Onboarding Remote New Hires: SHIFT Account Coordinator Roundtable

By Darren Weiss, Account Director

For graduates of the classes 2020 and 2021, the path into the workforce has been anything but normal. The traditional campus-to-office journey for these new hires has made a pit stop at home, where remote work (and onboarding) has been status quo for most of the nation’s office workers since March 2020.

SHIFT is no exception. We’ve been fortunate to weather the storm and continue hiring amazing recent grads across the country. 

We recently spoke with four recent grads and newly hired Account Coordinators across SHIFT’s three offices (in San Francisco, Boston and New York City) about what led them to SHIFT, their experiences thus far and how they manage to stay connected to colleagues in a remote environment amidst the pandemic. 

(FYI, SHIFT is currently hiring at all levels! We don’t care where you come from or what you studied. If you want to help us do great work — and have a good time while you do — we want to hear from you. For a full list of current openings, click here.)

What drew you to SHIFT?

Jade Childs (Boston): I liked that there is a lot of opportunity for growth and that people said they enjoyed working here.

Hannah Klaasen (SF): As a recent college graduate, what drew me to SHIFT was the opportunity to work with a wide variety of clients in industries including B2B, consumer, health, and technology. The idea of expanding my knowledge base was what originally piqued my interest in becoming a full-time SHIFTer!

Megan Fredette (Boston): What initially drew me to SHIFT were the incredible campaigns SHIFT has launched. Once I saw the virtual drag happy hour at Foxwoods Resort Casino and the McDonald’s 40th anniversary of the Happy Meal, I was sold and knew I wanted to be a part of a company creating such exciting work. 

Anna Wisniewski (New York): When looking for my first full-time job, growth was a key factor for me. I knew from the moment I interviewed with the team that SHIFT was the perfect opportunity for me to jump into PR and grow immensely as a professional. I was excited to be an integral part of the team and get my hands dirty right away. Over the past few months, I have seen so much improvement in my skills and confidence, only confirming that SHIFT is exactly where I’m meant to be.

What’s one standout thing you’ve learned so far at SHIFT? 

JC: How quickly people are willing to help each other. Everyone is very supportive.

HK: Throughout my time at SHIFT, the team has taught me countless tips and tricks on how to manage multiple accounts at once. With so many moving pieces corresponding to each account, learning how to manage my time is crucial when working in an agency. A few of these tricks include: blocking out my calendar when a media opportunity is scheduled to be posted, delegating the first hour of my day to media monitoring and having a notebook handy to jot down essential action items. 

MF: Getting to see how a major campaign pans out from start to finish, and the innovation and creativity behind it has been such an exciting process. 

AW: In the less than three months I have been here, I am amazed at how much knowledge my team has been able to share with me. I think most importantly, I have learned how to better manage my time and tasks each day. Being on four client teams was at first a lot to handle. With the help of my team, I have such a better grasp on how to prioritize my day and know my limit when it comes to taking on tasks. This has helped maximize my productivity and produce the best work possible.

How would you describe SHIFT culture?

JC: The culture is very people-oriented. The thing that stood out when I was considering SHIFT was how much people enjoyed working here. When I asked others why they were still with the agency, the response was always, “Because I love the people I work with.”

HK: I would describe the SHIFT culture as warm, welcoming and supportive. Beginning on my first day, I felt welcomed by everybody on the team, and not just SHIFTers from the west coast office! As a recent college graduate, it was important for me to find a position that would allow me to work while continuing to learn the ropes of the public relations field. Through hands-on work with my fellow employees, I am thrilled to share that my position at SHIFT is just that! Even though we are not physically near each other at this moment, I know that my team members are a quick Teams message away!

MF: The culture at SHIFT is a perfect mix of collaboration, creativity, and drive all while having fun in an agency that truly values their employees. It makes coming to work each day a true pleasure.  

AW: The culture at SHIFT is so incredibly welcoming, accepting and encouraging. I have felt empowered by everyone I work with and my thoughts and opinions are always appreciated and valued. As a new employee, it can be intimidating to speak up and sometimes feels like your thoughts may not be important, but at SHIFT it is quite the opposite.

How have you gotten to know your teams on a personal level in a remote setting? 

JC: I have regular check-ins with some of my team members and we’ve had happy hours and other opportunities to socialize.

HK: Setting up one-on-one calls with my fellow team members was crucial in order to get to know everybody on a personal level in this remote setting. Having time to engage with each team member allowed me to deepen my relationships while allowing myself to feel comfortable reaching out if I ran into a question. 

MF: My team has gone above and beyond to make me feel truly a part of the team.. my first week they set up a game of “Megan Trivia” and held an entire meeting just to get to know me! Now almost two months in that same dedication to making each team member feel valued has never wavered. 

AW: From the start, my team has been so great about being in constant communication with eachother. We don’t just email back and forth every once in a while. We hop on calls throughout the day, not just to check in on the status of what we are working on but also to check in on each other, ask how our days are going, talk about plans for the weekend, and most importantly, discuss what we are having for lunch that day. This constant and open communication has made it so easy to create meaningful relationships with not only my team but also other SHIFTers, which was something I thought may not be possible in a remote work world.

Sum up SHIFT in one word… 

JC: Connected

HK: Adaptive 

MF: Passion. Each and every SHIFTer has a genuine passion for what they do and for the agency itself, and it is reflected in the level of work that is generated. Any assignment, no matter the scale, is created with the utmost creativity, care and innovative thinking. The love we all have for what we do is part of what makes SHIFT so special.   

AW: Welcoming

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