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Workspaces Revealed: Jackie Vetrano

In this edition of Workspaces Revealed, we meet Jackie Vetrano from University of North Carolina.

Workspaces Revealed is a recurring column that gives a peek into the spaces and places HighEdWebbers do their magic. In this edition, we meet Jackie Vetrano from University of North Carolina.

In higher ed since the early ’10s, Jackie Vetrano has been at the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School since 2019. As the assistant director of marketing and prospect management for MBA programs, she steers the lead-nurturing ship (and spends a lot of time playing around with HubSpot and Slate.) Jackie serves on the board of directors for HighEdWeb, and has been a volunteer with the organization since 2013.

Workspace philosophy 

Before we were required to pack up and work from home for nearly two years, my philosophy was much different! I spent more time in my office each week than I did in my own home (if you don’t count the time I’m sleeping and spending it in dreamland).

With that in mind, I had the decorations and items that made me most happy in my office space so that I could see them more often! I didn’t much care that Funko Pop figurines or silly posters weren’t “professional” — they represent me and the things I love.

Now that I am working a hybrid schedule, I’m trying to find a balance of joy. Some things have come home with me but others have stayed — almost as a time capsule of what my office looked like before lockdown. Working in an open office suite also allows me to showcase who I am to the office and our visitors. It often strikes up conversations. Many don’t like that I have a Georgetown pennant at my desk. Hoya Saxa!

What one item would you grab if you had to vacate the office for an emergency?

I’d grab my framed half marathon bibs. They are a reminder of how much I can achieve with hard work and focus! Those bibs are the only things on my desk that are truly unable to be replaced.

Since you’re now hybrid, how do you make your space at home just as personalized/cozy as your office? Or, how does it differ? How did you decide what to keep where? (Like, if you have a prized office possession, which space does it go in?!)

I’m really struggling with this! I purchased a new home in February 2020, and left the décor that speaks to me most in my office in March, so I never really had the chance to figure out this balance!

My home office was sparsely decorated, using a few nice photos and my diplomas on the wall. I work most of the week from my office and not at home, so I have opted to keep most of my favorites at work. I’m hoping to find similar items to my favorite things — such as photos, pins, and items from conferences — to bring home and display in my home office and FINALLY start decorating!

Do you have an on-campus nook or cranny that serves as an extension of your office?  

I work in an open office suite with the rest of the UNC Kenan-Flagler marketing and communications team. We are a respectful bunch! Folks take meetings in conference rooms and leave the suite as a quiet place for focus. If I need to take a break, I have the ability to walk around the grounds of the business school. We are situated just off the main University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus, so there is a lot less foot traffic and hubbub during the day. I take a short walk, visit with colleagues who work in the building next door, and am recharged!

Jackie’s Workspace Revealed

Because I work in an open office, I get corkboard half-walls that are directly in my line of sight. I get to stare at photos that make me giggle, including some of my husband and I as well as my close friends.

You can also spot our annual Thanksgiving card – a twist on the traditional Christmas card we send to friends and family every year.

On my side cabinet is my collection of Funko Pops from my favorite TV shows and movies. I take great care in selecting which Pop I purchase! My absolute favorite of the bunch is Tim the Enchanter from Monty Python and the Holy Grail – Killer Rabbit included.

I used one half wall to store all my conference flair. I’m an avid presenter, and am really proud to show off the conferences I’ve attended and presented at.

In my top shelf is a random smattering of things that I’m too emotional to let go of, including a MailChimp monkey figurine I won in a contest and Otto the Orange – a gift from my sister. You’ll also see my two alma maters represented – SUNY Geneseo (the picture of the fountain) and Georgetown University (the pennant).

This poster combines two of my loves: Buffalo Bills and hex codes.

Thanks for showing us around your decked-out office area, Jackie! We love how personalized it is (and we LOVE the conference swag!)!

Workspaces Revealed

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By Donna Talarico

Donna Talarico, a Red-Stapler-winning HighEdWeb presenter and volunteer editor for Link, is an independent writer and content strategist. She is the marketing columnist for Wiley's Recruiting and Retaining Adult Learners, and her work has also been published in CASE Currents, The Guardian Higher Education Network, and elsewhere. From 2010 to 2015, she told the Elizabethtown College story as part of an award-winning marketing and communications team. Always a storyteller, before higher ed she worked in print and broadcast media, and for a leading eCommerce company. She is the founder and publisher of Hippocampus Magazine, a bimonthly creative nonfiction journal and small press. She loves road trips, board games, greasy spoon diners, and words.