Sarah Woolwine: Member Spotlight

What year did you become an SMPS member?

I became an SMPS member in 2019.

Do you currently hold a board or committee position?

Yes, I am currently the Newsletter Co-Chair on the SMPSCF Communications Committee.

If Yes, what do you help with on your committee and why do you suggest someone to be involved with one?

I coordinate with all committees to put together content for the quarterly newsletter. I also write some content for the newsletter as well! I would recommend committee involvement to anyone because it gives you the ability to network with many people that you may not interact with otherwise.

How would you describe your role/job?

For Protean Design Group, I work with a team to prove why our firm is best equipped to work on contracts for the Florida Department of Transportation. In order to do this, I write proposals, coordinate meetings, meet strict deadlines, and work closely with our project managers to ensure success. I also work on social media management, boilerplates, and other marketing materials to properly position our firm to the public eye.

What have been the challenges and rewards of your career?

The biggest challenge of my career so far has been learning to work with different personality types. Many people work differently and in my coordinator position, I have had the great opportunity to learn how the different people at Protean work and how I can adapt. How I write a proposal for one Project Manager could be completely different from another based on their working styles. I would also say this has been one of the most rewarding things as well because I am now much more flexible when it comes to challenges at work. Another reward for me has been working for a group of people who empower me to do what I am passionate about. The three principals of our firm and my boss all care about me as an individual and give me every opportunity to pursue my passions.

What has been your most meaningful or interesting project?

The most interesting project that I have worked on so far would be a Traffic Operations contract that we chased in FDOT District 5. I found this project very rewarding because I learned so much in such a short period of time. Hands-on learning is definitely where I thrive so being thrown into this project gave me the drive to prove my capabilities and I loved every second of it!

How has membership in SMPS helped you to advance your firm or your career?

SMPS has helped my career because I have met so many people in my industry who give me somewhere to go if I need advice or guidance. It has also given me the opportunity to showcase a skillset that I don’t use in my day-to-day work at Protean. Being on the Communications Committee has allowed me to write and do more graphic design in my free time. By doing this, I am able to show what I can do and keep practicing to get better!

What’s one thing you’d teach someone in your industry?

I would teach someone in my industry to take things day by day. It is very easy to get bogged down by deadlines and workload, so for me it is important that everyday I focus on what needs to be done without getting overwhelmed by what I need to do next.

Which of your personal attributes has made you most successful in your career?

My out-going personality has definitely made me more successful in my career. I feel that I could talk to nearly anyone about anything and I am never scared of a challenge. This has benefited me by giving me the ability to volunteer for tasks that need to be done and set myself apart from others.

Best lesson from a mentor?

The best lesson I have had from my mentor was to take things one day at a time, which is why I am passing it on here. My boss has helped me manage my workload and thought process since day one. I am now much better at organizing my schedule and work so that I have ample time to get everything done and feel GREAT about my work.

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