Midland, Mich. – AVI-SPL is proud to employ many of the best and brightest people in our industry. In this new series, we’ll go behind the scenes to show you what it’s like to be part of the AVI-SPL family.
Alicia McInerney joined the AVI-SPL team at The Dow Chemical Company as a web technician when she was only 19. Balancing a full-time work and school schedule as a junior at Central Michigan University would be a daunting task for most, but Alicia excelled in both the classroom and workplace.
After only eight months with AVI-SPL, we asked Alicia to take on a temporary role as service manager. “It was no easy task and I definitely had moments of severe trial – I was learning to really manage people for the first time out of a classroom, but instead of classmates they were coworkers who were older and held degrees,” said Alicia. “Although that posed quite a challenge, I was at a tremendous advantage still being a student at CMU. During that time period, I started looking at management classes I could take to learn how to be a better manager,” she added.
Alicia’s strong work ethic allowed her to transition to several different new roles over the next year. “With each new job, I looked for opportunities to support my hands-on learning with in-classroom learning,” she said. “By my second to last semester I was taking on a 21-credit hour schedule – this was made possible by the ability to learn at a faster pace. I could absorb the information I was getting from professors and apply it at the office the next day. I could also discuss topics in class with real-life experience. Thanks to that combination, I had grown into a much more confident and efficient manager and employee.”
In May 2011, management at The Dow Chemical Company, where AVI-SPL team members support their global operations via audio visual technology management, web content and design development, and video production, asked Alicia to transfer into the role of digital asset manager for Dow’s newly formed Olympic Operations division. Dow is one of 11 TOP sponsors of the Olympic Games, this puts them at the same level as McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Visa, and other large brands. “My new role challenged me to manage one of the highest priority initiatives for Dow, as well as an additional responsibility of being the liaison between Dow and the International Olympic Committee for ensuring approval of all Dow-Olympic activations.”
Here’s the rest of the story, in Alicia’s own words: “With one semester to go, this unique college lifestyle was about to get even more exciting. In August of 2011 I was asked to serve a 3-month assignment on-site at our European headquarters in Horgen, Switzerland. The role was to on-board a new agency partner and evaluate the current digital operations. Both AVI-SPL and CMU were quick to make the opportunity of this role and graduating a success. Once again with only 2 weeks to go before classes started, together with the help of the Communications department, I was able to make the necessary adjustments to my schedule. I took off for Switzerland on Sept. 1, 2011. I then proceeded to serve my role in Europe, and be an on-campus 18-credit hour student, virtually, back at CMU in Mt. Pleasant. Combining online courses and flexible professors I completed all course requirements through a variety of available technology. In instances I was using a webcam to give a presentation and in others I leveraged teleconferencing equipment to record interactions. While I was in Switzerland I also had the opportunity to lead meetings at the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee as well as travel to the site of the London 2012 Olympic Games and attend a conference on social media with representatives from the 10 other TOP sponsors. The day before Thanksgiving I returned from Switzerland and two weeks later I walked on the floor of Rose arena in a cap and gown to receive my diploma. It was far from easy and nothing close to average, but it was definitely more than I ever imagined to have accomplished by the close of my undergraduate life. Thank you to CMU and AVI-SPL for making that a possibility.”
Alicia is also active in the community and earned the title of Miss Bay County in 2011. Her platform is titled “Ignite the Passion Within,” which she describes as “a movement to encourage children, teens and young adults to find their passion and use it to build a better life. ” She’ll be competing to earn the title of Miss Michigan (as part of the Miss America Organization) in June. Best of luck, Alicia! We are proud of you!