What do the career path and the day-in-the-life look like for an Outreach Partner at Panorama Education?
We connected with Rob Russell to find out!
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Where did you grow up? What did your parents do for work?
I grew up in a small town in Oregon called Baker City. My dad is a cattle rancher and my mom is an entrepreneur owning several small businesses.
Where did you go to college? What did you study and what were some of your initial jobs out of school?
I went to Portland State University and studied Psychology and Sociology. I supported myself through school by working at Whole Foods Market. My first job out of college was teaching 3rd grade at an international school in the suburbs of Bangkok, Thailand. I stayed in the classroom and taught in Seoul, South Korea, Denver, CO and most recently Brooklyn, NY.
What has attributed to your success thus far and has helped propel you to the position you have now?
I would definitely have to say that being awarded the Ford Family Foundation Scholarship and going through their mentorship program was a major driver in my success today. The program was designed for first-generation college students and it’s really the only reason I successfully completed my degree and was able to afford college.
Can you share the high-level responsibilities of your current position as an Outreach Partner at Panorama Education?
High level, I am responsible for overall outreach to districts with 5,000+ students. I research and prospect districts and then build relationships with district administrators to further drive Panorama’s mission of making a difference in the lives of all students.
Any tips for someone considering a career in your field?
Having spent the last 10 years in the classroom, I took a rather long road to the career I have today. I think my biggest tip or advice would be to always focus on the impact that the organization you work for is making. If you feel good about what your company is doing, everything else falls into place.
Day in the Life
Coffee, tea, or nothing?
Iced coffee. Every day. All year round.
What time do you get into the office?
I’m usually at my desk and ready to go around 8:30am, but I do have days where it’s harder to get motivated to make that commute from my bedroom to my living. On those days I log in right at 9.
What are three things that motivate you in your role?
- My coworkers - they are hilarious and always down for a good competition.
- My family - I try to always work hard during my working hours so I can fully enjoy my time with my husband and our dog Banksy.
- Impact - every time I book a meeting or we close a deal I think about the students I used to have and the impact Panorama will have on the lives of children like them.
Every day is different, but can you outline what a typical day looks like for you?
The typical day is scattered with phone calls, emails, data entry, and research. On a busy day I may have 1-2 meetings scheduled with a prospect where I ask questions and learn as much as I can about their current needs and if Panorama can fit those needs. The best days are filled with Panorama Demos where I work with my closer to highlight our product. These are always fun when the prospect walks away really excited about partnering with us.
What time do you head out of the office?
I try really hard to stay super focused all day and shut down right at 5pm.
Do you log back in at night or do you shut it down completely?
I will occasionally check slack and emails one more time after dinner. Mostly to curb my own anxiety about any surprises coming up the next day or to check in on messages that could be coming in from colleagues in west coast time zones.
Any productivity hacks?
- Color code everything!
- Don’t be afraid to turn on “Do Not Disturb” when you really need to focus.
- Take Breaks! It’s important to recognize the power of downtime when we are trying to be productive.
What are the 3 apps that you can’t live without?
- Google Calendar
- Spotify (I love listening to music when I need to really focus)
What professional accomplishment are you proudest of?
I stayed in the classroom for 10 years. When the average tenure of a teacher in the USA is around 1-3 years, it’s something I’m proud of professionally.
Who do you admire or call upon for professional advice?
I tend to really lean into my friend group for advice both professionally and personally. I have a great chosen family here in NYC and a few mentors from my college days that I still reach out to for advice.