Today, owner and principal Susie Ketterer spoke to marketing students at Saint Mary’s University in Minnesota about the realities of a job in marketing and communications. These aspiring young professionals heard about the challenges and rewards of working in an ever-changing industry—and how an agency like Simantel thrives.

Here are a few points from her presentation.

Know What You Don’t Know

The starting point on any initiative is always finding out what customers think, how they are behaving and why. This process is critical to building a strategy, and it’s a unique opportunity to take on a challenge with a fresh perspective and help answer the very questions our clients’ customers might have.

Small Can Mean Mighty

We take great pride in our ability to produce stellar work while remaining a smaller agency. Boasting only 60 some employees works to our favor—we can remain nimble enough to move quickly, experiment with new technology, pull in valuable outside resources and function as a closely knit team. Our size also contributes to greater employee satisfaction because our teams are truly engaged and take ownership of the clients and the work.

We also gain strength from the networks we belong to, especially the AMIN Network. Made up of marketing and communication agencies worldwide, AMIN allows us to collaborate with other creative shops—exchanging ideas, insights, research and cultural approaches. We use these relationships with our fellow marketing professionals to create stronger work for our clients and stretch our influence globally.

Work Is More Than A Paycheck

Over a lifetime, workers spend an average of 90,000 hours on the job (source). That is too much time to spend at a place where you aren’t happy or don’t feel fulfilled.

Agency culture is important to us. We encourage employees to continue their education in our industry, and provide opportunities for them to attend trainings, conferences and networking events. We hire passionate people who believe in contributing to our Peoria community. Many of our employees teach classes, volunteer or become involved in the local arts scene. We as an agency participate in many charity events and provide pro bono support to area nonprofits.

We have fun together—too—celebrating birthdays and anniversaries, hosting work outings and holiday parties, and even creating silly videos to spur company communication.

Looking to learn more about Simantel? Please follow us on Twitter and Facebook.