Hey I’m Michelle! I am the general communication and customer support liaison for Beyond the Brand Media. I am a curious sponge who likes to learn and am thrilled to be surrounded by great people to learn from. I have worked in Administration services for 6 years, starting at Salem State University where I graduated with my Art History degree in 2018. After graduating I found myself working at a senior living facility where I experienced three different positions in the three years I was there. I can’t wait to see where this next chapter with Beyond the Brand Media takes me.
My professional life is still a “work in progress”. I guess you could say it started when I became a Student Advisor at Salem State in 2015. In that role my job was to answer calls and meet with students who needed assistance with everything involving their career path. I would discuss possible majors and minors, assist with picking out courses that met the degree requirements, teach students how to use the online campus systems, and assist with applications for graduation. It was really a rewarding position, getting to help students of all backgrounds and potential futures find their way through college successfully.
As for my own degree path, I started out going for a fine arts degree with a focus on sculpture. I loved the process of making a lump of clay or scoop of molten glass into something beautiful. At some point though, I realized I preferred making art as a hobby, and turned towards studying art instead. I learned to enjoy the research-focused degree of Art History as I was able to take what I learned in class and continue teaching myself. That’s the “curious sponge” in me – I’m never satisfied and always hungry for more knowledge.
After graduation, I hit a road block as I wasn’t sure what to do with my degree outside of an educational setting. I looked at museums and positions at colleges, but had no luck with my limited experience. I ended up building on my office experience and becoming an Administrative Assistant at a local senior living facility. My role there was within the Dining Services department, working with both residents and dining staff. There were 3 main kitchens for 4 dining rooms in Independent Living, and one kitchen for 7 dining rooms in Continuing Care. The focus of my role was to help residents manage their meal plans and ensure excellent dining experiences, but I had the privilege of working along side the Director of Dining and each of the restaurant managers. They showed me the ins and outs of the food industry — the challenges and the rewards. It was such a pleasure to learn more than what my job entailed, and I was able to grow the position beyond a typical 9-5 desk job. I was eventually recognized by the overall campus Director as someone who wanted more in my day-to-day routine, and took on the role of being a “champion” for the online programs that were going to be introduced to the community. I got to run classes teaching residents and staff alike how to use the new online resources, both on the front end and back end of the systems.
After a 1.5 years in that role, I had grown beyond the scope of Administrative Assistant and decided to pursue a Supervisor role in the Continuing Care facility. I went from managing myself to managing the dining team. The challenges were tougher though as most residents were in the end of life stages, so the service quality needed to be more focused therapeutic needs that kept residents as comfortable and well-fed as possible. Unfortunately, the COVID outbreak hit a few months after I became Supervisor, and so the job I was training to learn became something very different from the norm. Work conditions became extremely hard for all staff and residents alike, but the beauty I try to take away from the experience was the care I saw from the RNs, CNAs, and HHAs. After about 6 months as Dining Supervisor, I was inspired by the healthcare workers and took a role in the Home Health department to help support their needs.
I was in the Home Health department for a year before I decided to pursue different opportunities. Though I enjoyed the work, after a year dealing with COVID I wanted to find something beyond senior living. That’s when I found Beyond the Brand Media. Josh and the team have an amazing vibe, and are incredibly hard working. I love the environment they create, and the fact that I can learn so much from them.
I’m a pretty laid back person who likes to relax and take things easy.
If I’m not at work I’m probably home with my two cats – Whiskey and Echo. They follow me around as I wander around my apartment, keeping myself busy knitting, watching TV, or cooking some halfway decent meal (I’m not the best cook).
My favorite thing to do is go to the movies. I love catching the latest release, getting some fresh popcorn and a drink at the bar, settling in to the big red seats and being immersed by the surround sound. Being at the theater is vastly superior to being at home.
Sometimes I’ll find myself walking around downtown, supporting the small businesses and taking in the bustling atmosphere. Other times, I might choose to go find a trail and enjoy some peace and quiet.