What in the world is AMA Tampa Bay? A while ago, I had no idea what it was. I vaguely remember reading an article in which the author said that joining a professional organization would benefit me after graduate school. “Leave it to the overachievers,” I’d say. Between pursuing a career, graduate school, household chores, being a mom, and finding time to go to the gym, being a member of ANYTHING seemed horrendous. Then, in moments of epiphany, ask myself if I want to be average. I looked around my office and saw people with awards. I saw chairmen, leaders, etc. I saw classmates regularly update their LinkedIn profiles with new positions and memberships. I knew I would never be a cut above the rest unless I worked hard for it and took advantage of every possible professional development opportunity.
Several questions ran through my head: How do I boost my resume? How do I expand my skillset? How can I learn from professionals who can mentor a rookie like me and help me grow in the marketing field? Where can I find them? All these thoughts, combined with hours of Google search culminated in me landing on the AMA website. Little did I know then that AMA Tampa Bay was the answer to a lot of these questions. I decided to join and found out soon enough. Of course, joining AMA in name alone wasn’t enough, so I decided to join as a volunteer. This is when things started to fall into place for me.
I got on the phone with Glenn Zimmerman and listened to his long list of ideas and his plan to transform AMA Tampa Bay into a more valuable organization for its members. He told me about the communications team, its long-term goals, interim goals, and how the team planned to achieve them. The overall vision was to transform AMA Tampa Bay into a strong and dynamic marketing community. Speaking to Glenn excited me and filled my head with visions of what AMA Tampa Bay could achieve and how my involvement with it would feed my bright professional future. I like to think of my AMA volunteer position as my second job. It does not pay, but it’s my way of investing in my own future. AMA has helped me by connecting me with other marketing professionals and mentors. Additionally, AMA provides me opportunities to pursue my own projects, gain skills/experience in areas unfamiliar to me, and walk away from each project as a more knowledgeable and well-seasoned marketing professional.
I – as someone who joined AMA Tampa Bay at the beginning of its transformation – have been able to learn from and drive the transformation from the very start. This type of experience is rare, invaluable, and has greatly enhanced my professional development. I’m enthusiastic to see AMA Tampa Bay grow and to welcome new volunteers who, like me, wish to enhance their careers!
About the Author
In 2006 Fany landed in Florida straight from Bulgaria and brought with her two Bachelor’s degrees – Broadcast Journalism and Film Production. With such diverse, yet related academic background, she decided the right thing to do was to get a Master’s degree in “something similar”. So, she graduated from the University of South Florida with her Master’s in Strategic Communications. Currently, Fany is a Production Assistant at AVI-SPL Creative Show Services and is constantly on a quest for learning and gaining professional knowledge to establish herself in the field of Communications.