Employee Spotlight: Courtney Mitchell
Courtney Mitchell, Administrative Coordinator
“Administration” is an open-ended area. What’s the range of projects that you work on?
I work mostly on random issues that most people don’t think about and that they won’t ever have to if I’m doing my job well. This may mean finding somewhere to store an employee’s frozen meat delivery for a few days or expediting international work visas. I generally try to find ways to make things more user-friendly and improve the overall office environment. Keeping the office atmosphere light and fun is one of my priorities.
What’s been your favorite project at DMC so far?
I’ve been working on a series of surveys to gauge employee opinions on a variety of topics. It’s a fun challenge thinking of the best ways to ask a big group of people about everything from their physical desk space to improving project management and client interaction. It’s cool to work for an organization that cares enough to know what employees think, and even more to actually implement suggestions.
What do you like to do for fun?
Horses are a combination of my two favorite things, dogs and bikes. I rode English for several years and also did a lot of jumping. I spent a few summers as a camp counselor who taught kids how to ride, which was a lot of fun. I haven’t found anywhere to ride or exercise horses near Chicago but would love a recommendation!
I like biking to street fests or friends’ houses, and there are many amazing parks to explore in Chicago. My dog, Wiskie, also likes to go biking in his attached chariot. He is a rescue dog that we assumed was a golden retriever and basset hound. One year, I got a dog DNA analysis for my birthday and we learned he is actually a mix of Irish setter, English foxhound, bullmastiff, and terrier.
I really enjoy live music and actually used to perform alto a capella. I also interned at Lincoln Hall and have seen some of my favorite shows in Chicago there, including Fiona Apple and Built to Spill.
I also love to travel every chance I can get.
What are your favorite places in Chicago? How does it compare to growing up in Virginia?
The Montrose dog beach is the best place in the world. It’s full of all different kinds of dogs and people. It also has a great view of the skyline and I love how the lake looks like an ocean.
I’ve been known to say that if you’re bored in Chicago then you’re dumb because there’s so much to do here! I love the diversity and fast pace of the city.
Virginia is very different from Chicago. It’s naturally beautiful, cozy, slower-paced, and most people tend to be set in their ways. Southern hospitality is definitely real and you can sense it when someone really goes out of their way to make sure you’re enjoying yourself more than you would otherwise. Southern women have a distinctly sweet smile that comes from the heart. Hearing a southern accent always makes me feel at home.
You’re an advocate for green initiatives. Do you have any tips on things people can do to be greener in their homes?
- Utilize reusable containers like water bottles and grocery bags
- Put electronics on surge protectors. You can buy ones that come with switches that look like a light switch and are convenient for turning on and off.
- Make sure your house is sealed. You would be amazed what a little caulk can do to make your house less leaky (although ventilation is also very important).
- Don’t be wasteful, especially with energy. Turn off lights and appliances if you’re not using them.
- Composting is easy and produces amazing soil. It also helps reduces waste because organic matter doesn’t decompose well in landfills.
- Managing storm water with rain barrels helps reduce runoff. You can attach these to the end of your gutter and make use of “grey water” for watering plants.
- Use public transit or bike.
- Support your local CSA.
- Buy things second-hand or from Craigslist, rather than goods that need to be manufactured. Donate things as opposed to throwing them away!
You’ve had a range of jobs in different industries. What career lessons have you taken from these positions?
I’ve accumulated a hefty bag of tricks and random skills. Most importantly, I’ve realized that the attitude you put into a position is the attitude you’ll get back. This means always trying your best and continuing to learn everything that you can. The people you work with are as important as anything else, and getting to know them makes all the difference.
What do you like best about working at DMC?
The personal responsibility invested in our employees and the flexibility that comes with it. DMC employees are empowered to make decisions and get things done without many layers of overhead. You’re free to shape your own day in a way that makes sense and accomplishes the most.
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