34 (33 at time of nomination)
Marketing Communications Manager,
By Joe Nowlan
Jenice Bastien was working for a printing company when a customer needed some price sheets printed for her company. The company was NSi Industries, a Huntersville, N.C. manufacturer of Polaris Pre-Insulated Connector, TORK Products among other electrical products.
“While we were talking about the printing, [the customer] took the time to explain to me what she did,” Bastien explained. “I eventually inquired about a position they had available and that’s how I got started at NSi and the electrical industry.”
Bastien joined the company as a graphic designer in 2006. She rose through the ranks, becoming a brand and production manager before being promoted to her current title, marketing communications manager.
Bastien describes herself by saying, “I love to learn” and soon realized she’d found the right industry. While in the position of brand and production manager, Bastien’s learning went into overdrive.
“You want to make sure that when you are branding your company or branding a product that you are lined up with the way that the electrical industry is going, fulfilling a need in the market and your brand is consistently saying ‘innovation,'” she said. “In this position I learned a lot.”
Bastien, who not long ago was doing the learning, is now helping educate the two employees who report to her.
“It is an adjustment. You want to make sure that you are giving them the right instruction [and] the right tools that they are going to need to continue in the electrical industry. You want them to be a successful,” she explained.
Of course like everyone in the electrical industry, Bastien never stops learning and keeping up with product developments. While working at NSi, she also obtained her MBA with a concentration in marketing from Strayer University. She also attends various boot camps, forums and conferences sponsored by NAED.
“I also like learning from those who have the experience,” she said. “I recently went to the women in the industry boot camp and forum where I was able to meet other women and hear their stories and experiences.”
Bastien also is working out with her personal trainer in her spare time.
“In my family we have different illnesses like high blood pressure and diabetes,” she explained. “I did not want to fall victim to any of them. So I’ve been working with a personal trainer since January, 2015. And I’ve lost 20 pounds.”
She was born in Washington, D.C., and her family later moved to North Carolina.
Earlier this year, she was approved by the state of North Carolina to be a foster care parent—something her own parents have long been involved in.
“My parents have been foster parents for over 20 years….I am at a place in my life where I have a lot of love to give. I wanted to follow the same footsteps as my parents and open my home to children that need some love,” Bastien explained. “I’m waiting for my first placement, but I’m pretty excited about it.”
Q. What advice would you have for other young professionals in the electrical industry?
A. Open your mind to learn. Understand and embrace the fact that it is a growing industry full of opportunity. That’s one of the beautiful things about the electrical industry. It is one of those industries that as you grow you learn and then you can innovate and put back into the industry. So I would say to anybody coming in—learn first and then try to improve upon it with your innovative ideas. I promise you will see your impactful ripple through the industry.
Q. What is a popular advertising campaign that you wish you had created?
A. There are so many. And I love commercials (laughing). I love the Coca-Cola commercials. I love how Coca-Cola brands itself and I love the way that they market themselves. Right now, with the whole personalized bottle, I like that initiative. Not only are they saying, “Hey, we took the time to put your name on our bottle.” But at the same time it is your bottle and it is your Coca-Cola. So I like the branding part of it all. If I had to pick an initiative, that would be the one. Now I don’t know how that would work with the electrical industry (laughing) but that is definitely one that I really like. Oh wait…I know. We at NSi, provide custom Polaris connectors to our customers who need them, so I guess that is their bottle of Coca-Cola.
Joe Nowlan is a Boston-based freelance writer/editor and author. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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