If you follow Flint Group on Facebook, then you already know Mikaela Krenzen. Remember the balloon-bopping prodigy from the Minute to Win It competition at our Duluth office? Yep, that’s her. In case you missed it…
Keeping those balloons in the air all day keeps Mikaela pretty busy, but in her downtime, she also serves as a SEO/SEM strategist and project manager for Flint Interactive.
Outside of the office, Mikaela puts her balloon-bopping skills to good use as a volleyball coach and competitive player.
A passion for volleyball
“Five years ago, a friend from WestmorelandFlint signed me up to coach club volleyball with her. I had never really seen myself as a coach before, but I jumped at the opportunity to stay active and meet new people,” says Mikaela. “That introduced me to a number of people in the volleyball community, which led to a three-year stint as a high school coach and the opportunity to play competitive adult volleyball in a number of different leagues.”
Mikaela, who played Division I volleyball at Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y., says the most rewarding part of coaching is seeing the growth and improvement in the girls each season and over the years.
She says, “Watching them change and develop in certain skill areas really makes me feel like I’ve made a difference. There is no greater gratification than having one of my players turn to me during a game with a big smile on her face after a winning block or attack, both of us knowing that it is something we have been working hard on during practice.”
While their athletic achievement is significant, Mikaela also enjoys watching the girls interact with, and make new, friends. She makes an effort to organize off-court activities so her players can get to know each other without the added stress of competition.
“It’s very important to bring fun and enjoyment into the season, because that is what creates the moments that many of them will remember forever,” Mikaela says.
Off the court
Between coaching club volleyball from November to June and high school volleyball from August to November (not to mention the constant balloon bopping), Mikaela only has about a month and a half of downtime. So what does she do then?
“When I’m not coaching or playing volleyball, I enjoy a quiet night at home watching BRAVO TV on the couch. Sad, but true,” she says.
Mikaela admits her life gets pretty crazy, but she says the busyness actually works in her favor.
“I have to be very organized so that I know where I need to be each night of the week. That also keeps me very organized at work, which helps me more effectively manage projects and timelines.”
Maintaining high spirits
Whether she’s at work or on the court, one of Mikaela’s goals is to keep people happy.
“With volleyball, it’s making sure players and parents are getting the most out of their time and money by running valuable, educational practices,” she explains. “At work, it’s managing client expectations and relationships and ensuring our team delivers the best possible end product.”
As project manager for Flint Group, Mikaela is responsible for managing timelines and budgets and assigning duties to team members. In her role as SEO/SEM strategist, she manages paid search campaigns and creates strategy for search engine optimization—all while perfecting her balloon-bobbing techniques.
How does she do it? We’re still baffled.
Get to know a Flintster: Q + A with Mikaela!
What’s your dream job?
Wedding planner or owner of a clothing boutique.
Which job would you not want to have?
Hospice care—I am much too emotional for that.
What was your first job?
Receptionist at a hair salon.
What did it teach you?
Unfortunately, it taught me how to gossip—you wouldn’t believe how fast word travels in those places.
What is one thing you’d be willing to practice for an hour a day?
What’s the best advice you ever got?
To take the leap and move to New York. I was definitely homesick and there were times I wanted to leave, but looking back, I wouldn’t trade that experience. I met some amazing people, and it taught me how to stand on my own and be more independent.
What sound do you love?
Sneakers on the gym floor.
What scent do you love?