Q. What is your role at HLG?
I am an Associate Director at HLG, which means I play a dual role. For starters, it gives me the opportunity to help clients think through their core communications challenges and identify opportunities where their organization can contribute to the public affairs debate. At the same time, I also generate content for clients, which can include everything from developing high-visibility reports and presentations to drafting messaging materials and speeches for ongoing advocacy initiatives. That being said, I see myself mostly as an extension of the engagement manager – working closely with them to generate new ideas for client accounts as well as making sure that ongoing assignments don’t get overlooked.
Q. What does a typical work day look like for you?
Our work is diverse. One day I may be attending a corporate client’s conference where we’ve helped script the speakers and run of show. The next may be spent in meetings with a nonprofit client, discussing a new advocacy report we’re planning to publish. When I’m not meeting with clients though, I can typically be found in the office digging into some research for a project or typing away on an upcoming presentation or messaging assignment. We’re a collaborative group, so I find some of the most rewarding parts of the day are spent talking through client issues with colleagues. Somewhere in there, I find time for coffee, news headlines, and office banter.
Q. What excites you most about the work you do at HLG?
Our work revolves around helping clients share their organization’s or industry’s perspective on the issues that matter most to them, whether that’s discussing the future of work, launching a new pharmaceutical drug, or announcing an advocacy initiative. It’s really exciting to see a project you’ve been working on from the start finally unveiled, whether it’s a thought leadership campaign, organizational narrative, or white paper. It’s always gratifying to see our work reflected in the public discourse.
Q. What sets HLG apart from other firms?
Two things come to mind. First, I appreciate the emphasis the firm’s leadership places on training younger staffers and helping them grow. Numerous mentors at HLG have made time to offer me advice and feedback, and it really has made all the difference. Thanks to their guidance, I’ve gained confidence and started to find my professional voice. The management at HLG wants to see you succeed because when you succeed, so does the firm.
When it comes to clients, our goal is to help organizations solve problems and find ways to help them grow their businesses, share their ideas, and raise their profile in both the private and public sector. But success isn’t possible in a vacuum. That’s why the consultants here place so much of an emphasis on building long-term rapport with clients. We see our work with clients as a partnership and an opportunity to build off one another’s ideas. By building long-term partnerships with clients, we’re able to better understand the issues they’re facing, serve as better advisors and thought partners, and help clients better meet their long-term goals.
Q. How has your time at HLG helped you develop as an individual?
If you asked me five years ago what I planned to do with my career, I probably would have mumbled something vague about planning to go to law school. Luckily, that’s not how life panned out. Over time, the work at HLG broadened my perspective and gave me the opportunity to work with clients that have introduced me to business and policy issues I previously knew nothing about and otherwise would have left unexplored. Who would have thought I would ever develop an interest in transportation policy? Or population aging?
The work here has introduced me to some of the most complex societal issues of our time, and shown me how I might contribute.