This month, we’re featuring Shandi Michno, an Associate Account Director on our Client Services team here at Acceleration Partners. In addition to overseeing complex affiliate marketing programs for global clients, Shandi’s also a wife, busy mom, seasoned multi-tasker and one of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet.
What’s your typical response when someone asks what you’ve been up to recently?
Lavish vacations and days upon days of sleeping in…said no mom ever! A typical weekend consists of dodging Legos, cleaning spilled milk and watching my 100th episode of Paw Patrol. Let’s talk about that lavish vacation…
How did you come across Acceleration Partners four years ago?
An old colleague and friend was going through the interview process and sent me the link to apply. As they say, the rest is history! I was offered the position while leaving the Hudson line out of New York City and eagerly accepted. That next month I found out I was pregnant with my first. And to think, I had just mapped out my plan to secure the best train seat for the next 9 months!
What attracted you to wanting to work at Acceleration Partners?
To be honest, I was a bit skeptical at first. I questioned whether a legitimate work-from-home job with competitive benefits existed. I am so glad I decided to jump in head first! AP was a step ahead in the digital marketing industry and offered everything I had been looking for.
Developing client strategies AND working from the comfort of home? Sign me up! I have saved a ton of money in commuting, but my budget for dry shampoo has definitely increased.
What are some things you enjoy most about working at AP?
I love the balance it offers. In fact, I’m working from a quaint little coffee shop sipping an almond latte as we speak! Pre-kids (hard to imagine a time when those sleeping-in days noted above were the norm), I would often stress about my desire to be a career-driven woman and the always-put-together “Pinterest mom.” The opportunity with AP came at a time when I was routinely questioning how I would fulfill the two sides I think most women hold within themselves…and with fist-pumping success! Okay, that’s a bit dramatic, but you get the picture.
AP’s culture fosters a work-life balance that gives employees the control to manage their time. Don’t get me wrong, my days are often filled with impatient kids, endless emails and stress over what to make (order) for dinner. The difference is, I am no longer held to a 9-5 clock. It’s about being all-in while you’re working and disconnecting when you’re not. The is a philosophy I find pretty darn cool.
That, and I have a reason to score new yoga pants. You can often hear me telling my husband, “Just ordering some more work clothes.”
Best work-life integration memory?
This one is easy! My son was about to take his first steps and, since I’d recently joined the work-from-home world, I knew the chances were high that I’d be there when this milestone happened. And I was.
One day between client calls and prioritizing a strategy presentation, I heard his nanny say, “He is going to do it!” Knowing this was THE moment, I ran down the stairs and joined in on the encouragement (“You got this buddy, let’s see you walk!”). Trusting his own balance and the crazy lady with outreached arms (me), he took his first steps across the living room.
I couldn’t believe it! We were jumping up and down and asking for a repeat performance as I held up my cell phone ready to capture the “first” steps. Apparently 10-month olds don’t realize the Instagram gold these moments present. No regrets! I was there to capture the moment, and his pure joy during all of it.
If this were even a year prior, the chance to witness my son taking his first steps would have dropped significantly. I worked an hour away and didn’t get home until the sun was setting. With AP’s remote culture, I was able to be present in this moment, while still giving my work the attention and dedication required to deliver high-quality results.
What I love even more is that, at AP, my story is not unique. There are a LOT of working parents working in our company and I’ve had similar conversations with many of them.
What advice would you give to someone who, like you were, is looking for better integration between their work life and their personal life?
Set goals and make it happen. And don’t forget to smile. It might take hard work and sacrifice to get what you want, but a grateful heart and positive disposition will take you far. Balance and success could be the next stop on your journey. Check out the positions we’re hiring for. If it isn’t a fit for you, maybe you know someone that would be perfect. Be sure to mention that lounge pants and slippers are pretty common work attire among most AP employees!
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