Normally I like to keep my blog posts fairly professional, but this time my personal and professional lives have overlapped a bit, so I have decided to share.
This past Sunday morning, one of my first real bosses, Dana Buerkett, died tragically, along with her husband and daughter, in a small plane crash just outside my college town, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. To read more about the accident, and the family impacted, click here.
I still remember, as a college junior, sending out cover letters and resumes to area advertising agencies, hoping to get an internship the summer before I graduated. Buerkett Marketing Consultants was one of the agencies who responded, and I was so excited to get a call from Dana saying that I could work for her that summer (and she was going to pay me too! 🙂
As an intern, I didn’t just get to make coffee, send faxes (we did that back then) and take notes during meetings. Dana gave me a lot of responsibility, and allowed me to learn the ropes in the advertising world. Back in 1997, the Internet world was fairly new. I remember updating Amazon bestsellers in HTML on a news magazine website, and helping brainstorm for advertising headlines and taglines. I participated in event management and online advertising sales. I even got to assist in judging for a student advertising competition.
Dana helped me to learn a lot about running an advertising agency, as well as how to treat clients and partners. It made me excited to enter my chosen field, and although she didn’t have a job for me out of college, we kept in touch over the years, and I had recently written a recommendation for her on LinkedIn. I will always appreciate her guidance and willingness to give a new advertising grad a great start. My prayers go out to Dana’s daughter, as well as her other family and friends during this sad time.
Upon reflection of this horrific event, I have been reminded of the precious value of each day, and hope that I can always make the most of every moment — both as a marketing professional and as a wife, mother, sister, daughter and person. My wish is that you, too, will value each day and live it as if it’s your last.