In our member spotlight, Julie Witecki, CPSM, chats with SMPS. Julie is senior strategy consultant for FMI Corporation. She has been in the A/E/C industries since 2005 and an SMPS member since 2007. In this spotlight, Julie shares the rewards of her career and the benefits of being an SMPS member.
How did you decide to have a career in the A/E/C industries? It came to me by chance. With a degree in secondary education, my plan was to be a teacher, but it wasn’t a match for me. After college, I took a job at a conference center hotel in the events department, where I discovered a talent for sales. I developed a working relationship with the hotel owner, who brought me onto his development team where I served as the director of sales and marketing. I worked closely with the architect and contractor on a mixed-use project that required market intelligence to inform design. Long story short, I was hired by the contractor to lead business development efforts for their Colorado division. I fell in love with all aspects of the built environment and have never looked back or contemplated working in any other industry.
How would you describe your role/job? I support my clients in creating growth strategies, leveraging my years of experience in developing markets, expanding geographies, and adding service offerings.
What’s your favorite part of the job? I’m happiest when I’m in the room with my clients, working to discover ways to grow their business. I love the “aha moments.”
What have been the rewards of your career? Some of the greatest rewards of my career have come from the growth and development of others.
What has been your most meaningful project? The most meaningful projects are the ones where I learn.
Why is membership in SMPS important to you and how has it helped you to advance your firm and your career? SMPS orients me. It’s a center point from where I can anchor relationships and build a reputation. SMPS has also been my rock of knowledge. Getting my MBA at the age of 40 was easier because of what I learned through SMPS’ Domains of Practice for Professional Services Marketing. SMPS has served as my source of truth for growing marketing and business development staff. Their publication Blueprints, for example, is the guidebook for the skills, attributes, and competencies needed to build a department of marketing professionals.
What has contributed to your success? Years ago, I discovered Angela Duckworth’s definition of grit: the power of passion and perseverance. Moving through challenging phases of my life, both personal and professional, has revealed grit to be my driving force.
What’s the best advice you’ve received regarding your career or working in A/E/C? Be curious. Ask questions.
What’s the best career advice you’ve given? Be curious. Ask questions.
What’s on your bucket list? I keep my eyes open for opportunities to enjoy life – it’s an entrepreneurial bucket.
Guilty pleasure: What can you not live without? There’s no guilt here … I can’t live without the love and support of my family and friends. I take time to nurture the love I have for them and to feel the love they have for me.