Having lived in Mexico City, South Korea, Alaska, Missouri, Texas and Colorado Springs, a life filled with travel led to a career in storytelling for Andrea Sinclair. When she moved to Colorado Springs in 2012, she began writing for the Gazette. Two years ago, Sinclair moved from journalism to telling the story of one of the city’s largest health systems, working as a communications specialist for Penrose-St. Francis Health Services.
“I had never been in [public relations], never been in marketing. I had the communications background, but making the transition was not without its challenges. … It was almost like looking into the same house, but from a different window,” Sinclair said.
Not once did Sinclair envision herself working in health care, but the transition has made her feel like she is consistently making a difference.
“My favorite thing … [is knowing] everything I do is for the benefit of our patients, and that we aren’t trying to make a buck. We are just really trying to deliver the best health care that we can,” she said. “Even if all I’m doing is designing a mug — that is still for our patients. Everything we do means a lot.”
Sinclair won’t be changing cities or positions any time soon, she said.
“Growing up for me, a multicultural kid, it gives you a very special sense of your place in the world,” she said. “One of the things I realized really quickly when I moved here was that people were very welcoming. I’m not a native of anywhere really, but I feel at home here.”
Sinclair said changing states frequently when she was younger helped her develop communication skills and allowed her to empathize with other people.
What skills from journalism do you think transitioned to your current position?
Being in communications, you learn to talk to people, make connections and you create relationships that can benefit both of you later on. Journalism taught me that.
One of the things I think that is really useful … is that now when I work with media … I can anticipate what [reporters] will need. It’s very helpful to me to have come from that background. I can be an effective partner to media in that sense.
What is the most rewarding part of working at Penrose-St. Francis?
I get to meet super-interesting people all the time. We have over 3,000 employees and I get to meet all of them and write about all of them. We have an in-house newsletter and other publications and there are associates who do incredible things all the time that I get to write about. I love that I can be inspired by my colleagues and the patients.
Were there any challenges for you switching fields?
Learning the marketing side. Everybody here was awesome from Day One and very welcoming. The whole team embraced me and taught me so much. It’s a really great combination of being able to take off running, but I also had a lot of guidance.
What do you look for when you build professional relationships?
I think transparency is important and always being honest with what your goals are, what you want to accomplish and how — but also what you’re not willing to do, what you don’t want the relationship to become. … The other thing is enthusiasm and being excited about what you’re doing. If you work with someone who is happy to be there and happy to work with you, you are going to feel exactly like they feel. I think coming from a place of good intentions is always important. I try to do that with all my relationships. Just do good; be good.
Has Colorado Springs been a good place to develop as a young professional?
Absolutely. Everyone is always excited to collaborate even when it’s a lot of work. It feels like everyone really is working together to make Colorado Springs better — to have a better life and a better city.
What advice would you give other young professionals?
Be self-assured and realize what your skills are, and don’t be afraid to be your own advocate. Don’t be afraid to tell people, ‘I’m good at this.’
If you’re doing something well, make sure people know. There will be someone who will appreciate you.