This post was written by Jessica Boyd and first published to LinkedIn on 8/17/2017.
A little known fact (well it was to me, at least) about working at Autodesk is that we have an amazing Pro Bono volunteer program. Twice a year, Autodesk partners with different non-profits on projects and matches employees’ skills with the skills the non-profit needs. Not only did this reinforce why I chose to work here in the fist place, but I was lucky enough to apply to be a part of one of these programs. From Autodesk, Chetan Vasista, Madhurjya Kotoky, Bobbie Casey, and myself were chosen to help Build Health International (BHI) further develop their Social Media Strategy and provide feedback on their new website.
I was stoked to jump in and help, but was also nervous that I didn’t have anything revolutionary to bring to the table. I wanted to ensure we provided BHI with thoughtful and useful recommendations. After our first global call, I knew we were going to help BHI reach their goals – mainly because the BHI team was so eager and excited to learn. We all had either a very early or very late weekly call (we were in 4 different time zones) but I was so impressed with how driven everyone was to ensure BHI was successful. Our final output was a comprehensive content, social media and strategy guide, and a list of recommendations for their new website, including competitive analysis of other non-profits’ sites. While all this work was technically for BHI, I learned a ton as well – mainly because I got to partner with people I wouldn’t have normally interacted with. We truly had global representation on this project – Bobbie and myself are based in CA, Madhur is based in India, Chetan is based in Singapore, and Anne and Kristen from BHI are based in Boston. The challenges our respective teams/regions faced were very different and so we could each bring something to the table that would benefit BHI.
As we began working through the project, I realized the ironic part was that BHI has similar struggles as Autodesk – people don’t fully understand who BHI is or what they do. My role at Autodesk is directly aligned to this. I work (in all sorts of ways) to brand Autodesk as an amazing place to work, targeting the audiences we’re looking to ultimately hire. Autodesk is an incredible company, but many people (including my friends and family ;)) don’t really know what we do or how we do it. BHI is facing similar challenges; but rather than hoping to gain new talent, they are looking to grow their donations, volunteers, and overall awareness of the amazing things they are doing. Once I realized the parallels, it was easy to provide thoughtful recommendations and ideas and build upon what the rest of the team had pulled together. At the end of the day, no matter what type of marketing role, we’re all working towards the same goal: bringing people through a journey to get to know our brands and why they should care about what we are doing.
I couldn’t be more thankful to have worked on this project and can’t wait to see BHI’s social presence grow. BHI is doing some amazing work in the most impoverished regions of the world (such as Haiti, Liberia, Malawi, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone). I hope because of our partnership, BHI can grow their business even further and expand in many new ways.