In May 2020, when James Millius graduated from Hillsdale College with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Philosophy, the pandemic was well underway and casting a shadow of uncertainty on how to survive (and thrive) in a new remote work reality. While the future state of business seemed bleak for everyone (in nearly every industry), it was especially disheartening for a recent college graduate hoping to secure a job. Undaunted, James reevaluated plans and pivoted his career aspirations in the face of unprecedented circumstances.

“I was initially interested in teaching high school or pursuing a master’s degree,” James said. “But the pandemic upended so much, and many prospective career networking opportunities fell apart. It wasn’t ideal, but it proved to be an opportunity to explore other options.”

James returned home to Portland, Ore., landing a marketing role at Parachute Strategies, a local business and strategic planning firm. During his tenure, James learned the fundamentals of business-to-business marketing while working with various clients, many of whom operated within the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industries. His exposure to an AEC client’s request for proposal (RFP) process ignited an interest to learn more about the built environment, which led him to an exciting opportunity with JLD Cost Consulting.

Today, James serves as the firm’s marketing proposal coordinator. His day-to-day role and responsibilities include preparing RFP responses and acting as the go-to resource and liaison between a project’s stakeholders, which necessitates strong communication and an eye for design. He plays an integral role in the firm’s brand management and communications strategy. James also manages the firm’s website, social media and marketing collateral.

“JLD is a tight-knit company,” James affirmed. “Cost estimating is fast-paced, requiring collaborative involvement throughout a project’s lifespan, so we work as a team on projects from start to finish. And while it may be process-oriented and challenging at times, the experience itself is rewarding.”

Off the clock, James can be found exploring the great outdoors, hammocking and hiking with friends, or camping with family. A true Oregonian at heart, James loves to cheer for his hometown team, the Portland Trail Blazers.

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