Drake University - Major, Journalism + Minor, Sociology + Concentration, Music Performance
Bridget Nelson Monroe is a digital strategist for Beehive PR, an agency based in St. Paul, Minn. In her role, Bridget’s work involves a mix of content strategy, analytics, SEO, writing and editing … basically anything that involves digital content! In her spare time, Bridget likes to volunteer with She’s the First, because she feels educating girls is the cause of our time. (Editor’s Note: We couldn’t agree more!) When she’s not busy optimizing content for the Web, or volunteering her time, Bridget is in the middle of buying her first home! After living in a different apartment practically every year since she turned 18, she’s excited to have a real place to call home and to start decorating it. And she also holds some sacred downtime with her husband whenever Netflix night rolls around.
Take charge of your own career path!
How did you discover your current job?
At the end of August, I left NYC and moved to my home state of Minnesota. I freelanced while I applied for jobs, went on interviews and hit every networking event I could. Beehive PR has an informational session every month for anyone who’s interested in learning more about the agency. I attended the September session, where the group director of digital and social strategy gave a presentation on the agency’s capabilities. Everyone introduced themselves and spoke a little bit about their backgrounds, and shortly after the session, I got a call from the company asking me to apply for a job that wasn’t even posted yet.
What has been your path so far to get you where you are today?
My career started out firmly in traditional print journalism. An internship at Reader’s Digest in New York the summer before my senior year turned into a full-time job as a research editor and reporter. I am lucky to have started my career at a global publishing company so rooted in quality journalism. However, I quickly realized that I didn’t want to stay in print journalism forever. I was really interested in what was happening digitally and started teaching myself about editing websites and using social media. And I started telling everyone around me that I was interested in digital. It didn’t happen overnight, but eventually I had the opportunity to be a freelance content strategist at Digitas Health, a digital marketing agency. It was scary to quit my full-time job at Reader’s Digest and give up benefits, but I knew a good opportunity when I saw one. When I left New York a few months ago, I knew I wanted to stay in the realm of digital marketing and content strategy, so my job at Beehive PR is a perfect fit.
Was there any one situation that helped you along your way?
There hasn’t really been one groundbreaking situation; it’s been a lot of small situations and opportunities that have built upon one another.
What is your typical day like? Does it ever change?
There’s no such thing as a typical day, and I love that! My job calls for a lot of different skills, and every client and every project is different. No two days are alike. On top of that, my position is a new one at the company, so I have a lot of freedom to shape the role. The one consistent thing is that every day I’m working with incredibly smart, strategic thinkers.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
In my role as digital strategist, I have a holistic view of a PR campaign. I get to think about how to best make traditional PR, digital marketing and social media all work together to meet a client’s business goals. My agency is thinking big about all of these things, so it’s a very exciting time.
What is the most challenging part?
Because digital marketing is still relatively new, there isn’t always a clear-cut “right” way to do things. Sometimes I wish there was a textbook I could reference. But that’s also one of the best parts of my job: applying critical thinking to new situations every day.
What is the biggest personal sacrifice you have to make because of your job?
In my current job, I can’t think of any personal sacrifices. Really. My agency is big on work-life balance, and everyone truly walks the walk when it comes to working hard, but working reasonable hours.
What is one lesson you’ve learned in your job that sticks with you?
Confidence! In a fast-paced environment, there isn’t time for a lack of confidence. You need to speak up and argue your position on the spot.
What do you feel is the biggest challenge for women today, particularly females in your industry?
I’ve been surrounded by strong, smart, confident women in every job I’ve held and have learned so much from them. My generation is benefiting from the hard work of women who came before us, and I think the biggest challenge for women today is to keep that positive momentum going for the next generation. I’d say the gender gap is closing in the digital field, but there’s still room for improvement when it comes to providing avenues for girls to pursue math, science and technology at a younger age.
Who are your role models?
There are, of course, influential people I look up to. But I’ve learned the most from my family, friends and co-workers. Sometimes the best mentors are your peers or someone just a few years older than you.
Is there a quote or mantra that you live by?
No, not really. I just try to listen to and trust my instincts.
What advice do you have for girls who want to be in your industry?
Look for opportunities to teach yourself digital skills. There are so many ways: start a blog, watch a free tutorial, sign up for lynda.com, and read as many industry websites as you can. And get an internship!
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Take charge of your own career path! It’s easier than ever to ask people you admire to coffee, learn skills online (for free!) and find events and groups in your desired industry.