One of the most pressing priorities for companies, regardless of industry, is talent attraction. For many organizations today, tech talent—specifically, data analysts, engineers, and designers—tops the list. With analytics and artificial intelligence promising a competitive advantage to companies that can harness it, this category of employees is going to be in high demand for the foreseeable future.
As companies seek to build their in-house tech capabilities, a recurring debate has been whether it’s better to take someone with a business background and make them conversant in tech and analytics or to familiarize data and analytics specialists in the ways of business. And while business schools have added analytics classes to create graduates equally at home in both disciplines, companies continue to grapple with this challenge.
This dilemma has a parallel in the content world, especially for companies like ours that serve B2B companies. There’s a deep pool of people who are experienced writers and have a solid grasp of the writing fundamentals. Conversely, graduates with MBAs and experience putting that knowledge to use for companies or consulting firms are legion.
Since it’s exceedingly rare to find someone with a foot in both worlds, we can either take excellent writers and inculcate them in the ways of business or try to find businesspeople with an interest in learning the vagaries of writing. When you throw on a layer of client service and the need to check your ego at the door, the pool gets mighty shallow.
Those who want to excel in this field need to be curious, persistent, and a bit fearless. Every project is learning experience in some way—whether it be the subject matter, the process, the aggressive deadlines, or the unpredictable human component.
Our latest hire, Mimi Li, joins us as an editor with an impressive pedigree: a BA in French and economics from Washington University and an MBA in marketing and analytics from Cornell. Since leaving school, she’s worked as a corporate finance analyst at Boeing and in finance and operations management at McMaster-Carr. Those positions gave her firsthand experience with some of the business issues our clients are weighing in on.
Mimi has also worked as an independent consultant, content specialist, adjunct faculty, and fundraiser. Anyone who has worked at a small business knows that things change constantly; an entrepreneurial mind-set and the desire to jump into the fray can be invaluable.
She has also pursued writing and editing in various forms for a number of years. The ability to assume different tones, depending on the audience and channel, is critical to what we do on a regular basis.
Besides focusing on the financial services sector, Mimi will be putting her background to work helping our clients demonstrate their analytics expertise. This topic has become ubiquitous, and Mimi has the benefit of starting with a firm understanding of fundamentals and trends in this space.
I’m excited to have Mimi as part of our team, not least because she’s a fan of In the Loop, one of my favorite movies and a true overlooked masterpiece. (Check it out; you won’t be sorry unless you’re offended by insightful storytelling and breathtakingly creative profanity.)
Please join me in welcoming Mimi to Leff.