As I prepare for my new journey at the University of Missouri, my time in Southern Illinois, and more specifically, at Harness Digital Marketing, has come to an end. It’s amazing how much time flies and time at HDM sure has flown. I’ll never forget my first day at the office: scared, unsure, and a little in over my head. But, that soon changed as each and every member of the “Harness TechED” team welcomed me, taught me, and most importantly, became like a second family to me.
I’m sure that it wasn’t easy trying to work with and befriend a 16-year-old girl who (most days) came into the office with some story about friend drama, boy drama, or just drama in general. But, one thing that I can say about the Harness Digital Marketing team is that every member of this team cares for one another like I’ve never experienced before. If anyone came into this office with anything other than a smile on their face, a “what’s wrong” was immediately asked. I’ve never been surrounded by such loving and caring people and that was one thing that surprised me the most when I came here almost two years ago.
In my (almost) two years at Harness Digital Marketing, I’ve learned invaluable lessons. Whether these questions concerned marketing, social media, or just life in general, these were the people I turned to and trusted most. Not many people can say that they work with people so closely that they are like a second family. When I leave for school, I won’t just be leaving my friends and immediate family, I’ll be leaving behind the second family that I’ve gained from HDM.
Tom, I can never begin to express how thankful I am for the opportunity that you gave me. When you first met me at the FBLA Brown Bag Lunch my sophomore year, you looked past the sweatpants and knotted hair, and you gave me, a 16-year-old girl from Herrin High School, the chance of a lifetime. You’ve supported me in everything that I have done these past 2 years and given me opportunities to speak in front of the community, to go to conferences, and just to be a part of this wonderful business that you have started. Almost all of my blogs have been somewhat controversial and not once have you done anything other than support me and stand up for me when receiving backlash. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for believing in me and for never treating me as a “millennial.” Thanks for all the memories, all the debates, and for teaching me things I never would’ve been taught working at Pizza Hut. I’ll be sure to keep in touch, especially when the Cards beat the Cubs this October in the Post-Season.
Matt, I’m going to come clean. When I first met you, I was incredibly intimidated by you and your curly mustache. I knew that YOU were the business guy, and if you didn’t like me, I probably wasn’t going to be here long. However, I soon learned that you were really just a cuddly, teddy bear – with a mustache – that said things that we were all thinking, but were too afraid to say. Thank you for being the voice of reason in the office. Thank you for the countless brainstorming sessions you had with me when I just couldn’t think of anything. You’ve always been nothing but kind to me (even though you probably give me more crap than anyone else at HDM) and, for that, I’ll always be grateful. You’ve helped all of us out when we were at our lowest and I know that you’ll continue to help grow HDM and get it to its fullest potential.
Laurel, You came in after me, and I’m not going to lie, I was hesitant to get close to you. Megan left some pretty big shoes to fill and she was the first person I job-shadowed, the first person I became friends with, and the first person to leave. But, I have to tell you, I’m going to miss you. From your obsession with writing EVERYTHING down in your planners (yes, plural) to the amazing job that you do at HDM, you have definitely filled those shoes well. Thank you for supporting me, being a shoulder to cry on when I need it, and for being the only one in the office to reply to my texts when I might be running a little bit late. I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do without you, but I do know one thing for sure, you’re going to be a beautiful bride and wonderful wife. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you, Laurel. I know that you’re going to do great.
Nicole, Honestly, I’m sure where to start. I remember the first Saturday I worked. I had never met you before because our scheduled never overlapped and the only thing I knew about you was that Tom had said that we were a lot alike and should get along. Nevertheless, I was terrified to meet you. But, we both know how long that lasted and soon enough we were more than coworkers, we were good friends. I’ll always cherish the memories of our Vine videos and trip to St. Louis where you had me try Culver’s for the first time. I’ll always be grateful for the hours-long conversations we’ve had that sometimes were not even conversations, just me venting. You’ve always been the main one I turn to for advice, help, or anything in-between. You’ve become more to me than a coworker or a friend, but you’ve become the sister I never had. I really have no idea what I’m going to without our daily chats and “I’m gonna miss yous” when I leave. All I know is that what you have done for me these past 2 years is more than what some people have done for me in my entire life. You are the definition of a good friend and you are beyond talented. I know how you are and I know that you won’t take credit or ever think that you’re good enough, but I just want to end with this: you are by far the most talented person I know. Whether you’re doing graphic work, creating content, or cooking, you excel. Be more confident, Nicole. You deserve to be recognized for all your hard work and achievements. I can’t wait to see where you go.
Well, I guess this is it. My last blog as a member of Harness Digital Marketing. My time here has been amazing, but I’m not going to lie, it’s been incredibly difficult as well. I’ve been challenged more I ever thought I would, I’ve been frustrated more times than I can count, I’ve lacked motivation pretty much every Friday since I began working here, and probably drank more caffeine in this office than anywhere else. My time at HDM will always be cherished. I would just like to thank everyone one last time for putting up with me and my baggage for the past couple of years. I would not be the person I am today without you guys. I’m going to miss each and every one of you more than you know.
Peace out, HDM. It’s been real. It’s been fun. It HAS been real fun.
By: Harley Crawshaw | @harley_crawshaw