News  |  Jan 18, 2022  |  Anne Keener

Employee Spotlight: Christyn Binder, Marketing Content Specialist

  • Employee Spotlight- Christyn Binder

1. How did you come to do what you do? Was this a lifelong goal?
I went into college undecided and ended up getting a BA in ‘Urban Studies,’ which I joke is the penultimate of liberal arts degrees because my college allowed me to combine all of my multifaceted interests – history, sociology, archaeology, economics, and social justice – into one very multidisciplinary major. Freshman year of college I started tutoring with America Reads, eventually working up to American Reads Program Coordinator in my senior year overseeing all of our tutors and tutees, which I loved, and led me to believe I would end up working with children in some form. Instead, upon graduation I accepted a hybrid position at a small, woman-owned multidisciplinary Architecture and Engineering Firm in New York, spending half my week assisting the Landscape Architecture department and the other half assisting the Marketing department, which was great because I was able to explore so many different facets of professional services and the AEC industry overall.

As that firm’s needs changed I ended up transitioning to a full-time marketing position which I worked for several years until moving to Philadelphia and taking my current job with Arora. At Arora, I get to combine all of my passions into one – familiarizing myself with interesting technical concepts, researching and writing for proposals and thought leadership pieces, building our qualifications library, and developing meaningful relationships with my coworkers and our clients.

Long story short, I’ve never really had a career end-goal, but what I have learned along the way is that, for me, working on projects that I enjoy with people that I care about, whatever the subject matter, is incredibly fulfilling.

2. What do you enjoy most about working in Marketing?
Being a marketing professional for an M/DBE firm in the AEC industry is perfect for someone like me who can’t pick one favorite thing – we are often working on several proposals at once, preparing content for social channels and publications, planning for conferences and trade shows, and updating our CRM database and qualifications library, all while maintaining effective, regular communication internally and externally. I love that every day brings brand new, exciting challenges that afford me to opportunity grow and change and connect.

3. What motivates you every day?
While the fast pace and diversity of my daily tasks have always kept me motivated, I’m really starting to feel reenergized again – the pandemic took a lot out of us as a collective culture, but the innovations Arora has instituted since are exciting. To preserve employee safety, we worked fully remote until the company instituted a hybrid remote work approach that allows employees to come into the office 2-3 days a week and work from home for the remainder – a change I was thrilled about. While I initially expected to hate working from home, I ended up finding a new, rejuvenating routine for my personal wellbeing and professional success replete with more sleep, more exercise, and more walks with my dog admiring all that South Philly’s architecture has to offer.

I’m inspired by Arora’s overall culture and all the exciting ways our company is navigating an important moment in history. From hybrid remote work to an emphasis on equality, sustainability, and philanthropy, to a new policy paying employees out for their unused PTO over the 40 hours we’ve always been able to roll over, to watching my colleagues grow and take on new and exciting rolls within our companies, to getting off work on Fridays at a cool 2:30pm, all year round, I feel like Arora has cracked the code on my personal employee engagement.

4. What makes you unique and different?
I think (hope!) my sense of humor sets me apart…probably my loud laugh, too…

5. What are your favorite types of projects to work on?
I am involved in Arora’s quest for content and I have really enjoyed speaking with the technical staff, drafting up content, and working with the team to disseminate this thought leadership information through our various media partners.

6. What are your future career goals?
I hope to grow into a leadership position where I will get to lead and advocate for a team of my own.

7. What is the best career lesson you’ve learned so far?
Never turn down an opportunity learn. Whether you are gleaning insight from coworkers, attending seminars, reading industry publications or consulting google, it’s all valuable.

8. What do you like most about working at Arora?
My colleagues! Working closely with all of the brilliant people inside and outside of our organization is one of my favorite aspects of this job. Whether I am asking our Marketing Manager, Matthew Ferguson, one million proposal questions, collaborating with Beth Weiss and Christine Furey on social media initiatives for one of the Arora companies, or setting up meetings to talk technical with one of our experts across the country, I always come away feeling thankful. Thankful that I am surrounded by wonderful human beings, thankful that they are always willing to take the time to help or explain or collaborate, and thankful that I get to do it all again tomorrow.

9. What has been your favorite memory while working at Arora?
I have two. The first is the day I was promoted to Marketing Content Specialist. After the calamity that was 2020, and with the world still feeling unsure, uneasy, and cautious as we peeked ahead to 2021, I had my end of year review with my perennially supportive supervisor, Adam Oliver. We discussed all the ways our jobs and marketing department had shifted since the beginning of the pandemic. We talked about my desire to learn and write more about our companies and our services lines, and my future with Arora overall. I mentioned that, maybe, when the future was more certain, we could discuss my promotion to a content specialist role which I would perform along with my other marketing duties. Adam liked the idea, said he would need to discuss it with the board, and I left our virtual review feeling optimistic. Minutes later I got a call from Adam telling me my promotion was approved! The future is now, I thought to myself from the combo office-closet I had become warmly attached to over the past two years. I called my mom to tell her the good news roughly three seconds after hanging up with Adam.

The second is the day our old pal, Brittney Berrodin, told us she was PREGNANT! It’s an honor to find colleagues who are willing to share so openly and excitedly with you.

10. Outside of work, what do you like to do for fun?
I have always enjoyed cooking/baking for my loved ones and during quarantine I attempted sourdough (sucked), got really into shortbread (still am, always will be) and attempted the NYT Chocolate Babka, which barely rose, but tasted delightful.

I recently adopted a dog, Beans, so the vast majority of my free time these days is spent either cuddling, playing, or otherwise fawning over him. Otherwise, I’m a big fan of binge watching my favorite shows over and over (right now, it’s The Golden Girls) and I recently took up cross stitching— my first completed pattern read ‘Shady Pines, Ma!’

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