In our member spotlight, Rhonda Cardone, takes a moment out of her busy day to sit down with SMPS. Rhonda, who works at Dewberry as associate and director of marketing, New York, shares the rewards and challenges of her job and how SMPS has helped her career.
How did you decide to have a career in the A/E/C industries? Through my advertising background, I joined an engineering firm thinking it was like any other firm I had represented. As it turns out, it was very different. The A/E/C industries were unique due to technical content and nuances of clients. However, this presented several layers of interest for me from learning about our clients and the firm’s objectives to being part of projects that change people’s lives.
How would you describe your role/job? My role is multi-faceted at a strategic planning level. It includes positioning the firm for a project, understanding our primary clients, and focusing on goals of the office while integrating strategic initiatives at a corporate level. I build on the firm’s reputation and cultivate trusted client relationships.
What is your favorite part of the job? I love: The challenge, brainstorming a solution, formulating a path to accomplish short-term and long-term goals, a pursuit through strategic positioning and collaborating with team members, and creating compelling win theme messages and writing and designing an amazing winning product—not to mention the call from the client announcing the win.
What have been the challenges and rewards of your career? Hands-down, the rewards have been felt most when I have trained or mentored people who have thanked me and become strong advocates and peers. Challenges occur most when team mates don’t follow-through.
What has been your most meaningful project? Superconducting Super Collider (tunnel portion) is my most meaningful project. However, I would like to say the resilience and sustainability projects happening throughout New York City, where we are rebuilding communities after Superstorm Sandy, are very meaningful as well—things affecting our everyday life.
How has membership in SMPS helped you to advance your firm and your career? SMPS provides technical information, education, and an avenue for relationship-building among marketers in the A/E/C industries. SMPS provided this critical information and camaraderie that supported my growth. Professional colleagues have grown with me and moved into decision-making positions as well.
What has contributed to your success? Things that have contributed to success include: knowledge building, mentors, relationships, working for firms aligned with my objectives, and optimism.
What advice would you give to someone who is about to enter the marketing or business development field? Take the time to listen. Learn as much as you can. Build trust. Take the initiative. Build relationships.
What is the best advice you’ve received regarding your career or working in the A/E/C industries? Show up. Be there. Staying power says a lot about you.
Not a member yet? See seven compelling reasons to join SMPS today.