Arjanai Miller ’18 (Business Administration), ’20 MBA loves being able to connect with the Greensboro community in her role as Marketing and Communications Officer for the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro. In this edition of 7 Questions with a Spartan, Miller discusses her journey from college to career and the role storytelling plays in her current position.
1. What do you love most about your job?
I get to learn some amazing stories about the history of our city and meet people who are passionate about our community’s future. It is always fascinating to sit with different groups to hear and learn what their plans are to improve Greensboro. Working in marketing, I get the chance to tell the stories of our city and our donors who love Greensboro.
2. What’s exciting about the future of your industry/position?
There are a lot of positive trends for both the industry of nonprofits and marketing. During the pandemic, we saw an increase in support for nonprofits in our community. It really highlighted the resilience of our nonprofit leaders, but also the dedication of Greensboro’s citizens in supporting each other. As for marketing, the pandemic also showed us the importance of digital marketing as a means of connecting with our audience.
3. What should students interested in entering your field know?
Out of that came a lot of important marketing trends: storytelling, relationship building, customer experience enhancement, and organizational agility.
4. What do you personally find most challenging as a professional?
A major part of my job is dedicated to storytelling. As a result, I hear about the amazing work of our local nonprofit leaders as well as the inspiration behind our donors’ support. However, I also learn of all the challenges that are being faced by those in our community. It can be emotionally hard to learn about the hardships that people have to face — but it makes me even more passionate about getting those stories out to the public!
5. What is something you did (or wish you had done) in college to prepare for this position?
I never considered a job at a nonprofit until I participated in Campus Greensboro. Being able to be a part of this program helped me to gain experience and knowledge in nonprofits, improve my networking skills, and gain a wonderful mentor. Additionally, completing the Bronze Leadership challenge was very beneficial. When I first started at UNC Greensboro, I was very shy and timid. Being a part of the Bronze Leadership challenge allowed me to get out of my comfort zone, become active in my community, and learn to be confident in my skills.
6. What additional training, certifications, professional organization memberships, etc. have helped you professionally?
In college, I was a member of Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity. Being in AKPsi allowed me to be a part of a cohort of supportive individuals with similar goals and aspirations. I was also a member of Spartan Women in Business where I received career development assistance and mentorship. Lastly, through Campus Greensboro, I received a training certification from the Center for Creative Leadership. This certification program taught me a lot about teamwork, organizational behavior, and networking.
7. What resources – books, blogs, websites, podcasts, etc. – would you recommend for someone interested in your field or in a position like yours?
One of my favorite books that helped me was Achieving Excellence in Fundraising by Eugene Tempel, Timothy Seller, and Dwight Burlingame. This is the textbook that I used in my Nonprofit Management and Leadership class. It taught me so much about nonprofits and the public sector. So much so that I still use it today for my current job!