Cool Job of the Week: Marketing Coordinator

I recently had a chance to speak with Kelly Johnson, Marketing Coordinator at Nubik. She told me a bit about the ins and outs of being a marketing coordinator, including some of the best (and worst) parts of the job. Here’s what she had to say!

Can you give us a brief explanation of your job?

As Marketing Coordinator, I plan and manage company events, manage our social media accounts, write web copy, send out emails and newsletters, and also take care of online ads and SEO.

What made you choose this job?

I just really love writing and have a knack for communicating written messages. I am well-spoken, but I much prefer sitting behind a screen and writing.

How long have you been in this position?

Almost 10 years now.

Did you need any specific college degree to get this job?

I didn’t. I have a degree in Linguistics. Over time, I decided I wanted to be a writer, and I got hired at an online marketing agency. They taught me SEO and HTML and I just continued from there.

How would you describe a typical workday?

I work from home and we have a virtual office, so I take a shower, get dressed, grab breakfast, see my kids out the door, and then sit down in my home office and log into work. I work like anyone else would in a regular office. I go for lunch, manage my tasks, meet with coworkers and log out at the end of the day. Only difference is rather than a commute, I just walk out of a room in my house.

What do you like most about your job?

The part I like most, aside from working from home, is the fact I’m the “voice” of the company. When people come to our website or our social media accounts, it’s a first impression. My words and my message introduce them and help them make a decision to use our services.

What do you like least about your job?

There are often last minute issues that need addressing – especially when we have events. So work rushes can be stressful.

What personal qualities are most valuable for this kind of work?

To work from home and not have a boss breathing down your neck, you need to be disciplined and self-motivated. If you are someone who needs more support day to day, it’s not the best. When it comes to writing and marketing tasks, you have to meticulous and organized. I juggle many different tasks in a day – from content creation to event planning, there are a lot of moving parts. Being okay with constant change and actually loving it are important aptitudes.

Any advice for students interested in this kind of work?

Don’t just learn social media or just writing, learn how websites work, learn all the behind the scenes – the code, the CMS. You’ll be much more valuable.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Have fun and make it happen!

You can learn more about Kelly by following her on Twitter or Instagram @KBronJohn.

Cool Job of the Week: Puzzle Constructor

I recently had a chance to speak with Debbie Manber Kupfer, a freelance Puzzle Constructor who creates puzzles for Penny Press magazines and the Paws 4 Puzzles website. She told me a bit about the ins and outs of being a pro puzzler, including some of the best (and worst) parts of the job. Here’s what she had to say!

Among other things, Penny Press sponsors a monthly “Brain Boosters” contest – click to give this month’s puzzle a try.

Can you give us a brief explanation of your job?

I write all kinds of puzzles that are published in the various Penny Press titles that you can find in the newsstand or grocery store. My editor sends me requests on the kinds of puzzles she currently needs and I write them. There are word puzzles and logic puzzles of all kinds. There are some, like Frameworks and Double Trouble crosswords, that I create regularly, while others I only make occasionally. I also frequently write puzzles that require quotations and trivia and am always on the look out for a good quote, pun or interesting snippet.

In addition to the puzzles I send to Penny Press I also write custom puzzles for books, newsletters or presents and maintain my website, Paws 4 Puzzles.

What made you choose this job?

I’ve always loved puzzles ever since I was a child and rarely a day goes past when I don’t either solve or create one.

How long have you been working in this field?

20 years! I started off as a Puzzle Editor at Penny Press in Connecticut and then when I moved to St. Louis I continued working for them as a freelance constructor.

Did you need any specific college degree to get this job?

I have a BA degree and a background in editing. But the main thing you need for this work is a love of puzzles and words.

How would you describe a typical workday?

Send kiddo off to school. Make large mug of tea. Sit down with my current wishlist and decide which puzzle(s) I’m going to work on that day. Print out any grids I need and sometimes check my supply of puzzle books and test solve a similar puzzle, if this is not a regular puzzle I write all the time. Then I write the first puzzle – I usually start with the solutions, fitting them into the grid, and then write the clues. Then I test solve and for some tricky puzzles I’ll send the puzzle off to my trusty secret group on Facebook of puzzle enthusiasts who love to check my puzzles. Finally when they’re all done and typed up I email the finished puzzles to my editor at Penny Press.

What do you like most about your job?

I adore that I’m being paid for something I love and enjoy the flexibility of the work. I make my own hours, which was a godsend when the kids were small.

What do you like least about your job?

Occasionally I’ll get a request for a really boring kind of puzzle!

What personal qualities are most valuable for this kind of work?

Tenacity – sometimes you hit a really tough corner and you think that it’s impossible to fix, but you have to keep going in this line of work.

Any advice for students interested in this kind of work?

Solve, solve, solve – you can’t create puzzles until you understand how they work. Also, don’t give up if your puzzles are rejected at the beginning. Listen to the editors and follow their guidelines to the letter.

Anything else you’d like to add?

In addition to the puzzles I have in Penny Press magazines and on my website I also published a book of logic problems, Paws 4 Logic, together with my son Joey. The puzzles range from simple to diabolical, and the book is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or directly from me at Paws 4 Puzzles.

You can learn more about Debbie and her puzzles on Facebook, Twitter, or her website, Paws 4 Puzzles.

Cool Job of the Week: Library Technician

Similar to a librarian – but different! – Library Technicians are some of the people that help make libraries work for their patrons.

I recently had a chance to speak with Saraline Grenier, Library Technician for the Bibliothèque publique de Pointe-Claire (that’s the Pointe-Claire Public Library, which is located in Québec – hence the français), about her job. Here’s what she had to say!

Can you give us a brief explanation of your job?

I order English books for adults and when they come in, I get to look at them! I get to look at them because I have to check if any pages are missing or printed in the wrong order and I have to make sure that the books don’t have any damage. I also catalogue French non-fiction books for adults and kids, and non-fiction DVDs. When I catalogue something, I have to look at it to see what it’s about so I can give it a Dewey number and subject headings. I also add other information so that people will know what type of item it is when they look at the record in our catalogue and information that will help people find the record in the first place.

What made you choose this field?

Like many people in this field, I wanted to work in a library because I love books.

How long have you been working in this field?

About four years. I did a work placement while I was in school and came back to work after I graduated.

Did you need to obtain any specific degree to get this job?

Yes, I obtained a DEC in Information and Library services.

Photo credit: Jerry Bunkers, “Black woman in law library”

Describe a typical workday.

I try not to do the same task all day, and since I do a couple of different things, this is easy to do. Maybe one day I’ll order books in the morning and catalogue in the afternoon. On another day I might catalogue all day, but I’ll do a pile of adults’ books and then a pile of children’s books.

What do you like most about your job?

I like cataloging the cookbooks and the travel guides. I also really like cataloging DVDs because DVDs have a lot of genre subject headings and I looooove genre subject headings.

What do you like least about your job?

I see about a hundred books a week that I want to read and I don’t have time to read a hundred books a week.

What kinds of personal qualities are most valuable in your position?

You need the ability to notice small details.

Any advice for kids who want to become library technicians?

Stay in school and don’t do drugs.

Is there anything else you’d like to mention, that I haven’t asked you about?

A lot of people think that I mean “librarian” when I say that I’m a library technician, but there are some differences. Librarians have Masters’ degrees and interact with the public more. They make the decisions, such as what programming will be offered and which books to buy. Library technicians do more behind-the-scenes stuff and aren’t often seen by patrons. They order the books, DVDs, etc. that the librarians have selected and catalogue them. Afterwards these items go to the material preparation staff to be covered, stickered, etc. They then go out to the circulation desk where the circulation desk will put them away, call patrons who have holds on them, etc. The circulation staff are usually the last ones at the library to see the books before they go missing.

To learn more about becoming a Library Technician in the U.S., check out the Occupational Outlook Handbook’s entry on Library Technicians & Assistants.