Kaitlyn MacMillan

Communications Coordinator, CEDA

Describe a typical day

Is there such a thing? I do, however, have a number of regularly occurring projects that I manage: I create and distribute the bi-weekly employee newsletter, update the company’s external website, respond to internal design requests and monitor and post on social media. I also respond to a number of telephone calls and emails for branding and internal campaign, and communication strategy requests.

Perks of your job and things you like about your current company.

I really enjoy the diversity of my role and the complexity of the business and our clients. One moment I could be working with our Health, Safety and Environment team to develop a poster campaign to be shared company-wide and the next, I could be creating a news release or story for our external web and social media channels. I would consider my role a generalist position, which I love. I get to have my hands in everything, from creating a new onboarding process to supporting a $250,000 sponsorship. Being exposed to all types of business challenges and communication focuses really allows me to gain a variety of skills and learn more about the world of communications and marketing in the energy industry.

Proudest accomplishments both in and outside of work.

I would have to say leading two external website development projects in the span of two years has definitely been a huge accomplishment for me. I have had the opportunity to write pages of content, create graphics and provide creative direction on two external website re-development projects. You can check them both out here: www.ceda.com and www.neostreamtech.com.

Outside of work, my greatest accomplishment would be my continued drive and passion for athletics. There hasn’t been a time when I haven’t played sports – including volleyball, basketball, badminton, gymnastics and soccer. You name it, I’ve tried it. When I moved to Calgary in 2009, I didn’t know a single person in the city. It was very nerve-racking but I pushed myself to step out of my comfort zone and join different athletic teams. To forge relationships and grow as an athlete, I joined an individual’s co-ed soccer team. I am a very strong believer in athletics and the correlation between being active and professional success.

Thoughts on the future of the industry as it relates to your field.

I think that the energy industry is a challenging place to be in right now and communicators and marketers are going to see their roles evolve from the traditional job descriptions. We are known as ‘do-ers’ in most organizations and I think the majority of energy companies need more ‘do-ers’ right now. Communications professionals have the knowledge of not only software usage, writing and creative design but are also adept at providing diverse support to internal business units. As a result, I think our roles will become a lot broader moving forward, with an increased focus on supporting other business units such as contracts, business development, operations and HSE.

Current community involvement efforts.

I have recently transitioned into a new role at YWE! I was previously managing the YWE Blog but I have now transitioned into managing all YWE communications. This encompasses the blog, external website, social media and much more. The role keeps me pretty busy but when I’m not working or volunteering with YWE, I love fundraising, participating and volunteering at local charity events such as the Ronald McDonald Rock the House Run and the Southern Alberta Summer Games.

Why YWE?

My story of joining YWE is a little long winded, but to keep it short, I was looking for mentorship and career guidance. I wanted to expand my knowledge of the communications opportunities available within the energy industry, so I began to reach out to a number of talented young women through the YWE member’s directory. I took a few women out for coffee and one of them turned out to be a contributing member of the YWE operations committee. After that, I was hooked! I started volunteering by writing for the blog, attending events and the rest truly is history. I love being a part of a great network of skilled, driven and talented women who are passionate about their career and face similar challenges and questions.

What are you reading?

I am currently reading the sequel to To Kill A Mockingbird called Go Set a Watchman. The book features the character Scout Finch as an adult. A neat fact about the novel, it was initially discarded and only rediscovered when Harper Lee’s lawyer found it with the original To Kill a Mockingbird manuscript in a safety deposit box.

I am also reading Lesley-Anne Scorgie’s Well-Heeled: The Smart Girl’s Guide to Getting Rich. She was on one of the YWE panels in 2014 and I fell in love with her perspective on budgeting and financial success. If you feel like you are completely lost when it comes to financial literacy – this book is exceptional! I can honestly say it has changed the way I look at money!