An Interview By: Samantha Dinon
Wouldn’t you agree that virtually anyone in today’s professional world would love to be an effective verbal and nonverbal communicator and have in-depth marketing expertise? Well, today I have the pleasure of introducing you to Nicole Pace, the Director of Marketing & Communications at Stokes Creative Group, Inc. She’s an extremely hardworking marketer who is always researching new trends and tips for social media, SEO, blogging and much more. She’s a self-proclaimed “public speaking nerd” and loves being in front of large audiences teaching or leading seminars and workshops on a variety of topics. I hope you enjoy this closer look at one of Stokes’ leaders.
SD: Ok Nicole, let’s get started with a little bit of background information—where are you from, where did you go to school and how did you get involved in this field?
NP: I have been a proud, lifelong resident of Ocean County, New Jersey, so I’m truly a Jersey Shore girl. I love living close to the ocean and being able to walk the boardwalk any time of year. Once I graduated high school however, I made quite a move to attend George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, more than four hours away from home. I originally majored in music because I wanted to be a world-renowned flutist, but quickly decided to go with my true talent as a strong communicator and switched majors.
I ultimately transferred and graduated with honors from Stockton College (now Stockton University) with my communications degree. Several years later, I went back to school to receive my master’s degree from Marist College (online) which allowed me to achieve my dream of being a college professor—those were the best six years of my life! I also worked in the advertising, event management, marketing and nightlife industries as well. So, basically the culmination of all my previous experience added up to a perfect fit at Stokes.
SD: Wow, that’s a great story, Nicole, and leads perfectly to my next questions. How long have you been at Stokes? What do you enjoy most about working here? Can you walk us through a typical day in your position? What has been one of the most rewarding things you’ve accomplished?
NP: November of this year (2016) will mark my two-year anniversary with the company. It has been a great opportunity for me to be a part of this team and I’ve really enjoyed the work I do, especially with the people I get to do it with. The companies we partner with and clients we work with directly on various jobs are all fantastic. I’ve made some great industry friends along the way—it has been a fun journey so far!
As for my typical day, I do a bit of everything from social media management and posts, to working on one of the many projects I’m a part of, to writing or researching ideas for the quarterly newsletter, to updating items on our website, etc. Those tasks are some of my most rewarding as I’ve worked to establish a consistent social media presence for the company, add new social channels, work on the redesigned website we launched recently and lead the public outreach efforts on exciting projects like the NJTA 14A Improvement Project in Bayonne and the Bay Head and Metuchen Bicycle & Pedestrian Plan with The RBA Group (now NV5). I’m always busy and I love that.
SD: That’s awesome to hear, Nicole! It sounds like you enjoy your job and as a recent college graduate, I can only hope that I can achieve the same level of satisfaction you’ve had as my career begins and develops over time. Do you have a few key pieces of advice you’d give to someone who wants to go into your field or perhaps students about to graduate college and go into the workforce?
NP: Absolutely! The communications and marketing fields are popular, so getting hired in them is more challenging. I used to tell my students all the time about the importance of networking. Join organizations related to the field you want to go into—that’s key! Making connections and collecting personal references is so important because you’ll get hired much easier if someone “vouches” for you as opposed to being another name in a pile of resumes. Also, you should have some volunteer experience on your resume because it looks great to future employers. Lastly, always have a professional, printed portfolio with writing samples and work you’ve done (or college projects) and make sure your LinkedIn page is updated, free from grammatical errors, and makes you look and sound your best. In fact, you can read my LinkedIn pet peeves blog on the Stokes website for more info on that. I can go on and on about this!
SD: Thanks for those great tips! Now I’ll wrap up with just a few fun, personal questions. What do you like to do in your spare time? Any hobbies? What book is on your nightstand?
NP: When I’m at home, I love spending time with my fiancé Matt and my French Bulldog, Austin. I have lots of side projects in the works including the book I’ve been writing for over a year on how to be a fun college professor. I still play flute every Sunday at church, so I didn’t abandon that hobby when I switched majors. I don’t have much time for hobbies but I do have a monthly Masterminds group I belong to where we work on personal development stuff, and soon I’ll be in full swing planning my wedding (hello, stress!), so I have a lot keeping me busy. Although I’m not much for reading, I do have a subscription to Success Magazine and absolutely recommend it to others all the time. Self-improvement is something everyone can always benefit from!
SD: Excellent! Thanks for your time, Nicole. You shared a lot of great information that I’m sure our readers and clients will enjoy reading about.
NP: My pleasure!
Feel free to get to know Nicole Pace even further by calling 609-859-8400 and see what marketing, public relations, public involvement or social media tips she recommends for your next project!