If you are not already familiar with August’s Member of the Month, take the time to get to know Martha Huguet! Martha is the Director of Marketing for Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers, a position she has held since June 1999. She has been an active member of SMPS since 1999. She has served three terms on the Board of Directors, as Director of Communications, Secretary, and as Director of Special Events. She is currently a member of the Leadership Committee and is the co-chair (with Patricia Neumann) of the chapter’s Mentorship Program. Together, Pat and Martha won the President’s Cup for Outstanding Service to SMPS-NY in 2015 for their work with the Mentorship Program. Let’s read below as Martha has shared some of her thoughts and ideas with us.
1. Where are you from originally and what brought you to New York City?
I was born and raised in Salina, Kansas. It never crossed my mind that I would one day work in New York City in a job that I love for an outstanding engineering firm. My husband, a “city guy” who was born in Paris and worked in many international cities, was the one who most influenced me to challenge myself with a job in New York City. I felt I had an affinity for engineering and enjoyed working with engineers, so I looked at the ENR list of Top Design Firms, and pitched myself to a few firms. I quickly decided on Mueser Rutledge – practically during the initial phone conversation with Hugh Lacy, the wonderful engineer who was my boss and mentor for many years. I’ve now been with Mueser Rutledge for 17 years and am often amazed how lucky I am to have ended up here.
2. What degree(s) do you hold, and from what schools?
I have a Bachelor’s in English/Secondary Education from Kansas State University.
3. If you could choose any other profession what would it be and why?
That’s hard to answer! I always wanted to be and would probably still like to be a journalist or technical writer, but many careers would have interested me if I’d expanded my horizons back then. English and language arts were easy for me, and I feel I took the easy path. If I had to do it all over again (and knowing what I know now), I would be brave and do better in math. Maybe I could have been an engineer!
4. Can you tell us more about the SMPS Mentorship Program?
Sure! I think our chapter has the best Mentorship Program for AEC Marketers in all of SMPS! While it is primarily focused on the professional development and career needs of the protégés, the program is equally beneficial to mentors, providing them with the opportunity to share their hard-earned knowledge, to teach and guide someone who is coming up in our industry, and to “give back” to SMPS.
This year, our 2016-2017 Class will officially begin in September at group Orientation Session where the pairs will be introduced in person. The program continues October to the following August, with required monthly in-person meetings between the mentors and protégés, and several group get-togethers. Group programs are held throughout the year on topics of interest that have been selected by the protégés. Many of the programs feature guest speakers from our chapter membership.
Participation is truly a rewarding and sometimes career- and life-changing experience! The relationships that have developed as a result of involvement in the Mentorship Program have been valuable to both the mentor and the protégé, with several of our former protégés now serving as mentors and many of our pairs remaining in contact with each other for many years.
5. What are some challenges that you face daily in your career and how do you overcome them?
My job is promoting the engineers of Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers (MRCE) and their many talents! As Director of Marketing, I am responsible for planning and directing the staff that work with me in marketing, collaborating with the firm’s eight partners, managing the internal and external promotion of the firm and its goals, and directing the business development and the proposal process. We are currently “transforming” our brand with a new look, an all-new website, and refreshed print materials. That is a big and challenging project with lots of moving parts that has been added into an already busy schedule of proposals, award submittals and other projects that have hard deadlines. The launch date will be in September so we have been working on it for some time now. Because I’m a list-maker and calendar-keeper, the way that I handle the daily challenges and the deadlines is to have a master organization list and a calendar with mini-deadlines to keep all the moving parts on their respective schedules.