From the desk of smartdept. inc. Creative Consultant: Nina Strolia
I graduated from Indiana University with a degree in television production. But even though my background exposed me to the creative process, I would never have claimed to be an expert on the subject — prior to becoming a Creative Consultant at smartdept. inc., that is! I began my role as a Smartie almost 4 months ago. On my first day, I could hardly fill out an I-9 form, let alone confidently identify the difference between a UX and UI designer. I discovered that my television experience — combined with a minor in graphic design and some terrific mentoring from my fellow consultants — has allowed me to very quickly become comfortable in my new role.
Prior to joining smartdept. inc., I had the good fortune to work as a web producer at WGN. I worked in the newsroom, where each day was different and exciting in its own way. In the newsroom the deadlines for story coverage seemed to creep in earlier by the day — and even though the stakes were high, I really enjoyed the work. When I made the transition to creative recruiting, I found that this new environment was very similar to a newsroom. Just as stories would break at WGN, new positions are constantly coming across our desks. In this environment you have to work with urgency — there’s so much creative talent in Chicago that the window to fill these roles can slam shut quickly. It makes for a high-energy and team-oriented environment.
While at WGN I met Grumpy Cat®, the sourpuss kitty/Internet sensation (whose real name is actually Tardar Sauce). I thought that was the coolest thing in the world! But as a creative recruiter, I’ve already had the opportunity to work with some super-talented individuals. I’ve connected with designers who are behind national ad campaigns and journalists who have had one-on-one interviews with mega celebs… now that’s cool. As a creative recruiter, not only do I get to meet really awesome people every day, I get to help them enhance their careers. Or, better yet, get them started on a new one. Sort of like me!
In the end, I’m happy that I had the courage to make a career transition. I love being able to learn about my candidates and the creative talents they possess. Having the chance to find them their next opportunity — it’s a pretty rewarding job to have!