Our SMS professionals serve as ambassadors for our certification program here at NISM. Not only are they knowledgeable about our curriculum, but they also share our passion for social media. Best of all, their stories help shape our organization and the work that we do here.
Our “Meet and Greet” series introduces you to one of our SMS professionals and shares their story. It is our hope that by sharing these stories, not only will you learn more about others who share your passion for being an SMS professional, but that you also will want to connect with them further. We encourage you to “meet” this featured individual by reaching out to them through your favorite social media platform or comment at the section below this article.
And with that, we’d like to introduce you to Magdalena Schürmann and her story.
Hi, Magdalena! Let’s start out by having you tell us a little about yourself and the work you do.
I am a coach and business consultant for small businesses and private clients. In my work I help my clients find or gain back the joy of working and living their best lives. Helping my clients in creating a healthy work-life-strategy and reducing major stressors is a large part of what I do. The goal is always to provide support but let the clients find their own, individual way.
Currently I live and work in a small town in western Germany, called Erle. It is a typical small town community with one very special feature: a 1500 year old oak.
Wow! I think I speak for most readers when I say I’d love to see that tree. Do you feel social media strategy in Germany differs in any way from social media strategy in the US?
From my perspective social media strategy never is one and the same. The strategy we build for our social media presence always has to be specific to the industry we work in, the company we support and the situation we find the social media presence in. Thus, I would say that the strategy in Germany generally differs from the US because of cultural differences and the way that social media might be perceived by society.
Oftentimes, in Germany, social media is still viewed as dangerous or a method to spy on customers. Therefore, this view must be considered even more when we look at a social media strategy that caters to German customers. This would be something a social media strategist would probably recognize when doing their STP analysis. Something we take a deeper look at in the NISM ABC class on strategic planning.
That’s interesting to hear. We had discussed your role as a social media coach, in which you help people bring positivity and energy to their social presence. What do you often suggest clients do to create a balanced and happy work life?
One large part that come up very often when I talk about work-life-balance with clients, either in consideration of social media or just in general, is the idea of expectations. Expectations can be considered one of the great stressors when it comes to work and life. Expectations can come from ourselves towards ourselves or others or from other towards us. If the expectations meet our skills, that usually brings a good balance. But what happens when they are set too low or, even worse, too high? That can be a huge stressor. So I recommend taking a good and deep look at what we expect for ourselves and what others expect from us. Are we able and willing to fulfill these expectations? Or are there expectations we would and should not foster any further?
What about your line of work brings you the most joy?
I love working with people. From early youth, where I worked as a volunteer librarian, I loved working with “customers” and helping to solve a problem, e.g. finding the right book. This still is one of the best feelings when I get to see my clients solving their problem through my support and seeing them grow their contentment with what their work and life looks like. Especially when a plan we have made works. In social media it is just beautiful to see when clients get a hang of the systems and the community management and they are able to build great connections with their audience. It is just amazing to witness.
You became a certified SMS in 2017. How has your certification continued to help your professional career? How have you grown?
The certification was a real door-opener for me. Through the certification I grew personally and felt more confident to actually knock on doors and introduce myself with what I was capable of doing. That then led to training positions and work I have enjoyed ever since. And through the continuing education program that NISM requires, I feel more confident in keeping up to date. In addition, the community has helped me grow personally and professionally and it is a great resource to have such amazing and skilled people at your fingertips.
Not only did you become a certified SMS through NISM but you also became an instructor! What led you down that path?
After gaining my SMS certification I was asked if I would be interested in training other future SMS as well. If my memory serves me well enough, Amy Jauman brought the program to my attention. And I have not regretted it a single moment. It has been great teaching other SMS and getting a chance to work on NISM programs, such as “Pouring from a full glass” or the ABC class on “Strategic Planning”.
Both are great courses, we’re lucky to have you. What advice would you give someone thinking about certification?
Take a good look at what your purpose is for your certification. It might get a bit harder at times to combine your personal and professional commitments with prepping for your certification, so it is helpful to know and understand why you are doing it. It is a great motivator.
And then make a plan, how you want to go about it. Is it becoming obvious that I love a good plan?
Planning ahead is always a good idea and a distinct motivation is a great idea. Before we go, can you share a fun fact about yourself, something about you that not everyone would know?
I am a huge family person. After having lived away from the family in different parts of Germany and even in the US, I chose to move closer to the family a couple of years ago, which makes me one of many ancestors living in this town since the 16th century. Oh, and I share a birthday with the NISM CEO Jennifer Radke. I think that is special!
Magdalena, thank you for your willingness to share your story with us. Keep up the excellent work!
You can connect with Magdalena here:
E-Mail: [email protected]
LinkedIn: Magdalena Schürmann
Author: Celeste Russell
Hailing from Las Vegas, Nevada, Celeste began working with NISM as a summer intern in 2019. Since then she has found a real home in the community, earned her SMS certification, and currently works as the Social Media Coordinator. Celeste graduated from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota with a B.A. in Acting & Communication for the Arts. Her passions have always included effective communication both on and off the stage and she is grateful that working with NISM allows her the opportunity to pursue her acting career simultaneously.
Feel free to connect with Celeste on LinkedIn.