Jordan Paquet spends his weeks near a fjord at the Oslo-based headquarters of Helly Hansen, a clothing brand widely known for their technical sailing, performance skiing and premium workwear lines, working on the global marketing team. His weekends are often spent in the mountains or exploring his natural surroundings in Norway and he believes he’s found the perfect work-life balance. Prior to working for Helly Hansen, Paquet completed internships in digital marketing, technology, event planning and the nonprofit sector before making his way across the pond to his current role.
Paquet is a 2015 graduate of Northern Michigan University, where he studied public relations and electronic journalism. He was elected to serve on the PRSSA 2014-2015 National Committee as the Vice President of Member Services.
Q: What made you decide to join PRSSA and eventually run for a position on National Committee?
A: I joined PRSSA because while changing my major for the fifth time (this occasion, from biochemistry to public relations) I remembered my high school tennis coach studied public relations and was already quite involved in the organization. Special shoutout to Brian Price for answering my Facebook chat about meeting times!
I quickly realized that the organization is much bigger than what is found in the four walls of a weekly campus meeting, and after attending my first National Conference in San Francisco, I knew I wanted to serve the organization that helped me feel like I found the ‘right fit’ for the first time. I gained mentors, both locally and nationally, from across the country, and with their guidance and a whole lot of “here goes nothing”, I ran and was elected as the Vice President of Member Services.
Q: What was most memorable about your experience on the PRSSA National Committee?
A: For the first time, I was surrounded by a group of people with a common goal, vision and drive to get things done, and through this I realized maybe group work isn’t so bad. In the truest sense of the term, I was working side by side with great examples of servant leadership each week for a year.
Q: You currently work as a junior marketing coordinator at Helly Hansen in Oslo, Norway. What do you find to be the most interesting part of living and working abroad?
A: Culture shock; nothing ever feels natural. Whether it’s a trip to get groceries or spending time with friends, there will always be something that pushes me out of my comfort zone. Working for a global brand in the headquarter office means the culture shock plays a role at work, too. In my immediate team of eight, we have six countries represented so knowing how to communicate well and in a concise way is very important.
Q: What do your responsibilities include as a junior marketing coordinator?
A: I assist with the creation of trade marketing material including graphics and catalogues for various sales teams and stores, while planning and executing photoshoots for the brand globally. This may include searching for/hiring models, product imagery for our ecommerce store and key accounts around the world, a day-of sailing along the coast of Sweden as we shoot imagery for our watersports line, outfitting helicopter skiers traveling into the alps in the middle of winter or heading into construction sites for our next launch of workwear clothing. No day is ever the same at Helly Hansen and I’ve learned to appreciate that the most.
Q: What advice would you give to students who are looking to work abroad?
A: Start with an internship! Moving abroad is a big step so giving yourself a trial run with an internship experience allows you to test the waters before you pack up your life and leave the comforts of home. You’ll be growing your skillset as a professional and growing immensely as a person.
Q: How was being a member of PRSSA beneficial to you when you began searching for a job?
A: Mock interviews, resume workshops, meetings with peer mentors and learning to present myself in a professional manner set me apart when applying for my job. My education gave me the opportunity to apply but my experience gave me the edge to be hired. PRSSA was a huge part in that.
Krista Watson is a junior at Loyola University Chicago and the PRSSA 2016–2017 Publications Editor in Chief. Follow her on Twitter @watson_krista or connect on LinkedIn.