While this obviously applies to clients and partners in the professional arena, that's not what I'm talking about right now.
I just finished four of the most critical years of my life--the beginning of my career--learning technology and the business of technology. When I came out of school with my (very expensive) degree, I had always envisioned that I would cruise into the workforce, handling consumer accounts and having a great time doing it. Then reality struck, and I couldn't find a job, so I worked at Crespi for a year while continuing to look. Then I caught a break.
David James Rodewald (and Erin) had worked at a large agency with Jennifer Floto, one of my professors (who became one of my references), before splitting off to start their own agency. As they grew from a simple partnership with a handful of clients, they built their business, and in the spring of 2006, they were looking to bring someone on board.
They could have held out for someone with more of that tech-focused experience, but because of that connection, they opted to bring me in for an interview. After a couple meetings and a writing test, they offered me the account executive position--their first hire and my first real PR job.
For the last four years, I have had the privilege of learning the field from Dave, a true professional and a faith-driven family man. He's taught me everything from the proper way to deal with clients and difficult media to the tricks you can use to rearrange your schedule to give yourself more time for work-life balance--that latter of which I am still working on :)
In short, the DJA has been my family for the last four years. I've grown as a professional and an individual under its watch, and I am forever indebted to Dave and Erin.
But new challenges await.
I've lived in southern California my entire life. That is about to change. I've accepted a senior account executive position at Engage PR in Alameda and will be moving to the bay in a week and a half. At Engage, I will start off working with telecommunications and wireless solutions providers--building from the experience I've gotten the last four years.
While it was difficult to pack up and leave the DJA for the last time today, I was reminded of encouragement I'd received about three years ago. "When you have an opportunity, you have to take it." True to his word to his still relatively new employee, Dave has been behind me 100% of the way--a consummate professional and dedicated mentor to the end.