Her days start with checking email, coordinating schedules, and prepping for work projects. “Basically, I’m chasing details all the time,” she laughs. “I want to make sure I’m responding to all clients on behalf of my team. If we’re in the discovery phase of a project, we do a lot of research on the company to ensure the client feels good working with us. It helps build trust.”
Nicole is based in Dallas but travels roughly once a month to meet with clients in person. Outside of these visits, she keeps in regular contact with clients via email or Google Hangouts.
Working with so many clients, she notes that each one has unique needs, which can be challenging. “Our clients range across industries, so they can be very different from each other. Also, as a project manager, there are a lot of moving pieces I have to juggle. My goal is to ensure each client has exactly what they need to reach their specific goals.”
Nicole enjoys partnering with her clients, but also enjoys working with her team at Penrod. “The best part of my job is my team, times a thousand,” she says. The best part of her day? The daily standup with her team, naturally! “It happens first thing in the morning and we actually stand up. It allows us to be more focused.”
Not only focused, but fun. While the team discusses projects and daily tasks during the standups, Nicole likes to add a bit more flair to the meetings. “I’ll start by asking ‘Tell me about your life today.’ It makes things a bit more interesting and helps us get to know each other better.” (That’s how the team learned about one of Nicole’s favorite go-to lunch spots: Street’s Fine Chicken.)
As a project manager, Nicole is all about bringing together clients and teams. While her clients span across states and industries, Nicole and her team serve them all from the Penrod satellite office in Dallas. “Our office is a little smaller than headquarters in Milwaukee, but it’s great. We work closely in projects, solving challenges together and celebrating wins together, too.”
Nicole and the Dallas Penrod team keep in close contact with their Milwaukee counterparts by using Slack, an internal messaging tool.
“I’m always happy to chat in person or on the phone, but Slack is a great option to have. For example, when issues arise, Slack gives us an opportunity to pause, think about what needs to be done, and then deliver a well thought-out solution.”
Although several hundred miles away, the Dallas team stays in close contact with Penrod HQ in Milwaukee. “The Dallas office has a slightly different personality. Maybe it’s the warm weather we get to enjoy!” Still, she says, “We’re all one Penrod. Things like the Milwaukee Slack channel help me keep a finger on the pulse of HQ and keep us all connected.”
She explains that this helps build efficiency and trust, adding that everyone is “all in for Penrod.” It’s no surprise that self-starters thrive here. “You need to be ambitious enough to get things done when no one is looking,” she says.
Of course, not only does the team work hard, they play hard too. Penrod offers a variety of perks to keep employees engaged, but Nicole’s favorite is game night. “The Dallas office gets together for board game nights about once a month. It’s something we plan on our own and it’s a lot of fun.”
When asked to describe Penrod in a word, Nicole doesn’t hesitate: “Dynamic. It’s not for everyone, but if you’re self-starter, ready to work hard for your clients, and want to work with an ambitious, fun team, Penrod’s the place!”