Our team sat down with Communications Associate and thrift-shop expert, Sarah Ball. She joined the team in May 2021 after serving as a public affairs intern for a year. Sarah is an award-winning communicator and brings a fresh vision to traditional and social media strategy. You can read our conversation with her below.
What is your go-to comfort food?
Pierogis! Specifically, my dad’s pierogis. My family comes from Polish and Ukrainian backgrounds so homemade pierogis are a staple at home. We started making them on special holidays, but they have quickly become a constant in our everyday life. While they are extremely time-consuming to make, we always take the time to enjoy them together and appreciate the labor that goes into the dish.
How did you get started with Strategic Elements?
I started at Strategic Elements, and PR agency life, as a public affairs intern in January 2020 when I was a junior in college. I quickly grew to love the client work and the people at Strategic Elements and was thrilled to see a communications position open as I began my job search. Luckily, the work during my internship was memorable and led to my full-time position out of college. I’m extremely grateful for the opportunities I have been given throughout my time at Strategic Elements.
What is a skill you have learned over the years, work or non-work related, that has been beneficial to you?
It’s a fundamental belief of mine that soft skills are often overlooked. Skills such as active listening, communication, leadership, and organization are critically important to growing as an individual, inside and outside of the office. While “hard skills” such as learning a computer program are beneficial to your professional development, soft skills are critical to developing as a professional and an engaged individual. Hard skills are often taught but character development that’s achieved through soft skills is not.
What drives your passion for communication?
Words are powerful tools that have the potential to make a difference. Communication professionals are the bridge between an organization and the public. We are in a unique position with a responsibility to do what is in the best interests of both audiences. To successfully communicate, you must be able to understand the complexities of any given industry and be able to simplify an issue to communicate its full relevancy to your audience. My work in communication allows me to be a part of a larger conversation surrounding current events, political issues, and an ever-evolving world. Who wouldn’t be fascinated by that?
What is your favorite thing to shop for and why?
Oddly enough, secondhand items. One of my favorite activities to do is to go antique and thrift shopping. I love to see items of the past and put a modern twist on them to bring a space together. Each item has a story, which only continues when it’s sold to a new owner. Secondhand items are a great way to add character to any space. Plus, it’s environmentally friendly. What’s not to love?
What is your favorite hobby and why is it your favorite?
I love everything about cooking. Nothing fills me with more joy than planning a meal with guests’ preferences in mind, combining flavors and most importantly, seeing my loved ones enjoy the meal I’ve made.
How do you stay motivated?
I believe we all have a lifetime of learning and that there is a lot we can learn from one another. Our life experiences make us who we are and how we view the world. By dedicating ourselves to continue learning more, we open ourselves to new perspectives every day. I am also a huge advocate of rest. By allowing ourselves to rest and recharge, we allow our creativity to flourish and learn more about ourselves overall.
What advice would you give to your high school self?
It’s okay not to know what’s next. College and your career are meant to be a place to learn about your passions, your skills, and how to use those skills to make a difference. As a teenager, no one– especially yourself—shouldn’t expect you to have answers. Live, learn and learn again.
What is essential for your work from home setup?
A playlist filled with energetic songs to hype me up and of course, my cat, Luna. While I do find it unfair that she gets to nap while I’m working, she’s a sweet work-from-home co-worker who is always excited to see me throughout the day.