In my experience, successful entrepreneurs and business leaders had someone or something that influenced them. Mentors are often pointed to as being the most common influencers, while others have had amazing experiences with a company that promoted growth and autonomy.
The Pinstripe team has decades of experience, and, early in their careers, there was something that guided each one through the challenges of everyday life. So, I wanted my team to share what or who were influences early in their careers.
What Was a Major Influence In Your Career?
When I was working as an instructional designer at Suncoast Hospice, I was surrounded by incredibly supportive women who helped me to recognize my potential and value my own skill set. I began to see myself through their eyes: as a computer whiz, a creative guru, a natural leader, and even a kind-hearted, intuitive listener who was sensitive to others’ needs. Before I met these women, I didn’t realize how valuable my intelligence, creativity and soft skills were, and how much of each I possessed. Ever since then, I’ve made sure to be more self-aware and appreciate not just what others around me have to offer, but honor the gifts that I bring to the table as well.
Early in my career I worked with a young lady named Marlenys Rojas, who taught me so many valuable lessons. From Marlenys I learned the importance of connectedness and collaboration with other creatives; to vibe off other designers’ energy during brainstorming sessions; to be more inquisitive, rigorous and experimental with each project I tackled. She instilled in me a desire to be enthusiastic and present to the process of graphic design; to love the craft; to obsess over my craft; to make it personal; to give a shit.
My first influence and appreciation for art comes from my Dad who is a talented and accomplished fine artist. I don’t recall having a specific mentor during my career but did enjoy learning from many different people, all of whom contributed to my career as a graphic designer. As for many, my most significant lessons were learned at my first job in the industry which was at a small family owned advertising agency. They included me in every facet of the business, not just in my area of design. I learned the ropes in account and project management, art direction, photo shoots, and vendor relationships. Those experiences helped me later in various career moves as I was able to adapt more easily in various work environments throughout my career.
My first advertising gig was with an established boutique firm in Central Minnesota. I was the assistant to one of two account executives, Ronn Paulson. I learned from his Norwegian honesty and authentic demeanor; his amazing project management skills and sense of organization that had been honed during the height of print marketing; and his work-life balance, juggling two young children and a career. He taught me many of the fundamentals that became the bedrock of my career.
This article is part of a series on getting to know our team a little more. Throughout the year, we will be featuring more on this topic. Can you relate with any of our influencers? Got a mentor story to share? Let us hear about it in the comments section below!