The Word

about Centennial’s Corporate Communications + PR program

It’s all in the writing: Marnie Hill

Posted by jchawla on February 7, 2008

by Joe Chawla, Corporate Communications & PR ’08

For IBM’s Senior Executive Communications Consultant, Marnie Hill, writing is everything. Hill graduated from Centennial’s corporate communications program in 1984 and says it was one of the most important skills she learned. “If you don’t have the writing or editing skills you’re going to have a really tough time. You can learn everything else, but you need to have solid writing and editing.”

Hill started working with IBM while in school; 23 years later she’s still there. “The environment at IBM was a right fit for me. It fit what my goals were, the job challenged me, and it gave me opportunities.” But it hasn’t been easy. She’s overcome the hurdle of being a non-technical person working in a technical sector. “The tech industry is full of acronyms. There would be people sitting around me and they would be speaking English, yet I had no idea what they were talking about.”

Thanks to her college training, Hill has been able to translate IBM’s techno-jargon into understandable information for her readers. “That’s what the hands-on program at Centennial gives you; the ability to walk into an organization and hit the ground running.”

Marnie HillCurrently, Hill manages internal and executive communications for two vice-presidents. She prepares them for meetings with clients and staff, sets up events, and helps define corporate strategy. It’s a lot of work, but she thrives on it. “I still feel surprised and amazed every day when I walk into work that I get paid to do the job I do.”

She says her training, professionalism and self-directed, independent work ethic have earned her a spot at the corporate table. It’s an achievement she believes possible for anyone who really wants it. “You have to earn it. You need to demonstrate knowledge and professionalism, and that you should be there.” Hill offers up some advice for students and communicators to help in their career.

  1. Treat your career as a business. You are the CEO of YOU.
  2. Find yourself a good mentor.
  3. Always be professional.
  4. Be a team player.
  5. Keep your work and life in balance.

Hill also recommends communicators stay abreast of changes going on in the communications world. “Invest in yourself; know where the market is going and what the trends and skills are to keep current. The communications field is wide open and more than ever we have a chance to play an effective role.” It’s just some simple advice from a non-technical giant.

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