It was exactly one year ago today that I got the email from Baggedmilk telling me that I’d been the lucky fresh graduate selected to start my career at Oilersnation, and what a ride it’s been.
While I was in school people would ask what I wanted to do with my degree, to which I’d reply, “Hockey, duh.”. I wrote every paper I had the opportunity to on the Oilers or hockey in some capacity, I started my own personal blog talking about women’s hockey and the Oilers, I did my internship at WomensHockeyLife, and I signed up for the NHL job postings email list long before I was even remotely qualified for any of their jobs just so I could see the possibilities the future held for me. I was determined to make my mark on the hockey world. On May 13, 2016, my life changed forever when I was awarded the opportunity to start my career at Oilersnation.
I wanted to take this opportunity to give you all a small taste of what goes on behind the scenes at the Nation, and to thank you for welcoming me into the Nation family.
“So, you get paid to drink beer and tweet about hockey?” – Most people who ask about my job. While that statement does ring true to some degree, it also doesn’t begin to sum up the work that is done at the Nation. Of course, we have more fun than I can imagine most people do at their jobs, but what I quickly realized as I immersed myself into my new job was how hard the crew behind the Nation Network works. I don’t think a lot of people realize just what it takes to keep the Nation alive, but I can assure you that the boys and gals at Nation HQ and beyond work just as hard as they play.
Every day I’m granted the opportunity to learn from some of the best in the business. I’m surrounded by people sharing their expertise, thinking up new ideas, bringing those ideas to fruition, creating, collaborating, teaching, learning. It’s been a whirlwind, but I’ve learned to absorb every bit of it to better myself. The experience and knowledge I’ve gained in one year of working with the brilliant minds at Nation HQ is unrivalled.
When I first started at the Nation I was excited to be surrounded by great hockey minds, but what I quickly realized is that I’d be surrounded by so much more. Thank you to the great minds that have taught me, inspired me, and believed in me:
BaggedMilk is by far the hardest working person I have ever met and I can never thank him enough for guiding me through the first year of my career and sharing his knowledge and work ethic with me. Chris the Intern (yeah, I’ve shed the label faster than he has apparently) is another one of the hardest working guys around. He taught me the ropes of Nation HQ and continues to help me make my way through my new career, no matter how many questions I ask. I’m beyond lucky to work alongside these two every day (still planning on wearing a GoPro one day so people can see how much flack I put up with on the daily, though).
And those two are just the beginning of this great team: Adam and Josh in sales are constantly working to build the Nation to be bigger and better every day; our graphic designer, JoAnne, never fails to amaze me by her creativity and work ethic; our bookkeeper, Roni, plays office mom and makes sure the Nation stays on track; our fearless leader, Sheldon, lets us learn from his brilliant business mind every day and is constantly pushing us to be our best; and The Squire and Wanye, the two who we all wouldn’t be here without, tirelessly work to continue building the amazing community that they started.
And of course there’s the individuals who make up The Nation Network from across the continent. What a team we’ve got.
One of the greatest parts of this job is getting to be a part of the great Nation community. Not only do I feel like I have a family in the people who surround me at Nation HQ every day, but I’m now a part of an even larger family thanks to you, Nation. I think the greatest power that the Nation holds is its ability and dedication to bringing an entire community of people together. I’ve met people I never would’ve imagined I’d meet, made relationships with people I would’ve never even known about without the Nation, and can say that the community I’m now in the centre of is absolutely incredible.
Somehow, I managed to start my career at my dream job the same year the Oilers finally figured out how to play hockey (coincidence? I think not), and it made this year even more special. Being a part of this playoff run with all of you online, at Nation parties, and everywhere else, as well as seeing the brilliant minds at Nation HQ come together to make the first playoff run in Oilersnation history a success, is indescribable.
All in all, I never would’ve imagined five years ago that I’d be standing where I am today. Thank you to each and every one of you who have welcomed me into my role at Oilersnation, to the people I work alongside every day who are constantly pushing me to be better and teaching me new things, and to the boys who made this community for us all to be a part of.
You’re good people, Nation, thank you.