Abbey Warren is a 2019-2020 Fellow. She grew up in East Greenwich, Rhode Island and graduated from University of Michigan – Ann Arbor with a Bachelor of Science in Information.
Tell us about your host company and your role in the organization.
I am honored to work for OneMagnify – a marketing, analytics and technology company headquartered in Detroit, with offices nationwide and across the globe. As an Analyst on the Analytics team, I work on a variety of projects, spanning multiple industries, for client companies ranging from Non-Profits to Fortune 500 companies. My main clients include Ford Motor Company, Whirlpool, Maytag, and KitchenAid brands. I provide insight and strategies on website performance and email marketing campaigns. I’m passionate about using information and data as leverage to fuel understanding and inform future business and marketing decisions.
Tell us about your most recent challenge project; what did you learn from the experience?I worked with the Downtown Detroit Partnership and Greektown Neighborhood Partnership most recently. We envisioned the potential of a new public space in Randolph Plaza in Downtown Detroit, focusing on public art, wayfinding, and greenery. I came into the project as someone who actively uses and appreciates public spaces, but with no professional experience in city design or urban planning like other Fellows on my team. Therefore, it was enlightening to learn the various aspects that go into creating public spaces, and the multiple stakeholders involved including business owners, pedestrians, municipal representatives, and more that go into urban city planning for public use. We hoped to give the space a feeling unique to the Greektown neighborhood in which it is established, while making it cohesive with other public parks in the downtown vicinity. As a Detroit resident, I’m looking forward to seeing how our collective vision comes to fruition in the future.
How have you positively contributed to the community this year?
In thinking about my contribution, I am reminded of the quote: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Through our challenge projects, both our project partners and us Fellows have been able to flourish by gaining new knowledge and experience from the work that each non-profit does for the community, and lending intellectual capital to our project partners in return. Together, we’ve been able to make an even greater impact for the community.
How do you believe your fellowship year will shape your career moving forward?
This fellowship has shaped my career by expanding my view and understanding, allowing me to think deeper and more holistically. During my time as a Fellow, I’ve been able to develop and hone key skills such as improving my active listening, having meaningful conversations, and understanding the “why.” The creative thought process we used during our challenge projects can be applied to any situation, and I have already found myself using this method in my daily job providing solutions for clients. Most importantly, this experience has shaped my values and career goals, which I will take with me into all of my future endeavors.
Please share the most memorable moment you have experienced as a Fellow. Why was it memorable and how has it impacted you?
My most memorable moment as a Fellow was after our Graduation when our cohort came together for a celebration picnic. Though we all stayed socially distant and wore masks, it was meaningful to physically be together one last time, especially after such a long time spent virtually apart during Covid-19. It reaffirmed the sense of community I felt so strongly within this group of Fellows, and it made me value all the unique relationships I’ve developed with people I might never have met otherwise. It reminded me that though we might each come from various backgrounds and experiences, we all share similar views and hopes for our city and world. Although saying goodbye was hard, I knew that this was just the beginning for each of us, and I look forward to seeing where our futures will lead.
If someone reading your interview is considering applying to be a Fellow, why would you encourage them to apply?
Challenge Detroit is perfect for young professionals exploring career paths. The professional development, networking, and exposure to such a variety of people, programs, and initiatives around the city are truly unique. Having the opportunity for structured learning experiences while making an impact on the community, supplemented by real work experience at host companies, creates an extremely well rounded experience.