Day in the Life: Jordan West, Senior Project Manager
Mar 7, 2017
“In college, at The University of Georgia, I started off as a Biology major. I was going into the medical field up until the end of my junior year,” said Jordan West, senior project manager. “I interned at a hospital – Athens Regional Medical Center – and after working in the pediatric post-surgical unit I decided that it was not for me.”
After graduating with a degree in Psychology, but unsure of her next step, West attended a few career fairs in Atlanta, hoping to find a new direction.
“Coming out of school, somebody grabbed me at a career fair, and I got a job at an IT firm. A recruiter that worked at that IT firm brought me with her when she moved to Phase3 Marketing and Communications, which is where I first got started in the agency world,” said West.
West got her start in account management, quickly moving up the ranks.
“I was an Account Manager over there, starting off, and from there I feel like my career just took off. My manager took maternity leave for three months, so I took over her job, and when she came back they actually promoted me into another role, as Creative Services Manager. For two year there I oversaw the Creative Department,” said West. “Then, our agency started growing pretty rapidly due to acquisitions, so I hired someone to replace me in that role and was promoted to oversee Operations for the entire agency. I did that for a couple years, and then I got engaged, which brought me to Centerline.”
“If you get, give. If you learn, teach.” – Maya Angelou
A born-and-bred Georgian, West made the move up to Raleigh.
“I was excited to move to a new city! It’s my first time ever being away from my friends and family, but I’ve always wanted to live in a new city – I just didn’t get to pick which one I was going to move to,” laughs West. “I heard really good things about Raleigh, so I was excited to move here.”
She found her way to Centerline like most job-seekers do these days – through LinkedIn.
“I was following a lot of agencies in Raleigh on LinkedIn, and Centerline just kept popping into my feed. I saw a position for a Creative Services Director, and I came in to interview for that job,” said West. “I got a call back, and they were asking me, based on my background, if I would be interested in the Senior Project Manager role. I got more details and felt like with my background in account management, that this role would be a better fit for me.”
“Take the job or the project that scares you a little. It’s the one with the most to teach you.” – Anne Sweeney
After a few years at an agency, does West have any advice for someone trying to get their foot in the door?
“My biggest piece of advice for anyone who’s starting off, or coming into this level role, is to put in 110% every single day. Anyone coming into an agency has to be prepared for long hours, and to work hard. If you give a shit, and work really hard, you’ll do well,” said West.
So, what does that hard work actually look like? One word: organization.
“I start off most mornings meeting with my team – both accounts and creatives – and running through the status of every single project and where we’re at, so I know what needs to be accomplished throughout the week,” said West. “Following that, I have a separate meeting for my direct reports, and we talk through, in a project sense, what needs to be accomplished for that week, too. I go through Mavenlink schedules, look at all my tasks, respond to emails, check in on projects, review the financial status of projects…that’s a typical morning.”
West’s biggest takeaway from her first six months at Centerline speaks to her team-oriented approach to project management.
“Something that really spoke to me is something (Creative Director) Dan Self said to me, and it was that it’s our job to find creative solutions as a project management team. One of the ways to be successful is to never say no – always come back with a creative solution, instead of just saying, ‘We can’t do that,’ and leaving it there.”
Sounds like some pretty solid advice.
“A woman is like a teabag – only in hot water do you realize how strong she is.” – Nancy Reagan
Since March is National Women’s History Month, we’ve included some quotes from strong, inspirational women chosen by West throughout the article.
Interested in our open Senior Project Manager position? Check out the Careers page for more information, or reach out with questions on Twitter – we’re @Centerline. As always, check out our other “Day in the Life” profiles here.