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Career Story: Communications Specialist

Communications Specialist

Job Title: Communications Specialist

Education: BA in Sociology, James Madison University •• Virginia Real Estate License

Previous Experience: Product Specialist. I traveled to many trade shows speaking to the general public about a specific product. I also had experience in advertising through my work as a real estate agent.

Job Tasks: My job as a communications specialist is to get proper information out to the groups it will impact. For example if a new rule is going to be enforced that affects an organization or company that we work closely with, it is my job to post proper notices on websites, write articles, newsletters or send e-mails. I also help edit powerpoint presentations, making sure content is up-to-date and easy to understand.

I use the computer EVERY day with my job. I am always typing documents, checking websites to make sure our content is current and links are working properly. It's very important that the information we have on the web is correct and easy to follow and understand.

My job changes quite often as there is always new information to be sent out and many different training sessions to organize to help people better understand our product that we are building. As a communications specialist I was fortunate to travel quite a bit organizing different conferences to teach the public new functionality related to our product. I was the one-on-one training coordinator and had a large part in organizing our training sessions and our on-line registration for each event.

Excellent communications skills are a must in this job field. I deal with the general public every day whether it's on the phone, through email or face to face. It's essential to have a positive attitude and willingness to help when someone calls and doesn't quite understand how to use our product. If I don't know how to help that person I always tell them I'll find out. If I can't answer their question I ask a co-worker and respond immediately to their request.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is working on a team. It's nice to brainstorm with co-workers and be able to travel together when necessary. I also enjoy working with the general public. They are very appreciative when we offer our services and show them we are willing to help. The worst part is sitting behind a desk many hours each day. Unless we are coordinating a conference, much of the day is spent typing articles, emails, scheduling events in Excel or typing Word documents.

Job Tips: I would take many courses in Microsoft products, Word, Excel, Powerpoint. Also writing courses would be helpful. If you can practice public speaking skills or take a course in that as well, it would be beneficial. I think it would be very helpful to know how to properly write memos and letters, many times we must submit them to Directors of our company and proper format is always very important.

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