Caitlin Pigg-Thomas: Executive Administrator
What’s challenging/interesting/rewarding about my current job?
- The most challenging thing about my current job is that it is fast-paced and changes by the minute as health insurance is a very complex field. I never go in to work and do the same thing two days in a row, so it can be difficult to establish a rhythm for the day. The fluid environment is also what keeps my job interesting though. Every day, I garner fresh opportunities to expand my skill set and navigate new obstacles. I find that the ever-changing policies and procedures keep me accountable for my personal knowledge bank as I constantly must study before meetings and building presentations so that I am relaying valid information to our stakeholders.
- The most rewarding part of my job would definitely be seeing growth in the employees and helping our members when calls are escalated to me. When people call in to my place of employment, they are calling because there is a problem, or they have a question. My field also directly affects two very important parts of a person’s life – their health and their finances. Because of this, the individuals who call are normally very passionate about their issue and it gives me the opportunity to exercise my interpersonal communication skills in diffusing the situation and getting the member an answer.
How do I use various communication proficiencies in my work?
- I constantly use my communication proficiencies at work in sending written communication to staff and executives, creating reports and presentations for one of our company’s vice presidents and in speaking with our staff and our members. I am also very active in event planning and employee engagement projects which give me the opportunity to use some of my public relations skills.
What surprised me about my career?
- I was honestly just surprised that I was selected for my current position as I had no health insurance experience at all! My skills in communicating effectively across all platforms and my skills in building and presenting presentations are what won me my opportunity. Never limit yourself in what you apply for just because you do not have vast knowledge of the field. Field-specific knowledge can be learned if you have a strong foundation in communication and basic business knowledge.
Here’s my number one piece of advice for Communication undergrads:
- My number one piece of advice for Communication undergrads would be to not limit the scope of your career field to only jobs with “communication” in the title. When I was thrust into the exciting world of job hunting, I was pleasantly surprised by how well my communication degree and skill set translated across many career fields. I have worked in many different areas of business, including HR and marketing, and my communication degree and the vast knowledge I garnered in how to effectively communicate in written and spoken language has always given me an edge against others vying for the same positions. The beautiful thing is that effective communication is needed in all types of businesses and career fields, so your opportunities and possibilities are truly endless.
What should we have asked you?
- One question that I feel is important to ask is how long did it take me to find a satisfying career in the communication field? I say this because I do not want any graduates to feel like they chose the wrong field just because they do not like the first job that they land in the vast world of communication careers. I went through many different jobs and chose to make career changes many times during my first few years post-graduation. I have now been in my current position for four years and I absolutely love how the job allows me to utilize my degree in ways that I never thought possible. So, the biggest take-away from this should be that just because you don’t like your first job in the communication field does not mean that you chose the wrong major or that you will never be able to find something that you love to do where you can utilize your skill set. Hold on and keep hunting. I promise you that there is a job out there where you can use your degree and love what you do.
Class year: 2012
Previous jobs since graduation: Human Resources Manager, Marketing Specialist, PR Director