Program Manager Jennifer Cheek’s impressive work ethic quite literally started from the beginning. “My parents didn’t accept anything being done halfway,” she says. “I’ve always worked hard and tried my best to make impressions on those around me. I’m not here to collect a paycheck…I’m here to make a difference. I believe if you see something that needs improvement, even if it isn’t your role and you’re already busy, do it anyway.”
It’s this outlook that allowed her to gain new experience when she was tapped for a new role that straddled sales and marketing. Her marketing degree and strong background in management made her the perfect fit for a job that juggles many different responsibilities within two specialized departments.
Her favorite part about this role is understanding the ins and outs of marketing, how it correlates to sales, and helping liaison between the two departments to get each other the metrics they need to be successful in their own ways. “I love how every day is different and that even one small change can make a huge impact,” Jennifer said.
As she continues her role as program manager, Jennifer has also been working hard to launch one of our newest programs. She feels grateful for all the opportunities that have come her way.
Of course, her work ethic and positive attitude is what has driven the majority of her career growth. One important lesson she has learned over the years is to speak up. She encourages her team to do that, as well. “If you don’t say something, how can I fix it?” she says. “Each individual has the capacity to make the company better – all they have to do is share their ideas or speak up if they think something can be improved by doing it differently.”
When asked for her best piece of advice, she mentions a tip that has very likely helped in her own career: “Every time you meet a leader in a company, make it a point to introduce yourself and shake their hand (this was pre-COVID!). Sometimes I took it literally and other times I made sure to say hello. The idea is that whenever they need someone for a new task, project, new role, etc., they may think of the impression you’ve made. ‘Hey, does anyone know Jennifer Cheek? I’ve known her now for over two years—always friendly. What does she do; could she be a good fit?’ They can’t think of your name to suggest you if they don’t know who you are. Make yourself known through a simple hello.”
In true Jennifer fashion, she leaves us with a story to inspire. “Throughout my entire childhood, before leaving the house for school, my dad would say, ‘Do.’ I would say, ‘What.’ He would say ‘Is.’ I would finish with ‘Right.’ This happened every single day until I graduated high school and moved out. Now, it’s always in my head. If I see something that is broken or if I could make one small change and help, why wouldn’t I? I would live with regret if I didn’t feel like every day I came home and felt like I didn’t give my all…did my best…did what was right.”