome among social media folks in higher ed and one of the biggest frustrations that I hear about and I have personally sometimes when I talk to folks who I admire and I look up to, like, like you Aaron, and others in higher ed that while they might be speaking to like packed rooms at conferences and rent winning read staplers and writing posts for industry publications and going on podcasts and I sit down and talk to them they all have the same complaint that while their work is amazing, they have trouble getting people at their own university to listen to them and take their advice. How do we get it get around that — somebody described it to me recently as 100 mile rule — that sometimes University leadership won’t listen to you unless you come from 100 miles away or are being paid $100,000 to, you know. So, How do we get our own leadership and not when I say leadership I don’t just mean the president and provost, but, you know, all the way down to like, you know, Director level to listen and take our advice sometimes?

ES  
I think it goes a bit back to what Joel said with the confidence and that’s something that, you know, is, is definitely a learned thing that I’ve had, and what that kind of has helped me do is since beginning at Dartmouth. I tried to get into as many meetings that I thought would be helpful or informational to me, and I, and I wouldn’t always speak I would just listen and consume information so that whenever I would have a conversation I would have that background information so that they didn’t feel like I didn’t ask. I won’t say a stupid question but kind of a question that the answer could have been easily found or they felt that I should know. And so I tried to alleviate that by just kind of consuming and, and embracing as much knowledge, which helped me, I think definitely start to get more involved in things because I already had knowledge and they didn’t have to bring me up to speed in meetings, the other things that I really try to do when it comes to getting buy in is is come prepared and, and I’ve talked about this a little bit in my different conference talks, is that it’s it’s again really useful to bring information that is relevant, not only from yourself but from outside sources, preparing it some sort of example so one of the biggest hurdles that I come across is people not be being unable to envision what you’re talking about and so if you can find an example that kind of lends itself to what you’re talking about, or even put a mock up together very quickly. That’s super helpful. 

And I think there’s still going to be those hurdles that you come up, come up against where they still want to take the advice of an “expert” that’s outside of your institution because people rightfully put weight behind an outside perspective. But also that takes away the insider knowledge that you have of your institution. And I think it’s, it’s really important to also keep track of one of your wins and so that’s something that I’ve started for myself as well as I’ve encouraged my team to start is that when something you do does well take a screenshot of it or someone comments back and says, Wow, this is exactly what I needed or this is, this is everything that I really asked for. Take a screenshot of it and keep a folder. And then that way whenever you’re either doubting yourself or there’s there’s questions about expertise, you can say hey, I’ve done something like this before for this institution or for another institution and here’s the responses that I got, because I have found that like when I wanted to bring that up. I’d have to go dig for it and by the time I would dig it up, it would be like, oh I missed my chance but if I’m able to provide those examples quickly, and I was able to demonstrate that hey, I’m not just pulling this out of wherever, I’m actually speaking on experience that you may not have had the chance to learn about me. 

And so those have been successful for me but I will say the biggest, the biggest kind of reminder is that when you’re at a conference, you’re in a room of people that understand what you do. And when you’re back in your home office, you’re surrounded by people who kind of know what you do or may know a little bit more about what you do, but generally that education piece — like it just keeps coming back to education — is educating where you can and when you can about the work that we’re doing so that when those moments come up, they’ve started to kind of associate you with, “Oh, video, I go to this person for that,” or “Oh, social, I go to J.S. for that.” And so, that’s been the most successful is, you know, trying to align my name with these topics on campus through that education piece

JG  
Awesome. 

J.S.  
That’s awesome.

ES  
Oh, jinx!

JG  
Well, this has been great.

J.S.  
Yeah, Erin thank you so much. I have learned a ton, especially things I can take back and using some of the relationship building, I’m trying to do on campus and continue to do. And it’s something, personally, I think, I know I struggle with sometimes. So getting your perspective has been really super valuable.

ES  
And again, thank you so much for having me. I’ve been trying to get out and do other things that aren’t related to COVID because I feel like that’s consumed my life. And so this has been such, like these things have been such a breath, like breath of fresh air for me.

J.S.  
And I picked up a lot that I can use as well so, thank you. 

JG  
Erin, thank you so much for being with us, as well. We enjoyed it and I think, honestly, your insights will help a lot of the folks that have been asking us, “what do I do when I’m new?” like “how do I gain ground?”

As always, a pleasure.

ES  
Thank you for having me!

JG  
As always, thank you for listening to the Thought Feeder podcast. If you don’t subscribe yet, please visit thoughtfeederpod.com. If you don’t follow us on Twitter, we’re @ThoughtFeedPod. You can also follow me personally @joelgoodman, and my cohost Jon-Stephen Stansel, @jsstansel. You can find Thought Feeder wherever you get your podcasts 

Thought Feeder is sponsored by University Insight.

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