Meet Andrea Franz - Public Relations Account Manager
Meet Andrea Franz, Account Manager at Crossroads in Kansas City. Andrea is one of the hardest working and positive people I have ever met. Full disclosure, she's been my best friend for 10 years, so I'm a little biased. Ask anyone else though, and they will say the same thing. Andrea's career in public relations began with college internships and since then she has built an exciting career at Crossroads. If there's anything you take away from this interview, I hope it's that you take her advice: make the most of every opportunity. What would your college self be most surprised about you today? Communications always seemed like a path I would want to pursue. When I chose a career in public relations, I never realized how much it would take me out of my comfort zone. My job really forces me to be outgoing and be able to talk to anyone. My college self would probably be surprised that I have become such an extrovert.
What do you do day to day as an account manager? The exciting thing about the PR industry is that no two days are the same. Some are spent in the office working on strategic plans while others are on the road attending events. Each project requires a different skill-set so this helps challenge me every day.
Kansas City has recently been getting a lot of attention, especially as a great place for young professionals. How has being in Kansas City benefitted you? I’ve spent most of my life in Kansas City and growing up here, I never really knew all that the city had to offer. It’s great to see Kansas City gaining such exposure because it really is a wonderful city. Since graduating and starting my career here, I’ve had the opportunity to explore and discover all that this city has to offer and it has made my hometown even more special to me.
Before this position, you had experienced working in different office environments. What advice would you give to someone who is looking for the right fit? You spend the majority of your day at your workplace so it’s important that you enjoy it. This includes what you do day-to-day as well as the environment where you work. Throughout the interview process, evaluate the job, the people and the actual space. Ask yourself if you can see envision driving to work every morning and going out to lunch with your colleagues. This will be a good gut test to make sure it’s the best fit for you.
When work gets overwhelming, how do you bring sanity to your day? I have learned in the three years since I’ve graduated from college, that work life balance is indeed a struggle. Find what helps center you and try to do that as often as possible. For me, that’s taking time to work out even if I have to wake up early. It always helps me clear my mind and I approach my work in a more positive, and energized manner.
How do you manage a work life balance? Work life balance is like an elusive creature that I think everyone struggles with. It can be particularly difficult for 20 somethings who are trying to find themselves in their work and in their life. Prioritization is the biggest thing. Make time for people who you love and who make your day better when you see them. Take an hour for yourself every day where you do whatever you want. Your brain, heart and body will thank you tremendously.
You recently got engaged, Congratulations! What has surprised you the most about the wedding planning process now that you’re actually doing it? When I got engaged, I realized that there are an incredible amount of details to consider from seating charts to photography. I am the first out of my siblings to get engaged so it’s been a discovery phase for all of us. The biggest thing I have tasked myself with is taking the planning process one day at a time to eliminate stress. It’s such an exciting time and I just want to enjoy every minute of it.
Office dos and don’ts Do: -Make your voice heard; no one will hear your amazing ideas unless you say them out loud -Be a leader: It doesn’t matter how old you are. Help a new colleague or take an intern under your wing. You have value to add and to share with others. -Be the go to person: Accept new challenges even if they intimidate you. With time, your peers and supervisors will see you as a person they can depend on.
Don’t: -Be so distracted: We live in an age where our faces are in our phones 24/7. Challenge yourself to be present in the moment, learning from your co-workers and your environment. You never know what kind of creativity will emerge. -Be a Negative Nancy: Sometimes it’s easy to identify all of the ways a project won’t succeed. Try your hardest to find the positive in every situation. -Accept the status quo: This is your life and you can create whatever path you choose. If that means taking the road less traveled, do it. No one will notice if you take the typical path but everyone will if you go outside the lines.
Life dos and don’ts Do: -Make the most of every opportunity. -If you don’t love your life and what you’re doing: Change it. At the end of the day, you are the purveyor of your own destiny. Take the necessary steps to make your life absolutely wonderful. -Surround yourself with great people who push you to be better, kinder and laugh your way through life.
Don’t: -Be so hard on yourself. Making mistakes is part of growing up. -Live in the past. What’s done is done, so spend your time making your current moment and all the moments to come that much better. -Take yourself too seriously. This is a big one! Ask yourself if this situation that you’re freaking out over will impact you in 10 years. If not, in the immortal words of Taylor Swift, SHAKE IT OFF.