This month, I got to do one of my favorite things at work: offer a promotion to a hard-working and super-bright employee. Congratulations to Sarah Schmidt, who started as a fellow (our immersive six-month program for recent college graduates ) and has been promoted three times and is now an account executive. Schmidt, as we call her, has had a particularly fast growth trajectory. My view has always been: if someone is ready for the next job, there is no reason to wait.
Schmidt has a great growth story — in a company full of them.
Meredith Pierce started at The Wilbert Group as a PR intern. Now she is our vice president of digital. I like Meredith’s story because it demonstrates two things about our firm. One, people are able to grow into bigger roles. Two, people are able to discover things they are passionate about (in Meredith’s case, social media) and lean into those things.
And that is just the beginning. Adam Schick started as an account executive and now is a senior account executive and the lead of Wilbert: Purpose, which is all about helping companies tell stories about how they are giving back to their communities. Addy Canavan started as an assistant account executive and was promoted within a few months because she was ready to lead accounts. Haley Haas joined Wilbert as an assistant account executive when we acquired SPR Atlanta, and now she is an account supervisor. Aliya Seymour started as a fellow and now is an account executive. Jameson Weiss started as a digital manager and was just promoted to senior digital manager, a few months shy of his first anniversary. Caroline Moore started as an assistant account executive and is now a vice president. She also leads our fellowship program. Liana Moran started as an intern and is now a senior vice president, overseeing more things at Wilbert than I can count.
There are more examples, but you get the point. In the last 12 months, 15 team members have been promoted. In the last two years, 32 have been promoted.
This focus on “growth paths” for everyone at Wilbert is very important and a key part of our company DNA. From a business standpoint, it allows us to retain great employees. We have plenty of clients who fired their last PR firms because of constant turnover. We are also able to teach “the Wilbert way” to team members who join us right out of college, which is easier sometimes than retraining people coming from other firms.
And on a personal level, it is important to me because I have found a deepening purpose in helping people launch their careers, grow their skills and find their passions. Maybe because I am a mother — and at this point I am old enough to be most of the team’s mother — I want to help young adults get the confidence that comes from taking on hard assignments and then succeeding, from stretching, from leaning into that slightly scary feeling that comes with growth. Everyone grows at different rates and in different directions, and that is okay. The important thing is that we as an organization are staying focused on each employee and helping them find paths forward within The Wilbert Group.