Almost exactly a year ago, I tried my hand at blogging about my transition from Intern to Account Associate here at W2O Group. Despite being onboard full-time for barely a few months and meek when it came to putting pen to paper, I enjoyed the experience. I was still very wet behind the ears last February, but had had made some solid contributions to my clients and company. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to say that I am a seasoned PR veteran a year later. That said, I have gained some invaluable perspective into agency life that I thought I’d share with you.

To start, let’s briefly rewind. I got my start at W2O Group in Summer 2015 after graduating from a small, liberal arts college without a degree in Communications but rather Spanish Literature. How did a Hispanophile decide to go into Tech PR, you ask? Thankfully, W2O saw my potential in the field through referrals and the interview process, and for that I am most grateful. That leads me to my first key takeaway from my W2O Group Journey: your background isn’t what’s most important. It’s more about what you bring to the table in the present day. Every day, I work on different accounts with a variety of team members. I bet you none of them know that instead of studying how to write press releases in college, I was analyzing heroes like Don Quixote and Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz in a foreign language.

Despite not having a degree in PR, my writing background paid off. Not only did I publish a blog post right here a year ago, but I also had the opportunity to draft an award submission on behalf of a client this past Fall. The project reminded me a little bit of David vs. Goliath. Despite being a bigger guy, this time I assumed the role of David. I had never written an award submission before, and there were over 2,000 submissions. Like David, the daunting odds didn’t faze me. I owned the project from start to finish, which included review from the GM & Senior Vice President of one of America’s largest corporations. He liked it, and so did the selection committee. I have never felt prouder professionally than when I heard the news that my submission had won. My second takeaway from this journey: don’t be afraid to own projects, no matter your level of experience. Have confidence, work smart, and no objective is out of reach.

Bringing confidence and hard work to the table has helped me execute on numerous client deliverables here at W2O Group. Another example of owning and delivering has nothing to do with clients, or awards submissions. In fact, it has everything to do with pie. One of my fondest memories as a young professional has to be organizing and participating in our annual Pi Day, which occurs on 3/14, or 3.14, in celebration of the number pi. As a member of our office Culture Committee, I encouraged my colleagues to bring in homemade pie for a little friendly competition. Not only was the event one of the tastiest of 2016, it was a bonding experience for our office. I saw creative designers mingling with the finance team over slices of delicious pie. Seeing that was extremely rewarding for me, because I knew that without my initiative and participation in Culture Committee, these people might not have had that opportunity. So my last takeaway: get involved with office culture early and often, because there is no greater feeling than bringing people together so that they can laugh and eat dessert in good company

A lot has changed in the past year. I have switched projects, accounts, and teams on many occasions. Despite that fact, I come to work each morning energized knowing that I have the opportunity to contribute in a variety of ways. Whether I am organizing Culture Committee events or submitting (and winning) awards on behalf of clients, I am thrilled to be part of an organization that gives their people an opportunity not only to grow, but to shine.