What are your job responsibilities/duties?
Being in San Francisco, our studio embraces a design approach that combines lifestyle and technology into relevant, pop-culture defining brands and products. As the Business Director at Astro, I sit at the hub of our marketing, business development and program management initiatives and work directly with our partners to expand the vision of the studio.
What does a typical day look like?
Our studio has a number of projects going on at any given time, so a typical day is filled with meetings with both new and existing clients, proposal writing, helping craft pitch decks, strategizing on marketing activities and working with our design team on specific project deliverables.
What do you most enjoy about your job?
As a design consultancy, we work with a ton of different clients from all around the world. We are often brought in on the early stages of brand and product development, so we help them craft and define their future vision. It's fascinating to see an idea come to life and use the design process to solve real world problems.
What is the most difficult aspect of the job?
We are a small-ish studio (about 30 people strong) so at times there is some juggling between schedules and making sure all important items are being covered. And in any business, we often have very real deadlines to hit so there can be a lot of hustle to get things done and out the door.
What on-campus activities were you involved with? Where did you gain relevant experience?
I worked at both The Daily Illini and 107.1 WPGU (back then, "The Planet"). I did advertising sales at the DI so I spent a lot of time talking to local businesses and helping them craft their communications. I also did on-site site promotions for the radio station to help drive traffic to local businesses. Both of these jobs gave me a great perspective into the larger Champaign-Urbana community outside of daily student life.
How did your experience at ILLINOIS and in the College of Media prepare you for your professional life? For this specific position?
There is a pretty large alumni network here in the Bay Area as well as a lot of Chicago connections. I worked in advertising in Chicago before moving to SF and have met a ton of people along the way. I was also always very inspired when alumni would come speak at the 4A's meetings and liked hearing stories of young professionals. Plus my work at The Daily Illini was invaluable as far as learning how to communicate with a lot of different types of people.
What advice do you have for students interested in this field?
You will learn something from every job you have - even if it's one that isn't the "dream job"! Use every opportunity to meet people as you never know when your paths may cross again.
What is one thing that you know now that you wish you had known when you started in the field? When you graduated from the College?
When I graduated I was very focused on the big name advertising agencies in Chicago and New York - I didn't realize there were so many boutique creative and design firms as well as opportunities client-side. I was so focused (aka stressed) about finding that first job that I would have told myself to chill and just enjoy the ride!