When working with higher education institutions, it’s essential to have dedicated people who can come together to effectively support schools. At ScholarNet, we’re lucky enough to have a delightful dynamic duo on our marketing team in Megan Gould and Sam Larson.
Megan is ScholarNet’s marketing specialist, managing all projects from website articles, social media, conference experience, lead generation, and more.
Sam is our marketing manager and he develops strategic marketing plans for ScholarNet and oversees the implementation and execution of the efforts of those plans.
Megan and Sam were kind enough to answer some questions about their work, passions, and how they mesh in the workplace.
Why did you pursue a career in marketing?
Megan – I am naturally a very organized person, I was voted most organized of my high school class in 2013, but I am also data-driven and creative. Marketing allows those skills to combine. I also work well in a team setting and enjoy how each day/week/month/year is different from the next.
Sam – It involves two of my favorite things: people and constantly learning. I’m always hungry to learn something new, dive to the deepest depths of a topic, and discover what makes people tick.
What makes you passionate about your work with ScholarNet?
M – ScholarNet provides a solution that helps our clients by making their jobs easier. Their jobs are pertinent to helping students achieve their educational dreams and I personally benefited from our clients’ work while in college!
S – Helping people who work in education. My wife is a teacher so I have a soft spot for anyone involved with education.
What does a typical day at work look like for you?
M – A typical day includes a lot of collaboration, meetings, calls, coffee, and many, many emails. I make sure all the components of a marketing project are moving and that my team has all the information they could possibly need to get their work done. Sam and I talk multiple times throughout a day to make sure we are on the same page and prioritizing the correct items to meet our clients’ needs.
S – There are no typical days, which I like. Each day can be filled with future planning, brainstorming with the creative team, working with our sales team, assisting our client services team, and much more. The variety of work is another reason I was drawn to a career in marketing.
What is something you’ve learned from working with higher ed institutions?
M – Higher ed institutions are ever-evolving and being agile is very important in this world. Instead of letting the changes/regulations be stressors, it helps to remember the end-goal that is helping students achieve their educational dreams – which is always rewarding.
S – How closely knit the financial aid community is. The comradery between industry professionals is wonderful.
What is the best way to communicate with students, families, and educators?
M – Remembering to be empathetic always helps us understand what we would need if we were in their shoes. It also helps to have real conversations with them and make sure our work actually provides a real solution to a real problem.
S – The vehicle varies from person to person (email, text, mail, etc.) but the messaging should always be open and honest. Higher education and its associated costs can be complex and stressful. The easier and more straightforward we can make it for everyone involved, the better.
How do you help each other succeed?
M – We help each other succeed by having open communication about what is and is not working, and by making sure we are on the same page in regard to projects. We also make sure we are forward-thinking and ready to change to help each other at a moment’s notice. We also do a good job of being able to assist the other if someone has to leave early or take a day off here and there. We realize that real life also happens and are open with each other of what is going on outside of work as well!
S – I feel like Megan and I have settled into our roles pretty well and have divided up the work along a line that makes sense. I try to stay higher level, focused on the big picture and Megan makes sure projects are moving along and the day-to-day work is getting done. I know that once something gets in her court I can trust her to see the job through.
Explain how your personalities complement each other.
M – I think our personalities really do complement each other. Sam is very straightforward and hands-off when it comes to me being able to do my job but is also ready to help at a moment’s notice and answer and re-answer any questions I have. We are both pretty sarcastic and have dry senses of humor so we hit it off as coworkers from day one.
S – I think so. I feel we have a great working relationship and can separate work from our friendship. We are both hard-working, want to do good work, and are rather blunt when it comes to our thoughts. All of those things combined help us get projects done at a high quality and in time.
What do you do for fun when you’re off the clock?
M – I am a competitive powerlifter and spend a lot of my free time prepping for my meets. If I am not doing that I am probably taking my dog on a walk, on a ski trip in the winter, or out at the lake in the summer!
S – Spend a lot of time with my wife Kate and two kids (Henry – 9 and Mae – 4). I’m a lover of live music and have been playing in bands for 20 years. And I’m an avid outdoorsman, spending a lot of time hunting and fishing.