Applying Our Pasts to the Present: Part II
Sep 4, 2014
Last week, we heard from five Centerliners – including one who served in the Peace Corps and another who worked at a printing company. What could these unique experiences possibly teach us about graphic design, project management and other parts of the content marketing process? A lot.
Here are five more people who add to the diverse experience of Centerliners:
Jerry Oliver, Art Director
Previously a Radar Operator/Technician in the U.S. Army
“Move with a purpose” was my most hated saying growing up because my Dad (Vietnam Special Forces) said it all the time. In the Army, it can mean your life and, in deadline-driven industries, it can mean the fate of an account. Deadline is mission, and it will be achieved.
Michelle McGrier, Associate Creative Director
Previously a Producer in Hollywood
Working in Hollywood on big movie sets with stars like Denzel Washington, Brad Pitt and Francis McDormand can be described in two words: Life changing. You arrive with the preverbal sparkle in your eye and you leave forever changed by the many lessons you learn along the way.
One lesson I learned during my time in tinsel town is that we have become obsessed with measurable worth. Movie grosses, TV ratings, salaries, and lists of the “most powerful” are all ways that a society sets a valuation on things.
So how does this value-crazed and success driven society affect me as the creator?
It causes me to ask the question, “How will this animation, video, infographic, or interactive experience be successful?” The answer: Tell a brilliant story.
Megan Riley, Project Manager
Previously an Executive Producer of Special Projects at News 14 Carolina
Most of my projects focused on politics or sports, which meant fluid logistics and unknown outcomes. My time in the production control room taught me to always have a back-up plan and to envision various paths of every project about two steps ahead. This has proved useful as a Project Manager at Centerline, because my clients’ messaging or desired deliverables aren’t always set in stone upfront. However, thanks to the brainiacs in our content and strategy departments, we are able to assist them in navigating that creation journey.
I should also add that in my past life as a journalist, I developed quite a picky palate for coffee and alcohol. Thankfully, Centerliners are blessed to be provided with the best of both.
Mario Passera, Director/Interviewer
Previously a Producer and Researcher for CourtTV and Discovery Military
Producing military and true crime documentary shows for Discovery Military and CourtTV helped prepare me for my job at Centerline in two ways. Network deadlines and a need for accuracy helped give me the research and production skills necessary to handle the bounty of projects headed my way at Centerline. And interviewing war veterans and relatives of homicide victims helped instill me with the tact and professionalism that I aim to represent Centerline with while conducting interviews with clients. Centerline expects great stuff from its employees, so I’m glad I arrived with some solid experience to help me keep up with all the talented people here.
Lenae Boykin, Assistant Project Manager
Previously a Peace Corps Volunteer
When I started my service with the Peace Corps in Burrel, Albania, I didn’t fully understand the valuable lessons I would learn or how they would eventually transfer back to my life in the U.S. But, while serving in various roles and working with a broad range of people, I picked up a solar system of management training and skills that I use daily. A few of those skills:
1. Managing expectations: Learning to manage the expectations of myself, those I worked with, and the projects we worked on became a necessary means of survival. Just like in Albania, working to collaboratively set those expectations for our projects, clients, and internal teams is an invaluable and necessary action to keep things ‘real.’
2. Versatility: Volunteers were on the clock 24/7 to help others, and sometimes that meant in numerous roles at a time while doing so to your full capacity. This skill is coveted in project management because projects, clients, procedures, budgets, deadlines and communications are never one and the same. Learning to flex and adapt at just the right moment and at just the right speed is a key trait of project management, and one I know I am still crafting daily.
Learning from each experience
Whether we’re managing projects, designing or directing, we’re using the skills and knowledge gained in our past. Each experience has something unique to offer – and we’re applying it to every creation.