Today we are celebrating Michael Miller’s first workiversary at North Star Marketing. When Michael joined our team a year ago he brought a ton of enthusiasm, patience, and attention to detail with him as our newest support specialist. We recently sat down with him to hear how his first year has gone and what is on the horizon.
It has been great to know you’re there for our team and our clients if there’s a problem, Michael. Thank you for all your work to keep things running smoothly and to work out the inevitable kinks and issues that arise! What has the last year been like for you at North Star?
Michael: It’s been a great first year. I will say that our clients are wonderful, just fantastic to work with. And we also have great staff members here at North Star who are quick to help me with anything I need. If I ever have an issue I can talk with one of our team and they are so welcome and receptive. There is never a stupid question here. I feel it’s a group of friends I can pull resources from, and there’s always great teamwork as we work through issues. I have yet to hear a “no” at NSM when I need support on something — that’s just not a part of our culture.
Tell us a little more about your daily work.
Michael: One of the interesting things about NSM is you never run out of things to do. I mean that in a good way. When I get to my desk I check on clients, first thing, and make sure everything is in good order. If they need something, I get to work helping them resolve things. In addition to specific support issues, I’m always looking for patterns that could be a systemic problem that is developing. We’re always experimenting with improvements and adding to our pool of articles and notes within our knowledge bases. I’ve got great co-worker resources to lean on, too, with Tanner and Ryan who always find time to explain something or help me find something I might be looking for.
What kinds of issues are coming up these days?
Michael: There are some basic but essential needs that come up for clients. Calendars are a good example. They might want to embed a calendar on their website or link it to some events they’ve created. There are lots of options for how to solve that particular puzzle and people often have questions. Sometimes they just reach out for a general helping hand. They might be new to WordPress and get in touch to ask about what it can do for them — what features could they be taking advantage of for their site. I walk them through the possibilities, which is always fun. And, of course, the great thing about WordPress is that there’s already this huge support community out there that we can both tap into.
I also encourage our clients to really dig into their website’s capabilities and get beyond the basics as they have time. We build out a staging site for clients and I tell them: “If you want to tinker on your site and learn something, don’t be afraid to try new things, think outside the box, or even break things! If you break it up, we’ll restore it for you.” That’s how you learn and innovate.
When you think about the year ahead, what are you excited about tackling before your next workiversary?
Michael: Well, we’re growing and always expanding what we’re able to offer our clients, so I’m excited about being a part of whatever that looks like. So much of my work is about training or educating folks about a topic or technical area, and I love that about my job. We have some fantastic experts in-house and as a company, we’re partnered with even more industry leaders, like Rick Newberry at Enrollment Catalyst — I’m excited about continuing to pool our expertise to help our clients where they need it the most.
How about outside of work, Michael? What’s been happening?
Michael: Especially lately, it’s been a mix of fun projects and new beginnings. We’ve been remodeling the master bedroom in our house as well as one of our bathrooms. So, I’m leveling floors and painting and all kinds of stuff like that. We also have a senior, our oldest daughter, who is graduating this year. We’ve very excited to see her get ready to go out into the world…or not; I could keep her here forever. It will definitely be less enthusiastic in our home once she heads off on her own! We also have a new addition to our fur babies. We lost a dog recently who went everywhere my son went — they were inseparable. But we had some puppies recently, too, and my son picked the one he wanted from the bunch. And I’m happy to say this little dog is following him everywhere, too.