Andrea Kesterke is Director of Sales for Milestone Documents. As a 15+-year veteran of higher education publishing, Andrea brings a dedication to the instructor experience and a passion for helping students reach their academic goals. When she has free time, she enjoys hanging with her fur kids, reading, knitting, listening to music, watching plays, and participating in ridiculous 5K runs for charity.
I was so excited when I was offered the chance to join this up-and-coming company in January 2016. I knew this was going to be special when I put the platform through its paces—there was no way I was going to sign on to sell something that didn’t work or make sense. So I pushed every button, created messes, cleaned up my messes, dug into every crevice the site had to offer, and tested it on several devices. I kept saying to myself, “This is really a simple and effective design.” And, “How many professors did they get to write this amazing support content?”
Once I started, it became clear to me that we had one of the best kept secrets in the humanities. We have a great platform, solid scholarship, and dedicated, satisfied customers. But there are still a lot of educators who haven’t heard about us, and so that has been my number one priority this year. We have been able to expand our outreach and have introduced many new instructors to this powerful, low-cost classroom solution. We’ve accomplished this through traditional marketing and communication channels but also through the support of dedicated instructors tweeting, blogging, and telling colleagues about us, and I can’t thank them enough! Without their support we wouldn’t be here.
It’s been a joy to be part of this journey, and I can’t wait to share our latest product developments with everyone soon!
How did you get started in your field?
I originally thought I was going to be an editor. I went to a liberal arts college and really just went to school to read books. So if there was a job that you could just read all of the time, that would work well with my life goals. And that is exactly what I did for four years. I worked for an education publisher in the editorial department. Then I learned about the part of the industry—sales—where you get to talk to people about what they are teaching and the goals they want to accomplish. You get to help them meet those goals? And you get to travel? I was sold immediately and haven’t looked back.
What do you love about working here?
I love the direct relationship the customer can have with our company. We don’t have layers of confusing titles or management that dilute or slow down our communication with instructors. We can answer and respond very quickly to questions and suggestions.
What exciting things do you have coming up in the next few months?
We are developing so many ways for instructors and students to speak up! That is what I have coming up over the next few months. I ask myself everyday, “How are you giving instructors a chance to be heard?” I think about not only how I share the message of Milestone Documents, but also about how I listen to the needs of instructors and students. One-on-one conversations, e-campaigns, focus groups, review opportunities, and faculty development webinars are just a few of the ways we are working to make our instructor voices heard in the coming months. I’m excited to be a part of that.
If you could pick the office playlist, what would you pick?
I tend to work to the “60s, 70s, and 80s Hits Radio” Pandora Station, so my team should be grateful that I work out of my home office in Georgia.
I do volunteer work for various organizations in my community including participating in 5K runs for charity, but I’m a huge sucker for any pet-related charities.
Who is your favorite person in history?
All-time favorite? That is tough. I admire several people for their bravery, ingenuity, or the influence they had on the people around them. But a guy that I would love to have to have at a fictional dinner party would be Leonardo da Vinci. He was creative on so many different levels that I imagine him as an amazing and intelligent dinner companion. And I bet he was a wickedly funny.