#CMGRHangout presents: Transitioning into a Community Career (Preview)

October 9, 2014 — by Sherrie Rohde0



#CMGRHangout presents: Transitioning into a Community Career (Preview)

October 9, 2014 — by Sherrie Rohde0

Last year we decided to run a series of Community Manager stories in preparation for Community Manager Appreciation Day sharing how various community professionals have moved from other industries into ours. Recently, Cindi Schultz reached out to ask us what other people did before working in community and how they made the jump.

This week’s #CMGRHangout panel Friday, October 10th at 2pm EST consists of many who have made the leap to community management from other industries. We’ll talk about where we came from, how we got here, what worked and what didn’t work.

Sherrie Rohde and Dom Garrett will be hosting the Hangout with Paulette Bleam, William ChauDavid DeWald, Aimee Jarboe, Teri Kojetin, Venessa Paech, Cindi Schultz and Sara Sigel as panelists. Carrie Keenan will be moderating the Twitter chat using #CMGRHangout.


Paulette BleamPaulette Bleam
Director of Client Services & Social Media at Sumazi

Paulette is the Director of Client Services & Social Media at Sumazi, a social intelligence company, where she handles all things customers and social media. She has been recognized by Jeremiah Owyang and the Altimeter Group as the #3 Most Connected Community Manager of 2013. Before Sumazi, she was a journalist, working as a writer, editor and television news producer at some of the top-tier publications and stations in the country, including ABC News and ESPN.

Connect with Paulette on Twitter at @paulettebleam or on Google+.

William ChauWilliam Chau
Customer Success Advocate at Vend

A former marketer in the pharmaceutical and banking sectors, Will currently works at Vend, a cloud based company that makes point-of-sale software that retailers love. When not helping retailers achieve retail success, Will can be found nerding out to basketball analytics and listening to his endless supply of podcasts.

Connect with David on Twitter at @chaumaster or on Google+.

David DeWaldDavid “Historian” DeWald
Community Manager at

David has over 15 years of experience with working with web based communities starting with early fan sites to large multi-community web sites, he brings his unique knowledge of social interactions to everything he does.

Connect with David on Twitter at @historian or on Google+.

Aimee JarboeAimee Jarboe
Community Operations Manager at Virid and Community Manager at Citadel Studios

Building support networks for developers and end-users while cultivating a brand voice is wordy, but central to roles where Aimee thrives. She was thrilled to learn her passion for retail technology and love of online gaming are marketable skills. A fervent learner and tinkerer, Aimee blogs at to clear space for fresh thoughts. Her natural habitat is Twitter.

Connect with Aimee on Twitter at @Maevrim or on Google+.

Teri KojetinTeri Kojetin
Social Media & Community Coordinator at ICUC

Teri is responsible for creating content and engaging on ICUC’s social spaces and publications. Passionate about social media and CSR she strives to motivate and inspire action. When not posting photos of her granddaughter and food, Teri can be found enjoying time with family, reading, writing and cooking.

Connect with Teri on Twitter at @TeriMKojetin or on Google+.

VenessaPaechVenessa Paech
Group Senior Manager – Content & Community at REA Group

Venessa is an international community management authority, specializing in enterprise online communities. Currently she is Group Senior Manager of Content and Community for ASX listed REA Group. Venessa is a published academic and a popular speaker and consultant on community building and management, moderation and governance. In 2008 she founded the Australian Community Managers Roundtables and co-founded the flagship Australian community management conference, Swarm.

Connect with Venessa on Twitter at @venessapaech or on Google+.

Cindi SchultzCindi Schultz
Senior Technical Writer and Content Manager at Foothold Services

Since 2004, Foothold Services placed teams of technical writers & eLearning developers on projects worldwide. Cindi’s teams bridged technical with conversational, client friendly writing and training. In 2014, Cindi closed shop and consults as a senior technical writer and digital asset manager.

Connect with Cindi on Twitter at @GetaFoothold or on Google+.

Sara SigelSara Sigel
Community Manager at GrabCAD

Sara helps 1.5 million engineers and designers in the GrabCAD Community get products to market faster. Her passion for connecting people with the brands they love began when she studied neurobiology. Sara continues to learn about how groups of people work, think, and change. When she isn’t brainstorming community ideas, you can find her running around soccer fields and eating the half time snacks.

Connect with Sara on Twitter at @sarasigel or on Google+.

Discussion Questions

  1. What career path were you on before transitioning to the community industry?
  2. How did you discover community management and what drew you to pursue it?
  3. What skills did you need to acquire in order to make the shift into community?
  4. How did you transition the public’s perception of your skills in your personal branding (LinkedIn, etc.)?
  5. How did you secure your first role in community without prior work experience?
  6. What pitfalls did you encounter along the path from your previous career track to community?
  7. What is your #1 tip for someone else wanting to shift into community?

RSVP & Watch the Hangout

Want to RSVP for the Hangout? Visit #CMGRHangout presents: Transitioning into a Community Career and let us know you’re going to watch. This will add the event to your calendar and remind you to attend! If you want to be on air, please let us know in advance by commenting on the event page. Let’s discuss ways you can attend:

  • Watch: You do NOT need to join the hangout. Just stay on the Google+ Event and you’ll see the video on YouTube. (Don’t worry, it will be there and start playing as soon as the broadcast begins.)
  • Talk and Be Seen: If you decide you want to talk, not just watch, click to join the hangout when we post the link here or when you see the notification. (We will only invite a few people for this event, so let us know why you would like to attend.) Do NOT click the link to join the hangout if you are just here to watch.
  • Chat: You can watch here and/or follow the conversation on Twitter using #CMGRHangout.

Any questions? Just let us know in advance. Please don’t wait until 2pm EST to ask questions.

If you join us on the hangout, a wired internet connection is preferred and if you have a headset with mic or earbuds, that works best for the audio. You will also need a working webcam.

Not sure what time this is for your location? Use

Featured Photo Credit: David Blackwell. via photopin cc

Sherrie Rohde

Community Manager at Magento
As the Community Manager for Magento, Sherrie connects people with resources and with each other, and, since she’s just a bit passionate about the topic, she also co-produces a monthly broadcast for community professionals called #CMGRHangout. An ENFP, Sherrie is obsessed with innovation, terrified of status quo, and motivated by adventure. Reach out on Twitter at @sherrierohde. 