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Graduation Date: 2008
Director of Government Relations
Truck Renting and Leasing Association (TRALA)
Job Responsibilities: I primarily focus on state legislative and regulatory that will impact the trade association’s 550 member companies who are located in all 50 states in the U.S. This begins with monitoring legislation that has been introduced and gauging the impact it would have on the members’ operations if it were to become law. Depending on the stance the association ultimately takes on an issue, I will coordinate efforts to pass or stop the legislation by working directly with state legislators and allied trade associations in respective states. For certain situations I will also draft sample grassroots material such as letters or talking points that members will use to help them effectively communicate with their legislators about the importance of an issue. I also write articles about the status of the association’s efforts that are sent to every member company.
How WIT Prepared Me For Success: One thing that I was told on several occasions by my WIT professors and advisors in the Management program was that I didn't’t necessarily need to be an expert on something in order to one day have a management role in a particular industry. However, I did need to be an effective communicator, and of course WIT prepared me for that by assigning several group projects where communicating and working together as a team was critical to the project’s success. There were also several individual assignments that required me to deliver presentations and speeches in front of a group in an articulate manner.
I’m only five years into my career, and that is more than enough time to see that the WIT faculty was correct with their assessment. The owners and staff at the association’s member companies are the experts on how business is done in the industry. After all, most of them have been doing their jobs for many years, even decades, and no one knows their business better than them. As the Director of Government Relations, it is critical that I absorb as much knowledge as I can from working with them, so that I can effectively advocate on behalf of an entire industry when working with legislators. Being a good communicator doesn't’t just mean being a good speaker; it also means being a good listener.