Sara’s First Year at Bottom Line

August 16, 2018

We recently celebrated the “Year of Sara” at Bottom Line Marketing. Sara has been such a huge asset since joining our team a year ago. In fact, she recently was promoted to Lead Graphic Designer and she earned that title with stellar work for our clients. Here are a few “fun facts” we learned about Sara this past year:

-She prefers rainy, cloudy days over sunshine
-She has amazing hide & seek, ninja breathing skills
-She loves head-banging, hard-rock music
-She listens to creepy, ultra-dark, murder/mystery podcasts while working (and it’s really fun to walk up behind her when she has her headphones on and tap her on the shoulder)
-She always, always brings a big smile to work and lifts everybody up
-She’s the epitome of the word “team player”

We asked Sara to reflect on her past year as a Graphic Designer at Bottom Line Marketing and here’s what she had to say.

Reflections of My Start at BLM:

I was was offered a job here as a graphic designer the day before I received my diploma. As someone who was going to be around the Marquette area for a while, I was pleasantly surprised to find not only a job in my field of study, but at a growing agency with so many passionate, fun-loving people.

The past 365 days with this company have been nothing short of crazy and fun! Being a Bottom Line designer is very rewarding. I love that my job is predictable in the most unpredictable way.

My everyday usually looks like this: I get in to the office and fire up Skype, my main line of communication to the design team, and check Asana (our project management system) to see what the day will bring me. And that’s where the predictability ends and the creativity begins. My project list could range from creating a bridal print ad to making digital ads for a furniture store. There is always a crazy flow of communication, especially once our Denver office arrives at 11. There could be new rush projects, projects that have to be switched around for deadline purposes, edits on current or past projects, or chatting with other designers/creative/production teams about layout or copy ideas. I mean it is just a full-on blast!

Some First Year Highlights:

When I first started, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the pace that the other designers were at. I remember shadowing Katie on a project my very first day and by the time I had finished the title section of the ad on my screen she had finished the entire thing on her screen! In the last year I have definitely learned how to be more efficient designer.

We keep track of the projects that we work on each month in spreadsheets and every month the number of projects I was able to get done would go up. It was so exciting to see that I was improving on my speed, especially since I was so self conscious about that starting out. I guess it just goes to show how much practicing every day makes you better.

The Michigan office put together the Bottom Line Retreat for 2017, so I got to see firsthand and help implement that with the Marquette crew. It was such a amazing to meet everyone in person, minus our Florida office who was unable to make it due to a nasty hurricane. That is when I really started to feel like Bottom Line was going to be a more long-term part of my life.

It’s pretty indescribable being in a room with these people. For one, we have the most creative team! We were coming up with great campaign ideas for several of our clients in thirty minutes. Nothing like a good 4 days with your teammates to really get your creative juices flowing and your motivation pumping.

You could also see how much everyone not just liked their job, but cared about it. Everyone at Bottom Line takes pride in what they do and want to go above and beyond to make our clients happy.

I also came out of my shell a little at the retreat and showed a few people my “hide and seek breathing” (a.k.a breathing quietly through your nose) and that is how I earned the nickname “Sneaky Sara”. I dare you to try and find me in a game of hide and seek. I’ve been told it’s pretty difficult.

Going through my first Fourth Quarter was quite an experience. I capitalize it as a title because it really is an entity in itself. Everyone kept preparing me with fourth quarter pep talks and laughing at the craziness of fourth quarter last year. I didn’t understand what they were saying until I experienced it myself.

We were SLAMMED as a design team! The only way I can describe it is a tray that is stacked with paper and every time you pull one paper out three more stack on top. I never knew how fast I could work until I was trying to keep my head above water for fourth quarter. In that time I think I really learned how to design efficiently.

It also struck me how much we as a company have to be a team. It underscored the importance of pulling your weight and then some so that everyone can enjoy the time they get away from the office.

Loving the Job and the Team:

The most unexpected part of my job is the amount of collaboration I would be doing. Sometimes I get projects that need creative titles and I can just shout out to the room that I need some title options for this client and this event and BAM we create some magic out of nothing. Or even talking with the other designers or production team about a creative direction for a project I am working on is great. You might show someone something you’re working on if you’re stuck and they might be able to spin it and at the end you might feel like it’s the best project you’ve ever made. It’s a very cool process, one that I did not take nearly enough advantage of in college! Asking for help doesn’t mean that you aren’t creative or not good enough, it makes you better.

When people ask me what I love about my job, my response is usually: How much better does it get to work for people that let you just create all day? I’ll be at my desk, listening to all of my crazy true crime podcasts, making jewelry ads thinking wow girl, you are living your best life. But if I had to highlight one thing I love about my job the most is how much I get to learn every day. The BLM Design team is always pushing each other to be bolder, to have relevant design, and get all of the great ideas coming out of this company to fit who are clients are and want to be.

My favorite projects to work on are anything bridal and engagement related. I am someone who just loves love and I get to stare at beautiful diamond rings! What more could a girly-girl ask for? I also think my personal design style tends to be more feminine which usually meshes really well with that genre of advertising.

So, What’s Next?

Our design team is currently working really hard at strengthening our clients overall “looks” to keep them all unique and cohesive. I’m so excited to continue helping the businesses we have grow, helping the business we will have grow and of course helping our team grow.

Cheers to a great first year Bottom Line and here’s to many more to come!