On Monday, April 18, 2022
Q&As with Austin Shepherd
How did you end up working at AHT?
I was looking for a job that aligned more with my public relations major and I needed an internship to meet my degree requirements for graduation. Bill and Joyce Cowell (long-time employees at AHT) had spoken to my mom about a job opportunity at AHT as a marketing intern. I applied, had an interview and a few days later I was hired. What I thought would just be a semester internship turned into me joining the AHT team full-time.
You were promoted in December 2021. What are your primary responsibilities now as the marketing coordinator in this position?
A few of my responsibilities include:
- Creating and posting internal messaging and signage
- Quarterly Employee Presentation PowerPoints
- Generate content for Facebook
- Assist with AHT employee events (i.e. apparel, signage, social media and etc.)
- Track and document sales & marketing metrics
What do you like about working at AHT?
I really enjoy the flexibility that AHT offers. Life events come up and as long as you talk to your supervisor AHT will help you adjust your schedule as needed.
As a former Marketing Intern, what advice would you give to future intern applicants?
- Create a LinkedIn profile and start networking with classmates and professionals within your area.
- Be optimistic and open minded, especially if you think something isn’t in your wheelhouse.
- Learn and practice using Microsoft Excel…spreadsheets are valuable tools in any industry.
- Make the most of your hands-on internship opportunity by asking questions.
- Create a portfolio of your projects big or small.
You graduated from the University of Northern Iowa, May of 2021, tell us about your involvement?
I graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a B.A. in Sports Public Relations.
While at UNI I was involved in:
UNI PRSSA: Public Relations Student Society of America is a national student organization that has more than 300+ chapters in the U.S.A., Argentina, Peru and Colombia. I was the Vice President of Events and Fundraising and then my final year with the organization I was the President.
UNI Volleyball: From 2017-2021, I was a male practice player for the UNI women’s volleyball team. I have played in 3 Purple and Gold season opener scrimmages in the McLeod Center (You can see me on YouTube 2020 #1, 2020 #2). Getting to work with such incredible coaches and be part of the team are my most cherished memories from UNI. I still help at practice when time allows.
UNI Men’s Volleyball Club: I was the President for 3 years of our men’s club volleyball team. For the first time in club history, we qualified for NCVF Nationals but COVID-19 canceled the event in 2020 and 2021.
UNI Beach Volleyball Club: I founded and was the President of the first UNI Beach Volleyball Club. My sand partner and I won our doubles league and qualified for NCSVA Nationals but COVID-19 canceled the event in 2020 and 2021 as well.
During my final semester at UNI, I was awarded with the Most Outstanding Student Leader Award, nominated for Outstanding President in a Student Organization, and the UNI Beach Volleyball Club was nominated for Most Promising New Student Organization during the 2021 Student Leadership Awards.
When you're not working, how do you like to spend your free time?
Most of my free time is spent doing some form of volleyball whether that is coaching or competing in leagues or tournaments. But when I have free time outside of that, I enjoy spending time with friends and family.
What is one thing people may not know about AHT?
One thing people may not know about AHT is how our company color was chosen. Inside the vessels during heat treatment, a purple neon hue is naturally occurring. It is really spectacular to see this purple glow.
Aside from being a Marketing Coordinator at AHT, you’re also a coach, tell us more.
I am going into my 4th year of coaching high school volleyball. This will be my 2nd year as a head coach. I started coaching volleyball at Wapsie Valley High School as an assistant coach in 2019. During my first season we were the 1A IGHSAU State Volleyball Runner-ups. Then during my second year as an assistant, we were the 1A IGHSAU State Volleyball Quarterfinalists. This past season [first year as head coach], we moved up to the 2A class. This was a tough and stacked class of talent, but we managed to stay in the Top 10 of rankings at one point being ranked #5 in 2A. Our season ended in a thrilling sub-state 5-set match vs. #7 Beckman Catholic and us #8 in the final rankings.
I’m looking forward to this next season. We are attending the team camp at the University of Nebraska this summer. This season our schedule will look more intense with plans of playing in 42 matches before IGHSAU Regional pairings.
Now, a series of quick random questions:
- Favorite Movie: Overboard feat. Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell
- First Job: Working at my mom's salon, River's Edge Hair Studio (Dunkerton, Iowa)
- Favorite Sports Team(s): Chicago Cubs, Dallas Cowboys, Iowa Hawkeyes and Texas Longhorns
- Favorite Quote: "Successful people do all the things unsuccessful people don't want to do." - John Paul Dejoria (owner/founder of Paul Mitchell and Patrón Tequila)
- Favorite Animal: Cheetah
- Last Concert Attended: Journey (opener Doobie Brothers)
Have a question for Austin Shepherd? Get connected on LinkedIn.
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