Member Spotlight: Michele Olson

IMG_0733_editedProposal Manager at Leidos 

SMPS Central Florida Member Since: 2017

Do you currently hold a board or committee position? I was on the 2018 Art Gala committee.

If Yes, what do you help with on your committee and why do you suggest someone to be involved with one? I helped with planning the event, and also with set-up and day-of coordination. Joining a committee is a great way to really get involved with the chapter, to help you get the most out of your membership. Through the committee I was able to meet more members, which made me more comfortable to attend some events that I might not have otherwise.  It allows you to really start building relationships with members, which is so important in our industry.

How would you describe your role/job? As a proposal manager, my main role is to manage proposals from start to finish. I take the lead from receiving the RFP to printing/shipping, emailing, or uploading the proposal to the client. In addition to proposals, I also provide marketing support to the commercial energy division within Leidos. This includes anything from advertisements, to interview support/prep, and help with abstracts and presentation for conferences.

What have been the challenges and rewards of your career? One of the biggest challenges was first learning the industry and service marketing, and then also learning how to work with such a variety of internal customers. On any given day I will work with engineers, consultants, VPs of the company, division leads, etc. You have to figure out the best way to work with everyone, and also how to get everyone to work together as one team. The biggest reward is definitely winning a project, especially the big ones that required a lot of late nights. It makes all the hard work worth it!

How has membership in SMPS helped you to advance your firm or your career? SMPS has provided me with a lot of learning opportunities through different workshops and webinars that I have been able to attend. I was also able to attend Build Business this year, which was a great networking and learning experience overall. SMPS helps me to grow in my career, and also allows me to bring back knowledge to my team to help the company as a whole.

What’s one thing you’d teach someone in your industry? To always keep learning! The more that you can learn and grow, the more you will be able to contribute to the success of your company as well as your career.

What’s your favorite Central Florida restaurant and why? Dandelion Communitea Cafe! I am not vegan (or even vegetarian), but I love everything there! I eat at Dandelion at least once a week for lunch. You can just tell that the ingredients are so fresh and healthy, and they also make the best flavored teas. It’s located in an old house just outside of downtown Orlando, with a very welcoming environment.

Favorite book? South of Broad by Pat Conroy


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