In high school, I fell in love with telling stories. I took extra English classes, because I just couldn’t choose between British Lit and American poetry. I designed theater sets and wrote for the school newspaper. I was also fortunate enough to take a chemistry class with a teacher who knew how to connect with his students.
He would say the goofiest things, from “You young people today, you whip out your calculators to multiply one times one,” and “We don’t have sophomores, just second year freshmen,” and “An atom is like a teenager; if it’s going to do something, it’ll do it in the easiest way possible.”
Through his quips and other methods of boiling down science, he managed to stay in my head for decades, through life’s many adventures. In fact, the one about the atoms, it’s had a special power in my life as one of the early ways I understood how the world work – how the pieces fit together. In college, all of this came together as I found a different way to explore how the world works: journalism. For more than a decade, writing, researching and piecing together newscasts was how I peeked behind the curtain.
I had the honor of telling stories and going places I never could have imagined. From election night parties to standing a few feet from the famous Phantom of the Opera chandelier, my career opened doors. I’ve also looked into the eyes of a father still in shock as he showed me the scene of his teenage daughter’s death. And I managed to avoid succumbing to shock as I listened to an approaching tornado come frighteningly near my television station, only to lift off the ground for a stretch as it passed. The show my team and I managed to pull off that night landed us a Best Newscast Emmy.
Telling peoples’ stories is a privilege. Which means anything that could pull me away from the career I loved had to be big. 3M presented more than just the lure of tackling a bold, new challenge – though that certainly was a siren call. I already had a career filled with passion, and nothing short of that could suffice. In 3M, I found that, and I haven’t looked back.
The joys of serving as managing editor of the 3M Newsroom come daily, and in the nitty gritty. Today, we mark one year since we launched the Newsroom, and I still learn something new every day. It’s through a scientist’s passion for something as unassuming as adhesives that I learned an early challenge for electronic devices was making sure they didn’t smell. And through another’s commitment, I uncovered the innovative ways we identify and solve customer problems. I’ve learned how quickly people can jump to action when their coworkers’ families are impacted by tragedy.
I can’t describe the electricity that pulsed through me when I heard public radio host Ira Flatow’s answer to our question of what superpower could come to fruition in the coming years. I immediately recognized his response of “sticky stuff” as something 3M is expert in. Ira’s answer led to this whimsical story for all levels of reader.
Those real stories are why, when you come to the 3M Newsroom, chances are the first thing you see is a real-life photo, and not necessarily one of a 3M product or technology. Instead, we showcase the science and the people behind the science.
As the 3M Newsroom celebrates its inaugural year, check out a small sampling of the stories we’ve been honored to tell. And as we move forward, we’re gearing up to dive even deeper into the science and the creativity that makes this company a driving force in improving lives.
We aim to reach more people. We currently have 3M Newsroom sites in more than 20 countries, and in 2016 will expand to dozens more countries 3M calls home.
And the biggest thrill for this storytelling nerd? The promise that there is more new science to unravel every day.