Exciting projects and fascinating stories make for a dynamic communications role
Every IPEX team has a different story to tell. For Andrew Munday, having the opportunity to interact with colleagues across North America every day and share their successes makes for a communications career that is both dynamic and eventful.
From the classroom to the communications team
Andrew is no stranger to a lively workday – after working as an Ontario high school teacher for nine years, a career change led him to the field of communications a few years ago where he took on roles in tourism and healthcare communications before joining IPEX in July 2021. He is currently a Communications Business Partner based out of the Oakville, Ont. head office.
Moving from teaching to communications, he says, was a natural transition.
“Branching into communications is like a different form of teaching, in a way. You’re taking information that, in many cases, is difficult to understand and then packaging it in a way that people across multiple disciplines and departments can understand, and in a way that appeals to everyone.”
Every day is different
One of the great things about communications at IPEX, Andrew says, is that there is no such thing as a ‘typical day.’ Not only does he work on scheduled communications — whether success stories for the IPEX intranet or important employee announcements — but also on other projects that allow him to connect to different departments all over North America, whether it’s IT, manufacturing, sales or plant managers.
“On any given day, I can be working on an article, I can be writing a submission for an awards application, I can be supporting an executive communication or I can be helping a department navigate our intranet and set up their own page,” he says. “We’ve also really started to put together some stories for our internal news that showcase some of the projects that we have been working on and some of the products that are part of our sustainability strategy.”
Showcasing IPEX’s successes
Indeed, it is the opportunity to tell stories about plant or employee achievements that Andrew says are his greatest point of pride over the last year. While a few of these experiences stand out, a story from early 2022 is of particular significance.
After interviewing the plant team in Preston, Idaho, Andrew wrote a story about a local teen who was looking for an opportunity to give back to the fire department that had always taken care of him after his mother and firefighter father passed away. Inspired by the story of another student in New Brunswick who put together a fire department equipment dryer using donated IPEX pipes for his local fire department, the teen made his own dryer using pipes and blueprints donated by IPEX.
Andrew’s IPEX colleagues were there when the teen presented the dryer to his fire department at a powerful community event. The story was soon picked up by the local media and ended up on the 5 o’clock news.
“It was a really positive experience. While it was great to see our team recognized for their contributions, it really was important that this student’s story was shared and that the whole community was showcased.”
Charting your own career path
Another advantage of working at IPEX is the room to grow your career, says Andrew. While he is encouraged to come up with short- and long-term goals and plan out how he wants to achieve them, Andrew says there is also a lot of opportunity to redefine what his role includes.
“Having the ability to reshape what I do from year to year is pretty great,” he says.
As a former History and English teacher, Andrew says there has been a learning curve in the role, in terms of understanding more about the ins and outs of manufacturing, the products and the industry. But the tight-knit nature of the IPEX community means he has the chance to ask questions and learn new things from his colleagues every day, making it a positive experience.
“Everyone across North America is on the same page and we all get why we’re here, how we work, what our goals are. Everyone’s willing to chip in and support each other, and that’s a really great part of working here.”
Encouraging entrepreneurial spirit
Ultimately, Andrew says having the confidence to ask questions and bring all ideas to the table are key skills for others starting out in communications or joining the IPEX team.
“That’s a big part of communications and IPEX – that your team wants to hear your ideas and wants that entrepreneurial spirit. Even if an idea isn’t adopted, your colleagues will appreciate that you brought it forward and will encourage you to come up with more.”
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