Ashleigh Steelhammer, a 2014 Louisiana Tech graduate, is the Marketing Director for a large insurance and financial company called Horace Mann. One of Ashleigh’s favorite quotes is “Always dress for the job you want, not the job you have”. This new job is fairly new to her, but she has had previous marketing positions working with University of Texas Athletic Departments and McNeese State University. During the search of a new job, she pushed herself to new limits and did not stop until it was the “Director” position. This was a process that took communication between potential employers that eventually led her to .

Ashleigh Steelhammer

Communication in Marketing

Communication is very important in the Marketing field. It has several different forms with different levels of people, such as executives and even graphic designers. Communication is integrated into every aspect of marketing because marketers work is published into the community and whether the marketing job was effective or not is subjective among its viewers. Ashleigh said this about her current job, “Communication will make or break my role. I have to be in constant communication with my boss (who is the sales agent). If he plans meetings or workshops, it is up to us to relay that back and forth to each other. If I have new ideas or strategies we want to implement, I have to let him know the new direction we are going or what changes I have made to a presentation. Not only is communication key between Keith and myself, but also with our clients and target market.”

Freedom in Marketing

A job in Marketing has the freedom to let you have a voice and it allows you to see your ideas come into light. Personally, that is why I want to go into this field and why Ashleigh has been in it for five years. It is one where your communication must be excellent so your customer service is not altered by the decision of not following through with your task. Horrace Mann teaches its employees that customer service is above anything and that is including promptness with communication and successful return rates with potential customers. Since Ashleigh is new to this job and never worked in the insurance or financial field, she has been working overtime so she can fulfill the expectations of her bosses and customers.

Effects of Poor Communication

Ashleigh talked about if there is poor communication within her office then it causes pressure and frustration between employees. For example, she was the project manager at Branded Company while working for her other employers. In this job, she oversaw all the graphic designers and one of the designers did not care to meet her deadline on time. Since she was first in the project line, it set everyone behind her starting later than they needed to meet their deadline. Even when asked several times, she never communicated informing them about her projected finish date. Eventually her bad communication and lack of punctuality, led her to be let go from the company.

Successful Communication

In her job, she both receives and gives tasks that either she needs to complete or her marketing team needs to get done. Her favorite boss thus far was the boss who was not a micro-manager, but one who communicated about the deadlines and trusted her to complete them. She said, “It is crazy how far good communication can go because it gives trust to my bosses and helps me put my trust in my team because I know they will get the job done because I communicated the task clearly.”

Final Advice

One thing Ashleigh wishes her mentors and professors would have communicated more evidently was the subject of internships and job experiences. She never knew how much they meant to potential employers that some form of experience is important to them. Her advice was to update your resume now and start the job hunt because a job will not just come to you.

Kelsey Wildes, guest blogger



The Importance of Communication in a Changing World


Logan Lewis is currently the Director of Sales for the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana. He also is a Louisiana Tech graduate with a degree in Speech Communication. Before he transferred to Tech, he attended Anderson College in South Carolina to pursue a music major. He says he transferred after he realized opera and music teaching wasn’t for him. Once at Louisiana Tech, he says he chose Speech Communication because of his strengths in public speaking and speech writing.

Independence Bowl

Learning Communication Skills Early

Logan’s first job out of college was working for a family owned company called Pinch Flatbed, where he was an Account Executive. He landed the job two months after graduating from Tech and moved to Houston to start his professional career. He spent two years at the company, working in Houston and southern Louisiana. On the job, he said he managed three day drivers and three night drivers on a regular work day. He also said he spent a good amount of time cultivating business relationships in southern Louisiana in cities such as Lafayette, Morgan City, and Houma. Even at his first job, Logan learned some key business and communication skills that he could use for the rest of his career.

Communication on the Job

At Logan’s current job in Shreveport, there are many different communication methods that are used with various different people. When asked what was the most common type of communication on the job, he said “Email and face to face. I text a lot too.” He also has a lot of writing responsibilities on the job as well. Things such as sales plans, marketing plans, sponsor proposals, and foundation membership formal letters and correspondence. It is obvious that communication is an important part of his job and that he uses it in many different forms. He also has some unique ways of communicating on the job externally and internally. They use an app called WhatsApp to communicate to other members of the company and just started using snapchat to communicate to their customers and potential customers. These new methods of communicating have changed how he does his job day in and day out. He says they are spending much more on digital advertising, whether it is pushing out ads on Facebook and Instagram or posting on twitter of players and coaches that have recently played in their stadium. Social media is a huge piece of what he does now.

Communication Struggles on the Job

When asked what the hardest part about his job was, he said “Externally, that would be fighting criticism. Internally, it would be fighting for change.”. To Logan, Shreveport-Bossier city can be a negative place at times and the bowl not having its story told properly really makes his job more difficult. The main issue is that the people who are in charge of him, whom is the executive committee, board, and extended leaders, are all business leaders around the community who volunteer their time. Unfortunately for Logan, he is constantly trying to keep up with the times and says that the people he works with have been doing the same thing since they started working there and are not always keen on keeping up with the changing world around them.


Final Thoughts

After my interview, I really learned a lot of interesting career and life advice that could apply to just about anyone. The point he made that stood out to me the most was his viewpoint on how technology changed his job. He said, “It has certainly taken away off-time. No longer do we get the luxury of leaving work at your desk at 5 pm on Friday, not to be thought of until Monday morning.”. This is something we could all learn from.

Bailey Laborde

The Importance of Communication as a Real Estate Agent


Lisa Potts is a licensed real estate agent in the state of Georgia who has a degree in marketing from the University of Georgia in Atlanta. Lisa works as a sales agent for new construction homes and has had her real estate license for 6 years now. When asked why she became a real estate agent in the first place her response was that she wanted to help people find their dream home and what truly fit their lifestyle, same as she would want for herself and her family.

Lisa Potts: Georgia real estate agent   

Forms of Communication

Lisa says that communication is very important as a real estate agent. She says that a portion of her day consists of sending emails to clients, talking to them on the phone, or having face to face meetings with them. Lisa’s clients are usually having a home built so it is important for Lisa to update them on the progress or on any disruptions in the building process. She often meets with her clients to walk through the construction site to see the progress on the home being built and that’s when she says it is important for a real estate agent to have the skills to talk but to also listen to their clients.

Writing Done in the Workplace

Lisa says that most of the contracts and paper work she fills out for a new home owner is done online. Her agency has a web-based program that most of the paper work is done through. When asked how often she must fill out paperwork Lisa says, “In the beginning stages, there is typically a lot of paper work because of the contracts and so forth. When we are in the process of building the house, there is not much paper work unless a mistake is made by the contractors. Then at the end of the building process there is more paper work but it is all done on a web-based contracting software we have at my agency.”

Importance of the Internet

An online presence for a real estate agent is essential in today’s market, most people wanting to buy a home turn to the internet first. Lisa must write the descriptions for the homes she wishes to sell and then post them on websites so the home can be viewed by the public or other real estate agents trying to find homes for their clients. When asked how often she interacts with fellow real estate agents Lisa replied, “about 80% of my sales come from other agents finding homes for their clients so I have to talk to them a lot.”

Attentive Listening

Listening to clients is the “most important” trait someone in sales can have. To be a successful real estate agent Lisa emphasizes that you must be able to listen to what your client wants so that you can find the home that fits their description. You must not only listen to your clients but also to the construction workers building the home, an agent acts as a liaison between the construction crew and the client.

Technical Communication is Vital

 Technical Communication is a key part of being a real estate agent, without communication they could not be successful in their career. Lisa emphasized how vital writing, listening, and speaking were for her on an everyday basis.  I am thankful Lisa talked to me about her everyday routine and the importance of communication as a realtor.

Shelby Dodson, Guest Blogger