Here is our latest submission for our Day in the Life of a Nonprofit Communicator – Quarantine Edition. Let’s see how Jennifer Cobb is adapting.
Jennifer Cobb is a storyteller at heart and a dedicated disciple of “donor love.” She currently serves as the Executive Director of Donor Relations for University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), where she leads a multi-faceted team focused on providing individualized, inspiring and intentional donor communications and experiences.
Prior to her current role, Jennifer worked at Arkansas Children’s, serving as the Director of Communications and Planning for the Arkansas Children’s Foundation for five years, building capacity for investment-level philanthropy through strategic content development and storytelling. She also served as the first Director Content Marketing for Arkansas Children’s, leading storytelling for the pediatric health system and overseeing all content marketing projects designed to move people to action. Prior her tenure at Arkansas Children’s, Jennifer held leadership roles in the niche publishing industry in Little Rock and at various nonprofits in Montgomery, Alabama.
Jennifer graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English from Rhodes College in Memphis. She is a member of the Arkansas Chapter of International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). Jennifer is married to Chris Travis. Between them, they are the proud but exhausted parents of two high school students and three college students.
And this is her typical work day while quarantined:
Before 8:00 a.m. Do you immediately grab your phone when you wake up? Are you taking the dog out? Breakfast with the family? Do you get dressed right away?
I try to wake up early enough to have an hour to myself. I spend the time making my coffee, watering my pandemic garden, talking to the baby birds that have hatched outside my window, writing in my journal and sometimes even taking a walk.
On days I have ZOOM calls, I get a bit more dressed and even put on makeup! If I don’t have calls, I’m in legging and T-shirts, sans makeup.
Dry shampoo is my best friend. I don’t want to talk about my gray roots.
8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m Are you on the computer now or getting the kids set up with their school work? Dressed yet? Zoom meetings with colleagues?
I’m logged on by 8 a.m. My kids are teenagers, so they are on their own!
My meetings don’t typically start until mid-morning, so I spend the first hour or so of the day answering emails and working on projects. My coworkers (a scruffy mutt named Harvey and a boxer/lab mix named Mikey) curl up under my feet and snore. I mute my Zoom call.
10:00 a.m – 12:00 p.m. Are you still on schedule for the day? What systems are you using to stay organized? Is someone else in your house also working from home? How are you getting along? Dressed yet?
By this time, my husband has logged on to his computer and started his day. He’s an attorney and is typically on the phone all. day. long. He paces around the house so as not to disrupt the Zen in our shared office. I take a break mid-morning and eat a snack.
I may wander around the house, picking up after the kids as I go along. I’m amazed at the half-drunk bottles of water, Gatorade and Diet Coke. Sheesh.
What time is it even? Are you hungry or just bored? Why is 6th grade math so different now? Did your significant other really just say “let’s circle back” on that call? Are you dressed yet?
I eat again around noon(ish). Let’s be honest, I eat something every two hours. But I typically stop around 4. I’ve decided intermittent fasting during COVID is a fun experiment. My teenagers are finally awake and nagging me for money. They head off to the neighbor’s private pool. Lucky ducks.
Nap Time. What else is there to do? If you got dressed, do you get undressed for your nap?
No nap for me! But I’m likely taking a break in my sun room playing Merge Dragons on my phone or checking social media. The baby birds seem hungry. I wonder if I should feed them? I decide to let their mama do it. I have enough mouths to feed as it is with all these !@#$% teenagers.
Now, it’s really time to work. Did you finish everything you needed to do?
By 4:00, I might actually be able to get back to the project I was working on this morning. I don’t feel like there’s ever enough time in the day to get everything done.
Maybe I should focus more on work and less on food, birds, teens and my husband’s client calls. Wait, BRB, I need to unload the dishwasher that I just ran for the second time today.
White or red? Or do you wind down the day another way? Guess you don’t have to get dressed…
I prefer Topo Chico with lime!
Thanks for sharing, Jennifer!
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