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Support Centre Team Member Spotlight: Sarah Oddson

Posted Jun 24th, 2022 in 2022, spotlights, the wire

This month, we shine the spotlight on Sarah Oddson, Senior Manager, Corporate Brand and Communications at dentalcorp's Support Centre. Sarah tells us about her commitment to learning, welcoming new opportunities for growth, and the importance of embracing individuality in the workplace.

Tell us about your background – how long have you been with dentalcorp, and what were you doing before you joined?

I joined dentalcorp in September 2019, which was an entirely new industry for me having previously worked primarily in technology. I've always gravitated towards entrepreneurial organizations as I enjoy meeting new challenges, brainstorming solutions, and bringing them to life. My experience spans three distinct areas: human resources, technical training, and marketing communications. I was excited to learn about the opportunity to join dentalcorp, to support the People team with their communications needs. I felt like the role was perfect for me and my diverse set of work experiences. My responsibilities have since expanded to support a variety of teams across the organization.

Can you tell us a bit about your role on your team? What does a typical day look like? 

My primary role within the Corporate Brand and Communications Team is to ensure that we put our best foot forward through communications to the rest of the organization and ensure that the content is engaging, compelling, consistent, and on-brand. I support other teams with their communications needs, but I’m also involved in different communications projects for the organization. On a given day, I might be creating a communications plan for a program like The Academic Excellence Award, contributing content to one of our publications, strategizing with other teams, or helping package and communicate dentalcorp’s Values.

Tell us something about yourself that your coworkers would never guess. 

After I had my kids, I thought it would be a great opportunity to explore something completely different. I had a passion for animals, so I jumped at an opportunity to intern at a reptile zoo. Within weeks, I was giving tours and conducting stage shows for the public with snakes, alligators, tarantulas, and scorpions. My performances caught the eye of the zoo's president who hired me as Director of Central Casting, defining and documenting roles in the organization. This role landed me right back in the communications saddle again, with a focus on people.

Share something funny that's happened to you. 

I was part of a team tasked with cleaning out the Nile Crocodile enclosure, which housed two enormous crocodiles named Induna and Nandi. The animals were too large to be moved during the cleaning, so we had to accomplish our mission with the crocodiles inside. We received an extensive safety briefing beforehand and what stuck with me was, "If you see the slightest movement, turn and run to your nearest exit and do not look back under any circumstance." I took this instruction very seriously. As I was cleaning, I kept one eye on Nandi at all times as she was known to lunge at children near the glass. It wasn’t long before Nandi lifted her head about half an inch, and I was off like a flash, dropping everything behind me, diving headfirst through the exit. Once I was safe, I turned to ensure my coworkers had made it out alive. Having adjusted her napping position, I saw a very comfortable Nandi and my seven amused coworkers. They teased me forever, but I stand firm by my decision. Better embarrassed than dead!

Share an experience you've had that's really left an impact.

As a fresh grad, I worked for the CEO of a tech company, where I stayed for over ten years. I evolved from an entry-level admin assistant to starting an HR department and overhauling the Education and Documentation function of the company. This incredibly challenging experience allowed me to realize how much I am capable of and how many different tasks I can successfully tackle.

What are your aspirations for personal and professional growth? Do you have a 5-year plan? 

I am committed to learning and advancing, but I don't have a specific plan. I've enjoyed everything I've ever tried, so I just want to keep an open mind and embrace opportunities that help me grow. I'd like to have more responsibility and provide leadership in areas where I can add value. In terms of personal growth, I want to progress along my fitness journey. I hope to continue participating in running and obstacle course events and work up to a 10k run next year.

What advice do you have for new team members joining dentalcorp's Support Centre?

Ask lots of questions, and don't be intimidated by others who have been here longer or have more industry know-how. Everyone in the organization is on a continuous learning curve, so you are right at home. Now that there's an opportunity to be in the office again, it's important to participate in social events and activities. We are an incredibly diverse and talented group of people, and dentalcorp knows how to have fun. Lastly, pour your individuality and passion into your role and make it your own! 

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