We trust our employees’ judgment at Well Done. When our marketing specialist Zarrien Johnson-Bey introduced a fellow former Marian University athlete to us, we took his recommendation seriously. Read on to learn how Michaela Hoffa’s experience in outside sales prepared this volleyball player turned coach for a career in marketing, which Star Wars character she has a crush on, and why she is the best dog mom ever.
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
A: My name is Michaela, but my entire family calls me Kay. I also go by Money Mich, Mich, Michy, or Hoffa. I was born in Bloomington (Hoosiers or die), but I grew up in Brownsburg, where I spent the entirety of my childhood and teenage years. I played volleyball at Marian University for four and a half years and graduated in December of 2021 with a degree in marketing.
Q: Well, that’s an informative start. We’ll circle back to parse all of that. First and foremost, tell us about Milo.
A: Milo (Milo Bean, Bean Boy, Mr. Bean, Sweet Bean, Jimmy Dean) is almost three years old, and he’s a brown brindle pit mix. He’s about two-and-a-half feet tall and 64 pounds of pure love and sweetness. It’s hard to list all of the things I love about him, but my favorite thing is that he’s a mama’s boy. He follows me everywhere and can’t fall asleep without having a paw on me. He’s just the most loving baby in the world. I wouldn’t say there’s anything I dislike about him, really.
Q: He sounds delightful. Getting back to business, what led you to Well Done Marketing?
A: I was referred to the agency by a good friend of mine, Zarrien. He had seen via BeReal that I was looking for something new. He told me his company was hiring, and that he thought I would be a great fit for the team. I filled out the application, had the opportunity to go through the interview process, and here we are.
Q: What’s BeReal? Some of us are old. We need details.
A: It’s an interesting concept for a social media platform that I may be too old to use. Each day, a timer goes off requiring you to “be real” and post a photo of whatever you’re doing at that moment.
Q: Did you know Zarrien because you were both athletes at Marian?
A: I actually didn’t know Z was an athlete when I met him. My roommate was good friends with him. After two years of exchanging hellos and goodbyes, we started having actual conversations, and became besties. He probably wouldn’t say we’re besties, but besties help each other find jobs, so. . .
Q: Well, we’re happy your bestie introduced you to us. Tell us about the work you were doing before arriving at Well Done.
A: Before Well Done, I was doing outside sales at a local professional employer organization (PEO). My role was to call on potential clients and schedule a discovery meeting to see if the PEO model could be a good fit for them. I enjoyed working alongside some great people, but ultimately I knew sales weren’t for me.
Q: How did outside sales prepare you to be a successful account coordinator?
A: I learned a lot about working with all different types of people. I met with people of all different backgrounds, beliefs, and industries. It helped me to learn how people communicate, what works best for them, as well as how to connect with them. It also forced me to grow thicker skin. Cold calling is not for the weak. Learning how to handle difficult situations and conversations is a valuable tool.
Q: What about your experience on the volleyball court? How does a lifetime of sets, serves, and spikes give you a competitive edge in your professional life?
A: It definitely helps that I’ve acclimated to working within a team my whole life, so transitioning to a role where teamwork is crucial to the success of the company was pretty seamless. Volleyball also instilled a ton of leadership skills and confidence in me. When you’re a key player on the court, you can’t be unsure of yourself. You have to be able to lead and motivate your team to be successful in high pressure situations. It’s similar in professional life, in that sometimes you’re put in stressful situations and have to be able to find a way.
Q: What excites you about working in an agency?
A: I’m excited to work alongside a talented, diverse group of writers, designers, strategists, analysts, account executives, and developers who are incredibly smart.
Q: We agree, they’re smart. But sometimes those creatives can get running with an idea and they’re tough to rein in. How are you going to help make sure they stay on task?
A: My plan is to bring in donuts every Friday to butter everyone up! Just kidding. I’ve been able to sit in on a ton of internal meetings to observe how everyone works and responds. Communication and transparency are key when it comes to hitting deadlines. As long as I am fairly open, I have no doubt the work will get done in a timely manner.
Q: You’re a smart cookie. Baked goods and overcommunication is our love language. But here is the real question: Star Wars or Star Trek?
A: Star Wars, solely because of my unhealthy attraction to Hayden Christensen in 2005.
Q: Attracted to Darth Vader?! It seems like you might have some flaws in character judgment.
A: I definitely have poor taste in men, I agree.
Q: We won’t hold that against you. What else should we know about you?
A: You should know that I have the best dog in the world and I love Christmas. I’m also obsessed with hot fries, pho tai, SZA, and New Girl. Lastly, I am really, really, excited to be at Well Done.
Noted. Welcome aboard, Michaela!