Typical day on the job:
A good part of my time, around 50%, is spent on research—online searches, reading news and white papers and engaging with experts so that I can stay up to date on trends, analysis and of course, all of Dow’s diverse businesses and technologies. As to the rest, 30% of my time is writing, 10% is meetings, and 10% is miscellaneous projects.
This time break-down is somewhat misleading because so much of good writing is dependent on proper research and finding the right connections. One of the most enjoyable parts of my role is to engage with Dow’s internal Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). Whether in R&D, business, sustainability, diversity or government affairs, these SME’s are extremely knowledgeable and are very open and friendly. They have proven invaluable to getting the facts and the story right. With facts in hand, it is off to outlining and writing.
The environment is fairly high-pressure and fast paced. Working for a global corporation means that we engage with people across many different time zones, so often, my hours do not meet a standard 9-5, Monday to Friday work week. Time management is key, and can be a challenge. We try to anticipate everything that will be required to support events and activities, but breaking news can drive last-minute asks and research. In those moments, it helps to have come from an academic background where I honed my ability to deliver on a deadline and under pressure. The work is rewarding, but that does not mean it is easy.
I could not ask for a better work environment. One of the perks of my job is the office where I overlook the streets of midtown Manhattan. I have plenty of desk space to spread out my writing materials alongside my laptop and an additional monitor, which helps with editing multiple documents at the same time.
Although I have my own office, virtually every project I touch is a team effort. It keeps all of us at the top of our game, because we know that others on the team will be taking a close look at our work once we have finished with it. We collaborate over the telephone, over email and using Dow’s internal instant messenger service.
New York is a small satellite office for Dow. While our team here is small, what we lack in size, we make up for in spirit. It is certainly somewhere I look forward to visiting each morning.
Best productivity trick:
Drinking tea is a strategy that usually seems to work. If I am ever having writer’s block, I just go down the hall and warm up a cup. I do not know if it’s the tea itself or the walk around the office, but this routine always seems to make for a more productive time, whether during the morning or afternoon.
Best career advice you’ve received:
Growing up, my mother encouraged a student mentality in my brother and me: the idea that no matter who we were talking to or what we were doing, we could always learn something. Taking this advice to heart helps me stay constantly focused on growth and improvement.
Skills or talents that make you a good fit for your job:
I love listening to people tell their favorite stories. Luckily, it just so happens that those narratives very often make for the most engaging proof points that I can incorporate into my research and writing.
Essential habit you wish you’d started earlier:
Researching a person’s title and background before I meet them helps me go into the room better-prepared and with more directed and poignant questions. All of these factors make for a more productive meeting.
Favorite ACS resource:
Chemical & Engineering News magazine. I try to read it every week to find out about recent academic discoveries and what is going on in the industry, including stories about Dow!