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Scribble Talk

Showcasing stories of APMP veterans and the brightest bid & proposal minds in planet earth 

Today's Guest Is Tobin Spratte

Scribble Talk Episode 165 with Tobin Spratte

Tobin started as a proposal/technical writer in Las Vegas, Nevada, not knowing anything about proposals specifically. He was an excellent writer since middle school and in college and grad school (and in the wake of the Great Recession), he worked in a series of customer service and sales jobs. At these jobs, he learned simple lessons like asking qualifying questions and explaining benefits. Tobin combined those skills with my writing background and career and very quickly figured out what works and what doesn’t in proposals.

Spratte works by day as a proposal manager. By night, he pens novels, nonfiction, and manages and writes his blog, Anarchy+Autoimmunity. He has also been a magazine editor, academic researcher, and opinion columnist. His columns and scholarship have been published nationally, and he was the third place winner in the Felix Morley Journalism Competition.

The company who gave him his first opportunity took a step back, so, he ended up in Phoenix working for Arizona State University. But since he wanted a job where he did more writing and strategy and less checklists and compliance, he joined the engineering firm Haley & Aldrich. Tobin is APMP Practitioner Qualified, lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Colorado.

In this episode we will discuss Tobin’s

  • Life and Career
  • Childhood, high school at Air Force Academy and beginning of career in Customer Services
  • Beginning of his writing career in various genres and in Technical and Grant writing.
  • Encounter  APMP and his activities with the organization.
  • Memorable writing experience and observations about the common grounds between novel writing, journalism and Technical writing.
  • People influential in his life and career.
  • Advice to bid and proposal professionals with a dream of balancing passion and work.
  • Next Steps and 

Few fun Qs…. 

Get to know the human side of your proposal professional, Tobin Spratte.

If you're ready to sacrifice who you are, for what you will become, then you will be invited to our show…

Transcript


0.50: Baskar Sundaram –
 Hi! You are listening to Scribble Talk, a podcast for bid and proposal professionals. My name is Baskar Sundaram and with my co-host, Ashley Kayes, we will be sitting down with our industry veterans to share their stories, discuss their career, and learn how to make an impact in the industry.

 

01.21: Baskar Sundaram – Today’s Guest is Tobin Spratte. Tobin started as a proposal/technical writer in Las Vegas, Nevada, not knowing anything about proposals specifically. He was an excellent writer since middle school and in college and grad school (and in the wake of the Great Recession), he worked in a series of customer service and sales jobs. At these jobs, he learned simple lessons like asking qualifying questions and explaining benefits. Tobin combined those skills with his writing background and career and very quickly figured out what works and what doesn’t in proposals. 

Spratte works by day as a proposal manager. By night, he pens novels, nonfiction, and manages and writes his blog, Anarchy & Autoimmunity. He has also been a magazine editor, academic researcher, and opinion columnist. His columns and scholarship have been published nationally, and he was the third place winner in the Felix Morley Journalism Competition.

The company who gave him his first opportunity took a step back, so, he ended up in Phoenix working for Arizona State University. But since he wanted a job where he did more writing and strategy and less checklists and compliance, he joined the engineering firm Haley & Aldrich. Tobin is APMP Practitioner Qualified, lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Colorado. 

 

Welcome to Scribble Talk, Tobin. Great to have you with us.

 

03.00: Baskar Sundaram – Let’s go back to the very beginning, TJ. Where were you born and let’s talk about your early school.

 

03.37: Baskar Sundaram – How was it studying in the Air Force Academy? Do you have any childhood memories?

 

05.46: Baskar Sundaram –  So, after you did your early degrees, did you went on to do Masters in Journalism at University of Colorado?

 

07.26: Baskar Sundaram – So, you were an avid writer from very early on as we mentioned in the bio. When did you realize you had a writing skill? Do you remember the very first piece that you wrote in the early stage?

 

09.28: Baskar Sundaram – You went on to pen your novels, non-fiction writing, your blogs Anarchy & Autoimmunity. Talk us through those things as well, Tobin.

 

14.35: Baskar Sundaram – Tobin, you also worked in a series of customer service and sales jobs. Talk us through, how was it working  in those on one end and writing on the other. And how those nicely helped you to enter the proposal career.

18.24: Baskar Sundaram – Talk us through about being a wine nerd, Tobin. You do know a lot about the wines from trendy regions, non-trendy regions. Share us one or two minutes of your insights on wine.

 

22.49: Baskar Sundaram – So, what brought you to the proposal industry?

 

25.15: Baskar Sundaram – How was it writing for a university? Because, you know, considering you have the Journalist background and you also had novel writing. The type of proposals you might have done for the Arizona State University were more like grants. Is that right, Tobin?

 

29.21: Baskar Sundaram – Before we get into how did you transition from University of Arizona where you worked and from there to your current role with the engineering firm, did you find any similarities in Journalism, novel writing, Grant Writing to Technical Writing currently? And, what was the kind of differences among all these skill sets?

 

32.23: Baskar Sundaram – Lot of proposals, lot of writing. Any thing comes to your mind, memorable effort, writing effort, good, bad, ugly?

 

35.46: Baskar Sundaram – Now you have entered the proposal industry you are working on it. At what point did you come across APMP as an industry body. Talk us through, have you attended any bid con and your certification and related stuff.

 

39.56: Baskar Sundaram – So, we talked a lot about your career in between you also talked about your writing. Outside this, Tobin, is there any hobbies and interest, is there anything else to say about you. Tell us three things not many people know about you.

 

43.10: Baskar Sundaram – Officially let’s enter Nutter’s Round, in honour of Howard Nutt. We call it the Rapid Random Fire Round. There’s no right or wrong answer. Just go with whatever that comes in your mind. Shall we begin?

 

54.40: Baskar Sundaram – So, that’s the end of the Nutter’s Round or the Rapid Random Fire Question Round. Hope you enjoyed it. Let’s move into people in your life. So, who are the people who have been the most influential people in your life and career?

 

59.11: Baskar Sundaram – Who haven’t you seen or talked to in a long time and hope that they are doing okay?

 

01.00.07: Baskar Sundaram – You have been in the industry well a over a few years now. But you also had a long career of writing. But what’s the one common myth about the proposal professionals that you wat to debunk?

 

01.01.41: Baskar Sundaram – Tobin, going from there, is there any advice you would like to give to the proposal professionals? 

 

01.04.22: Baskar Sundaram – Tobin, starting as a writer, worked through customer experience,  wrote novels, moved on into university Grant writing, then into the proposal industry supporting APMP Western Chapter lot more we talked about, abundance in your life, wine. What’s next for you, Tobin?

01.05.56: Baskar Sundaram –  So, we have reached the end of the podcast, Is there any part of your life or career or is there anything else that you would like to tell to say to the listeners?

 

​01.07.13: Baskar Sundaram –  It has been an absolute pleasure to have you with us at Scribble Talk. We wish you, your family, your loved ones, and colleagues and everybody around you all the good health and happiness. Continue to stay healthy, continue t  inspire us all. Looking forward to meet you in the coming days, coming months. 

 

Scribble Talk Outro Music.​

 

 

 

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Thank you for listening

Scribble Talk Episode 165 with Tobin Spratte
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