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May 13, 2013

Hot Off the Press: Lindsay Holt, Associate, Mercer

Hot Off the Press: Lindsay Holt, Associate, Mercer

Lindsay Holt is an associate at the international consulting firm Mercer

Lindsay Holt is a Cincinnati-based corporate communication consultant who specializes in translating complex information into simple, impactful messages. Outside of the office, she sits on the young professionals board of the Cincinnati Opera and is a provisional member of the Cincinnati Junior League. Lindsay enjoys baseball, playing Scrabble, sipping bourbon, hiking and traveling — especially to the lakes of her home state, Michigan.

1. Can you describe your role at Mercer?

My job varies day-to-day and client-to-client. Generally, we create communication campaigns designed to educate our clients’ employees about their health or retirement benefits. We target these campaigns based on the demographics of an employee population and the organizational culture of the client we’re working with.

2. What advice do you have for college students or recent graduates interested in a journalism or marketing related careers?

Keep your options open and network, network, network! I had no intention of working in the corporate world, but while I was interviewing for a “dream job” in political PR, a contact from a networking event passed along the posting for a corporate communication job in Cincinnati. I had no interest, but didn’t want to be rude to my contact, so I did a little research and submitted a resume “just in case.” It ended up being exactly the kind of work I wanted, just with a different focus and a different audience. I’m glad I gave myself the flexibility to try something different, otherwise I would’ve missed out on an incredible opportunity.

It’s important to step out of your comfort zone. Don’t box yourself in to a point where you can’t take a chance or a leap of faith — whether it’s changing your mind about a career path or moving to a new city. Now’s the time to do it — and hopefully you’ll get as lucky as I did and end up working for a great company and in an exciting and fulfilling job.

3. You have a pretty diverse resume for someone your age, do you think having an eclectic mix of jobs has benefited you professionally. How?

Absolutely. I can draw a clear line from my college reporting gig to my current job. Once I got serious about using jobs and internships as building blocks, rather than “fluff” for my resume, my career outlook started to change. Every skill set I picked up at one gig turned into the foundation I needed to land my next job. By the time I interviewed for my current role, I could clearly demonstrate that I had what it took to meet every job expectation, as well as continue to grow and evolve within the company.

4. In addition to your professional career, you are very involved in several organizations and occasionally give live singing performances. How you do balance professional responsibilities and your interests outside of work?

Honestly, I have great supervisors. My work environment is fairly flexible, which allows me to work from home when I need to and put away my Blackberry at night. Don’t get me wrong, there are times and projects that require way more than 40 hours a week, but in general, work doesn’t rule my life.If you don’t work with a great team or have a flexible work schedule, it’s still important to set boundaries that clearly define where work begins and ends. You are the only person responsible for your own work/life balance, and finding that balance is just as vital to your success as being good at your job. Your supervisors/clients need to know that you’re committed to them, but don’t set the expectation that you will answer emails at midnight every night or bail out of every family obligation — otherwise it’s a role you’ll play for the duration of your career.

Ultimately, it’s important for people to be confident in you and your work. When I’m consistently getting emails late at night or in the wee hours of the morning from a colleague, it doesn’t make me think “They’re a hard worker,” it makes me think “They have too much on their plate.” Find your balance.

 

5.What is your most memorable professional experience?

I was recently promoted and received a lot of personal congratulations and support from people much higher than me in the company. It was nice to know that the work I’ve done thus far is being recognized, and that people are expecting a lot from me in the future!