By Michelle Doyle, WorkStory Ambassador at Western University
Susan Mutterback is Marketing Communications Specialist at StarTech.com, a manufacturer of products for IT professionals. The company extends beyond the headquarters in London, Ontario to 14 countries worldwide!
As a Marketing Communications Specialist, Susan handles social media, public relations and general marketing communication such as ads and catalogues. This is a new role and is “very chaotic…in a good way!” Because it is new, Susan’s responsibilities were built from the ground up which she finds an exciting challenge. Her favourite part of the job? Susan emphasized her admiration for the people she works with…she really enjoys the collaboration and brainstorming processes that occur day-to-day at the office.
Susan’s work journey began at the University of Guelph where she studied Psychology in her first year. She didn’t really have a solid idea of what she wanted to do, just a vague interest in the field. After that year, she knew it wasn’t a perfect fit for her and decided to take a year off to figure things out. She moved back home and took courses at the University of Windsor to keep her average up. The following year, Susan transferred to Western University and started thinking about public relations and marketing. She graduated from Western in political science and sociology and then applied to Western’s public relations program. Of all her formal education, Susan found public relations the most interesting area of study. The final four months of the program involved an internship position. Susan particularly enjoyed this and found it extremely valuable in helping her gain real-world experience in the field.
After the internship, Susan had completed her education, but had received no job offers. She moved back home and worked at an unpaid internship for about 9 months. During this time, she remained persistent and applied to job after job, not receiving any replies. Finally, Susan was thrilled to receive a call from StarTech.com! She moved right back to London, joined the company, and hasn’t looked back since.
Susan started out in a marketing role that was mainly sales focused. She enjoyed it, but was particularly interested in getting a position in her field. When the Marketing Communications Specialist job opened up, she applied!
Susan has nothing but positive comments about working for StarTech.com, and is thrilled to be at such a wonderful company and working with such collaborative and supportive coworkers. When asked what advice she’d give to those entering the job market, Susan’s first words were “It’s hard”. Then she highlighted the importance of taking jobs that aren’t necessarily in your specific desired field for the experience you will get from working. She emphasized the “foot in the door” approach, the importance of starting off somewhere, and getting your name out there. Lastly, she noted that unpaid internships can be good experiences. Susan was thankful for hers and believes that students entering the job field should not underestimate them.