From small-town Ohio to the Biggest Small Town in America

The college years.

When people ask me where I’m from I generally answer, “near Toledo”. It’s easy and recognizable.

In reality, my hometown sits about 40 minutes Southeast of the Glass City. It’s a “micropolitan” called Napoleon: home to about 8,000 people, several fast food and pizza joints and a Walmart. And that’s about it.

It’s not that I didn’t like growing up in a small town. I experienced a lot there that I couldn’t experience in a big city. However, there’s also a lot to learn from a big city that can’t be learned in a small town. So I decided to leave my comfort zone and go to college at Ohio State.

Ultimately, I stayed in Columbus. I still remember that afternoon in April of my senior year that I walked over to my then-fiancee’s college house and said, “Let’s stay here.” It was kind of a gamble; at the time neither of us had accepted a post-grad job. But within two weeks I was fortunate enough to land a marketing gig with a large company.

Now, here’s what happened before that:

I started college as a fine arts major. Then moved to psychology. Then I joined the school of agriculture for one day. Finally, I landed in Strategic Communication and stayed put. I love every step that it took for me to find my place, and I don’t have any regrets. Strat Comm allowed me to incorporate elements of all the majors I passed through, and opened a huge window of career possibility.

I love working with people, so I took a lot of classes geared toward understanding and communicating with others, and I kept psych tacked onto my degree (I’m 2 classes away from having a BA in psych – someday!). Art has always been my thing, so I chose courses, like visual communication design, that allowed me to work my creativity, and I haven’t stopped doing crafty things on the side.

Overall, I simply fell in love with the world of public relations, marketing and advertising. Even 3 years into the field, I’m still enamored. It’s ever-changing, and you don’t stop learning and developing skills and having new experiences. I can’t wait to see where my career path leads me.

The career years.

My first job out of college was a global B2B manufacturing company. I frequently think to this day how lucky I was to start there. It’s a great company with the most wonderful people. They gave me so much freedom and support as I grew into my role, and they truly valued my opinions and ideas.

From there I landed what was then my dream job: Social Media Manager for a fast casual restaurant chain. It was a glorious change of pace. I loved my team, and enjoyed a multitude of perks to working in the restaurant industry for a large and wealthy company. Overall it was a fantastic opportunity to grow my marketing skills and learn about the B2C side of things.

Now I’m situated in a little creative marketing firm as the Marketing Manager, finally getting a taste of the agency side of things. I wear many hats here and absolutely love it. In my role I am responsible for maintaining client brands across all digital marketing channels, including social media, websites, blogs, and much more. I get to do a lot of writing and some graphic design as well, really rounding out my passions as a marketer.

Here’s a little more about me

  • Big-time DIY-er here. I paint, draw, collage and even make candles.
  • I’ve had a Nikon DSLR for about two years and love to have some fun with it whenever I get a chance. I like to think I have an eye for photography. It’s come in handy at my current and previous job – helps me be self-sufficient in content creation.
  • Super passionate about healthy eating and exercise. I run and work out a lot – it’s my escape.
  • I’ve been a vegetarian for about 5 years for health and environmental reasons.I don’t plan to go back. I have so much more energy!
  • A lot of my free time is spent cooking and baking. I like to experiment and create new recipes.
  •  I prefer cats. *Shrugs*
  • Writing is a natural part of my brain. I love all styles and often find myself starting articles or stories in my mind.
  • If my ability to write lists was taken away, I would melt into a heap like the Wicked Witch of the West.