Marketing Communications Manager; Hubbell Lighting
Meghan Simmons holds a B.A. in graphic design from the University of South Carolina which she brought to Hubbell Lighting when she started in 2014.
Perhaps graphic design is not the first type of education one would associate with a career in lighting. However, Meghan had received positive feedback about both the company and the industry.
“My brother actually interned at Hubbell Lighting before me,” she explained. “He was the one who told me about it.”
While her internship was in graphic design, Meghan began to see other aspects of the industry and was intrigued.
“I got to work with a lot of different people as an intern and that was great,” she explained. “There seemed to be a lot of different groups within our organization—engineering, marketing, product management—that just all work together. I actually got to do a lot of different things as a graphic design intern providing real-world, hands-on experience.”
Once she got her feet wet, Meghan’s first response was, as she phrased it, “Wow.”
“’Wow’ would be my response,” she laughed. “I never knew there was so much about lighting. It’s something we continue to learn every day. We took a fundamentals class and learned the history of lighting up to LEDs. It was a lot to take in as an intern.”
In addition to her B.A. in graphic design, Meghan holds a M.A. in marketing from Liberty University. Her hunger for learning is something that has been vital for her both academically as well as professionally.
“Over the past five years, I got to learn a lot of different aspects about how we go to market. I didn’t get to learn a lot of that up front. Every day you come in here, you never know what’s next or what’s come up overnight,” Meghan said. “Lighting and technology advance daily and we have to understand how that is going to affect everything from the product design to the marketing collateral and how and whom we want to market to.”
Meghan’s previous title (marketing and program channel specialist) saw her handling many responsibilities.
“I worked with a lot of our distributors and contractors. I was responsible for a program that we’ve put together for retrofit and renovation. And we do a lot of voice of the customer, to be able to understand what they need from us that’s going to help them get better,” she explained.
The long-term, positive effects of modern lighting are something Meghan has seen grow in popularity.
“Just the benefits of it. I mean, you think in schools—it may help kids learn better, see the board better,” she explained. “There’s safety, security—there are a lot of benefits to it that I think people are now seeing.”
Meghan and her husband, Luke, have a daughter, Charleigh, who was born last March.
“I’m definitely learning that work-life balance is extremely important. I used to not fully understand that at all but I do now,” she laughed. “For hobbies, I’m very involved with our church group. And we like to watch football games and basketball games.”
Q. What advice do you have for other young professionals in the electrical industry?
A. My advice would definitely be to challenge yourself because coming into an industry can be very overwhelming. So definitely be open to challenging yourself. And break free of the normal; just because you’re classified as a millennial doesn’t mean you have to be stuck in that mindset. You can break free of that. And then the work-life balance. That’s a huge one for me.
Be able to take criticism from other people in the industry and be able to give constructive criticism to people your own age because sometimes it can be hard. And just be a team player. Enjoy what you do.
Q. You’re one of the youngest people to be recognized this year. Do you ever run into difficulty commanding respect in the company? If so, how do you manage that?
A. Working with sales teams and distributors, it’s a lot of men that I work with and you kind of have to give and take. You have to listen to what they need. And then as a designer and as a marketer, you have to sit there and come up with a solution and take into consideration what they need and make sure that you deliver something that’s best for the company.
It’s not just what they want or what they need at the time. Is this going to really make a difference? And how can we take your idea and make it better? So there’s a lot of compromise within like ideas. It’s coming together as a team and realizing that you’re working together on something and you’re not just working against each other. You’re working for the same company.
Tagged with 2019 30 Under 35, 30 under 35