Welcome Hailee O’Dell, Junior Account Manager

Posted July 19, 2023 by Brightly creative.

As a recent college graduate, Hailee’s career with Brightly Creative is her first “grown up” job. She spent her time in college on student government, holding the titles student body president and student trustee, where she learned to network, strategize and innovate. Read more to see what skills she’s excited to bring to the team and what she’s planning for the future.

What specific professional skills are you hoping to implement? 

  1. Organization: I am able to put pieces together in my head before physically moving things around. This was especially helpful at the Mead Crafters Competition, when we had about 300 bottles of mead that we needed to efficiently transport to the venue in St. Louis. I collected the deliveries and kept everything neat so that we could quickly work through them. I look forward to doing this again for the Honey Beer Competition and the Honey Spirits Competition. 
  2. I am currently working toward my Master in Business Administration. I spent my undergraduate years in leadership — with two of the most distinguished, yet stressful, positions that a student at my university can hold. I learned a lot about myself and my skills during this time, and part of that was my natural drive to lead. I was able to step back and see the bigger picture and guide/advise others in a direction that works. I have a lot of learning to do and experience to gain, but I can’t wait to see how I can implement that skill at Brightly Creative.
  3. I am also working to mirror this experience/skill for outreach. A lot of my work in these roles was to be a liaison between students and administrators. What can I say to make these policy makers implement a new initiative? Similarly: What can I say that will make a food manufacturer want to learn more about honey? 

What are your main focuses at Brightly Creative? 

My main focuses are in direct outreach for the National Honey Board, the California Commission and the American Lamb Board. I craft lists of companies to reach out to, find new contacts and draft cold emails to expand our network. These emails are sent with the intention of getting a food manufacturer to want to learn more about formulating with a certain ingredient or joining us for events we host. 

Along with that, I do a lot of the hands-on/physical work, like filling and shipping our mailers, filling honey bears, collecting deliveries for our competitions and sending medals to the winners.

I also manage the Astra Manufacturing social media accounts! This is my first experience working with a social media calendar and scheduling software, and I have learned that I really enjoy it! 

You’re known for being a true digital nomad, always working in different locations. How does that bring productivity to the team?

Working from different locations allows me to reset more often than I could working in an office or an at home office, especially being alone. The change in scenery inspires creativity and innovation without having to look for it. Sometimes I will work from my dining room, and other times I will go sit in Forest Park and connect to my hotspot. I also have an outgoing personality and thrive off human connection. Working from coffee shops, parks or other cities allows me to fulfill that need while working remotely and seeing new places. 

When I leave town to work, (Chicago, Denver and Las Vegas are some of the places I have worked from in my first six months here)! I get to explore the city after my work day, which fulfills my love for traveling. I primarily studied psychology, with coursework in industrial and organizational psychology. I know that having a positive work/life balance is crucial for productivity in the workplace.

I am spending my time away from my computer doing things I love and finding peace more often than if I were more sedentary. This fosters a work environment of my own that encourages me to be excited about my work.

I also LOVE telling people what I do. Being in different work spaces, I get to talk to new people and naturally, tell them about what Brightly Creative does. This also encourages me to be excited about my work. 

What are some of the goals you would like to achieve with this being your first job?

Time management and self-discipline are two of the most important goals for my personal development that I am mastering at this job. Working at my own pace means having to hold myself accountable for completing tasks and requires excellent time management skills. These skills are not only helpful in my work, but my personal life — including my long-term health. Building good habits overall is a huge personal focus of mine at this point in my life, and my role at Brightly Creative only pushes me in the right direction. 

Brightly Creative is an excellent place to begin my career because I am learning how an agency operates first hand. There is a lot that Brightly Creative has to offer that I could never learn in a classroom. As an example, at the end of May, Keith showed me how our budgets are managed and the big picture of the “why” we do some of what we do, but I also get to see day to day how spending decisions are made. I get job experience and exposure that will catapult me into business leadership and push me to be an excellent administrator someday. My goal is to learn as much as possible from the successful and talented leaders at Brightly Creative.

I would like to specifically improve my networking skills, which I learn through attending trade shows and other events. I did a lot of networking in college, but I want to expand those skills to my business career. 

I would like to see solid results in my outreach. We want to see more products with honey and walnuts (the main two accounts I work with) on the shelves. I would love to see a new product in the stores where I played a part in its creation. 

What’s the one item you can’t live without in terms of work life?

One item I can’t live without is my laptop and phone stands (OK, that’s two items, but they go together) I bring these everywhere! The laptop stand allows me to have my laptop at a more comfortable position so that I can keep my ergonomics in check and avoid neck and back pain. My phone stand helps me to stay focused — I can see notifications coming in, but I don’t have to pick up my phone to look at them. If they aren’t work related notifications, I leave it there. Not having my phone in my hands prevents me from getting distracted.

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