News and Events
Alumni Spotlight: Jorri (Heil) Smith
Current job title
Provider Communications Manager
Describe your current position
As a Provider Communications Manager, I am responsible for educating and communicating to Priority Health's physicians, hospitals, and ancillary providers about the organization's programs and policies to ensure we're providing excellent and affordable health care.
To what extent does writing relate to your current position? /
What type of writing/design do you do for work?
Writing is crucial in my team's day-to-day work. We take complex information and communicate it in writing in order to drive change. The communication always starts with written pieces that can then be translated into other channels, such as in-person discussions, presentations, etc.
Please briefly describe your path from graduation at GVSU to
your current position.
I double majored in writing and PR. I started in automotive manufacturing as a communications specialist. Then I worked in construction as a marketing specialist with some business development functions. Since joining Priority Health, I have moved from the marketing department in member communications to project management roles and now to a department-specific communications role.
What parts of the writing major had the strongest impact on
you as a professional?
Refining my writing skills has given me an edge in all aspects of my career and sets me apart from the competition. In business, strong writing skills are often an unaddressed need. Early in my career, the HTML/CSS coding I learned in a writing for the web class also gave me an edge in early roles where I there was a need for someone with technical skills to manage web content.
What advice would you offer to current/future writing majors
at Grand Valley?
Writing is a skill that will always help you set yourself apart and give you a competitive edge against the competition. Stay curious and be willing to take on roles where you can learn the business-side of the organization you work for. Pairing business acumen with strong writing skills will help you position yourself for a rewarding career. Also, you can never take too many internships. Get as many experiences as you can writing for various communication tactics: business plans, grants, press releases, presentations, etc.