September 1, 2022
In the vibrant world of marketing and higher education, the only constant is swift and continuous change.
Nancy Patrick recently celebrated 25 years of employment at Stamats and is well-acquainted with that change. Her tenacity, wide-ranging experience, life-long thirst for learning, and a healthy dose of humor are key ingredients helping her thrive and guide co-workers and clients to success.
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Nancy to learn more about what inspires her to wake up and work hard, day after day.
I became immersed in the world of higher education early in life.
My mother was involved in higher ed, and I remember thinking how exciting it was and that I wanted to be part of it. And so — I did!
Once I got into the industry, I realized how rewarding it can be — and that kept me here.
I get to work with intelligent people who are passionate about making a difference. I am energized with stimulating conversation, day by day. The work we are entrusted to do has substance and it matters. I help people with goals to improve access and quality of education. This allows me to help shape young, eager minds.
This industry requires constant, on-going learning and adaptation. I’m invigorated by the remarkable opportunities it continues to present.
Simply that — change.
Stamats is always aware of industry changes. Over the years, we became thought leaders. We believe being nimble and flexible are key.
When I started at Stamats, we did print publications, brand work, and direct marketing. That was the medium of communication, at the time.
In the late 90s, we began dabbling in the digital space. Education was one of the first industries to jump into the world wide web, so it was natural that we also began shifting our focus into the digital space at that time. And we haven’t looked back!
It was new and beginning to make a splash in higher ed, marketing, and research. It changed the way coursework was delivered and even the definition of a “traditional student.” It is now common to return to school and shift career paths, at any point in one’s career.
Also, the cost of attendance has ballooned. This can lead people to work, save money, and go to college once they have a strong sense of what career path they want to pursue.
No matter what, higher education is still very valued and something no one can take from you.
In the early 2000s, we had annual holiday parties at the Cedar Rapids Country Club.
Employees and partners were invited. Most employees were local to Cedar Rapids, at that time. We got all dressed up, danced, enjoyed a fancy dinner.
Awards were given for sales and even some silly, spoof awards — just for fun. There were a lot of laughs, and it was a wonderful time!
Advice Given: Don’t feel intimidated to ask for help.
Our employees are very intelligent and collaborative. A differentiator is that at Stamats, transparency and willingness to help transcends titles. All levels of employees are approachable and happy to help.
Advice Received: Proofread everything!
Once I sent a reply all when I didn’t mean to. Let’s just say that was a one-and-done mistake — and a valuable lesson.
Gifts, gifts, gifts!
One Christmas, we had a coworker who wasn’t really a fan of the concept of holiday gift-giving. He went on vacation, and a group of us decided to have a bit of fun.
We gift-wrapped his entire office: computer tower, screens, mouse, front door, file cabinets, stapler, pens — everything! He had to break through a doorway of paper just to get in. Then he spent half the day unwrapping everything. Even though it didn’t change his opinion on gift-giving, I believe he appreciated our efforts.
My career focuses on perpetual, cyclical learning.
I get to help those educators who make a life-long difference to their students. The satisfaction of working with co-workers and clients to set goals, implement strategies, and see them bloom to fruition is inspiring.
Learn to teach…and teach to learn.
The advancements in our technology are accelerated, exciting, and at times — dangerous.
Twenty-five years ago, I didn’t imagine so much of this tech could happen in my lifetime. Yes, I saw it on the horizon. But instead, it’s here. Tech can be exhausting and sometimes I miss the simple life. But at the same time, it’s exhilarating. It will be interesting to find out what comes next.
[This interview has been edited and condensed.]
Stamats is a great place to work and we keep making it better. Our current opportunities offer positions in all areas of our company.
Related reading: The Positive Impact of Art in the Workplace
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