This week in our ‘day in the life’ series, I caught up with Vicki Marshall from ABSA. Vicki’s job title is wide and varied and features including CPD, strategy, operations, marketing and social media. That’s a whole hat rack full of hats!
Michael Young: Hi VIcki. Thanks for catching up.
Vicki Marshall: Hi Michael. Thanks for the opportunity to chat.
MY: Tell us about yourself?
VM: I have to say I always dislike this question… I am currently living in a rural setting south west of Boonah in Queensland with my two hilarious boxer dogs and my remaining few horses. I love it here. I have no visible neighbours and my vista is the stunning rugged mountains of the Main Range National Park that spans the southern Queensland and northern NSW section in the Great Dividing Range.
I am generally very concerned about the unsustainable practices of Government, industry, the consumer driven marketing machine and humanity’s impact on the earth, nature and in particular wildlife.
Wanting to live in a more sustainable, energy efficient and less reliant on centralised services way, I took on the role of researching, designing and owner building the off grid sustainable home I live in here.
My background is in small business management and operations. I have owned and operated numerous and diverse small business enterprises over the years, the most significant being in the Window Tinting industry and also as a performance horse breeder. (Yes I know… poles apart). I have also sat in the position of Company Secretary and Registrar of the Australian Warmblood Horse Association for seven years.
One of my successes in business was with the window tinting company, growing it from a one man, quite unprofessional outfit to a thriving professional organisation which became the largest in the industry in Queensland.
MY (note): As an aside, Vicki told me about one of her stallions. His name was Valuta. He is a warmblood, imported from Denmark and was Australian Grand Prix Dressage Champion and the first horse selection to represent Australia at the Olympic Games… aside from that he was just a magnificent fellow with an incredibly wonderful character and captivating sense of humour that I felt very privileged to have had in my life.
MY: How did you come to work for ABSA?
VM: Well, living quite remotely I was specifically looking for a work from home role with an industry association where my values of sustainability would align. So when I saw the ad on Associations Forum for this position with ABSA, I was pretty excited. Even though I had no direct experience with CPD, I felt that with my extensive administration, operations and project management experiences I could certainly learn those skills and bring value to the position and organisation… Fortunately, the GM and Board agreed.
MY: What is your main focus with your job at ABSA?
My main focus in any business arena is on exemplary customer (member) services. With ABSA this energy has been directed into developing an understanding of what our member assessors need and want from their CPD and then finding ways to deliver that.
Aside from the CPD aspect of my role, my focus is on refreshing and enhancing administrative, operating and communication procedures and developing a social media presence.
MY: What courses did you do to get to where you are?
VM: I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Business (Business Administration, Marketing and Human Resource Management). I also have a Cert IV in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Applied Science (Equine)… but I must confess that I’m a bit of a professional development junkie, so have attended a really diverse mix of trainings and workshops where I have gathered a wealth of practical knowledge over the years.
MY: Yep that’s me too!
MY: What does a typical day look like for you?
Busy and diverse. I can begin the day dealing with a technical web site problem, jump to composing member e-blasts, responding to member enquiries, then be researching articles for social media, organising presenters and setting up CPD events, then thinking about strategy and procedures to help improve an administrative task
MY: The best thing about working with NatHERS Assessors/ABSA is…
VM: Diversity… it’s been quite a steep learning curve. I really enjoy sinking my teeth into the unfamiliar and it’s very fulfilling to be adding value to the organisation and the field of building sustainability and energy efficiency.
MY: What are you currently working on?
VM: Can’t say… 😉
MY: What are your plans for the future?
VM: I really enjoy what I current do. I’ll be continuing to offer value where I can and learning as much as I can about the industry.
MY: If you could give someone who was thinking about becoming a NatHERS Assessor – what would it be?
VM: Invest in getting a really good foundation in your chosen NatHERS software and understand that continuing professional development is a valuable investment in yourself and bettering industry standards.
MY: Thanks for catching up Vicki and giving us an overview of who you are what you do.