Name: Emily Rauch
What is your title? Senior Interactive Producer
In 140 characters, what does your job entail? Project management, focusing on interactive web design & development, & fostering strong relationships with clients. #sayingitsuccinctly
How do you commute to work in the morning? It depends on whether it’s a school day or not. On days I go to school after work, I drive to GW University, park my car and walk the few blocks to work. On non-school days, I take the bus in, and focus on listening to my latest podcasts rather than focusing on traffic.
What’s your favorite device and how often do you use it? Definitely my iPhone. I use it countless times every day. I not only check email, text my contacts and use the phone, I am addicted to the following apps: Spotify for music, This American Life for podcasts, Twitter, Slate, Daily Beast and Huffington Post for News and of course Facebook to keep updated on friends and family.
Which social platform do you use most often? I use Twitter every day to see what’s happening out in the world. The platform amazes me in how it’s been used to break news and increase engagement. Who knew that a Pakistani’s tweet about choppers flying low over Abbotabad unknowingly broke the news about Bin Laden’s death; or that my frustrated tweet about my cancelled flight on American Airlines would get the company responding and tweeting with me to help resolve the problem. It is a type of engagement that is so powerful and I love it because of that.
What do you like best about your job? I really enjoy working with people. Every day I get to interact with designers, developers and clients, each bringing a different perspective to a project. These different perspectives make every day different and unknown—I love that.
What do you hope to accomplish in the first year? I would like to work on a website that, through the use of new technology and functionality, strengthens our client’s mission and challenges our skills and knowledge. I would then like to submit that site for a Webbie Award, to be considered in the Non-Profit category.
What cause are you passionate about? I am equally passionate about two causes. First, civil rights for all citizens, which I believe right now translates to marriage equality. You see certain states truly fighting for the rights of their citizens and I believe that we as a country can’t preach freedom to other nations when we do not afford the same rights to all of our citizens. I am hopeful that in my lifetime I will see these rights be afforded to all.
Second, access to affordable mental health. Many of our citizens suffer from mental health issues ranging from PTSD, to depression to bipolar disorder and more. So many of these issues can be debilitating, and we all could benefit greatly by making treatment options more available and affordable.
Name: Patricia Wheelock
What is your title? Senior Account Manager
In 140 characters, what does your job entail? Helping our clients maximize their message impact. I’ve been fortunate to work with a number of the same people for many years and it’s a privilege to show them new and exciting ways to communicate.
What’s your favorite device and how often do you use it? Call me old school, but the second the new Blackberry is out I’m getting one!
What’s your favorite design tool? What I see with my eyes and touch with my hands, going old school again.
Which social platform do you use most often? Big texter, love it.
What do you like best about your job? The opportunity to learn so much about so many different organizations. Omni has always worked with social causes that inspire me and it gives me pleasure to help in any way that I can to spread their message.
What recent project challenged and inspired you? The Community Foundation for Montgomery County Annual Gala in 2012. The staff are so very committed and show such class that even when they had to cancel due to unbelievable weather conditions no one was offended.
What do you hope to accomplish this year? My goal for this year is to see several works in process actually published and available digitally.
What cause are you passionate about? Cancer research and support. Having been directly affected by this disease too many times, it is important that I turn my skills to supporting this most important cause.
Name: Dillon Powell
What is your title? Interactive Designer/Developer
In 140 characters, what does your job entail? Conceptualizing, designing and developing of website and digital interactive platforms
What’s your favorite device and how often do you use it? I have a Galaxy S3, and I use it hourly. I cannot leave home without it.
What’s your favorite design tool? Google! I research everything before I even get into the design phase. Every project starts and ends with Google!
What do you like best about your job? I learn something new everyday. I love the flexibility and understanding of the staff too.
What recent project challenged and inspired you? I recently developed China Investment Maps for IAD. I have to learn Mapbox, Tilemill, mapbox.js and a couple new things from scratch. The objective for this project is to create an interactive map showing different loans from China to various Latin American countries. Tilemill and Mapbox are programs that are used in conjunction with one another to develop the visuals and functionality of the maps. Mapbox.js is a script that enables and disables certain functionality within the maps. It was exciting to figure out these tools and to use them successfully.
What do you hope to accomplish in the first year? My goal is to have worked with the entire staff in some capacity by the end of my first year. I want to uncover different approaches and workflow styles to various project types. I am trained in print media design so it would be neat to compare and contrast what I was taught with what my coworkers are doing.
What cause are you passionate about? I am very passionate about immigration reform. From my personal experience dealing with the immigration process, I strive to make whatever impact I can on people who do not support it. I think it is fantastic that more and more Americans support clearer pathways to citizenship. I keep hearing how immigrants built this country, yet it is so hard for us to share the dream of this land.
Name: Monica Servaites
What is your title? Graphic Designer
In 140 characters, what does your job entail? Working with the Capitol Visitor Center to design print and digital materials for visitors and staff while maintaining their photo library.
What’s your favorite device and how often do you use it? My iPad— everyday. Not too big and not too small—I can check my email, catch up on the news, read a book or watch a movie on the iPad.
Which social platform do you use most often? Facebook helps me stay connected to my friends all over the world and to art events happening all over the DC area.
What do you like best about your job? Working onsite for our client helps give me the hands-on institutional knowledge and personal experience which helps inform my design.
What recent project challenged and inspired you? Converting a project from print to digital by learning how to build an app has been a fun learning experience. The boundaries of the printed page are lifted and you’re challenged to think in a different way.
What cause are you passionate about? Helping collect and preserve DC history and community. As a native Washingtonian, I know that this city has a rich history and is ever changing. There are so many stories to tell, so by transcribing interviews with the Ruth Ann Overbeck Capitol Hill History Project or by volunteering with the Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital, I feel connected with the community I love while helping to preserve a bit of history.
As if it’s not hard enough today for job seekers, often they have to visit what seems like a million different websites to search for job openings or post their profiles and resumes in places that may not give them the best exposure to employers.
Fortunately, job seekers are in luck with a site that makes the process less like a full time job itself . It’s also more efficient and a top choice for recruiters looking for new staff. I’m a huge fan of the site, and I wanted to share it with you.
Indeed.com aggregates available jobs from across the Internet. That’s right…from everywhere. So unlike some other job search sites that only show you positions for companies that have paid to post their openings, Indeed shows you ALL available jobs, and links you right to the website they came from.
Another cool feature for job seekers is Indeed allows them to post their resumes, and puts them into a clean, standardized format that employers can view on the site or download if they want to learn more about them. Based on the resume, Indeed matches job seekers with job openings appropriate for their skills and experience, and allows hiring managers for those jobs to contact them directly.
This site really opens up so many doors for job seekers. And in today’s tough job market, this is sure to be a welcome tool to anyone on the hunt for a new job.
If a job candidate and interviewer can’t meet at the same location for an interview, video chatting is becoming a great alternative to the on-site interview as a way to get that important face-to-face connection that in-person interviews provide.
And unless you’ve been on vacation for the past month, you’ve probably heard of Google+. While no one knows for sure what this new social network will become, it’s clear that its Hangouts feature will be a great tool for interviewers and job candidates to connect across long distances, especially for interviews that will include more than two people.
Although Skype (which also powers Facebook’s new video chat feature) has been the mainstream tool in the video chat arena for years, it doesn’t allow for the free, multiple-person chats that Google+ Hangouts offers.
Another advantage to using Hangouts, especially for creative talent, is the ability to pull in YouTube videos to the live chat. For example, if a videographer wants to showcase some of her past work, she can post a video containing samples to YouTube ahead of time and then share them with the rest of the group during the chat.
To use Hangouts for an interview, participants have to be part of one anothers’ Circles—the way Google+ organizes users’ “friends.” Once the Circle is created, one participant creates a Hangout for anyone in that Circle to join. No inviting, no calling, no downloads. Just create the hangout and anyone in the Circle who is logged in can jump into the chat.
Right now, Google+ is only in its limited trial phase, but once it’s released publicly, I think it will be a great tool for the off-site interview, especially for those in the creative industries.
Technology is advancing at a fast pace, and with increasing competition for creative jobs, everyone in the industry has to work constantly to advance their skills and to keep pace with the evolving marketplace.
While designers might be comfortable designing for print, they will need to upgrade their skills to include HTML, CSS and PHP programming and perhaps more advanced courses in content management systems, such as WordPress, to fit the needs of most agencies. A good foundation in the theories of online design and user experience are also a necessity in many work environments.
Writers are now called on to not only produce copy for the Web, but also to create content for social media sites. If you have been a writer for other media for many years, a quick refresher course on how to write for online venues may be all you need.
To keep up with job requirements in your creative field, it’s not necessary to pursue another academic degree. Many of the courses offered locally and online will give you the flexibility to work while you learn. Some are one-off classes and others are more extensive certificate programs. All will help you become more employable!
Here are just a few schools and training companies that we’ve heard offer very good programs:
-Thomas Piwowar & Associates (Washington, D.C.) – Offers courses in HTML, CSS, Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, ePubs, Acrobat and digital audio and video from a digital media perspective. TJPA also offers a full Digital Publishing Series for those interested in more comprehensive ePub training.
>Academic Certificate Programs
-Georgetown University’s Certificate in Digital Media Management – Provides best practices for distribution and promotion of content through social media channels, including mobile devices, Web 2.0, banner/display ads and SMS.
-Georgetown University’s Certificate in Interactive Marketing – Focuses on the characteristics and benefits of marketing for the Web, as well as integration of interactive marketing with broader marketing efforts.
-Georgetown University’s Certificate in Professional Writing for the Digital Age – Examines current research on how social and new media affect the way people read and how writers should write for online media.
- Lynda.com – Offers software training via videos that are accessible 24/7. A monthly subscription is required for access to most full-length videos.
-MediaBistro.com – A good source of online courses covering new/social media and writing for these media.
Even before the interview, an employer’s first impression of a job seeker is made with the résumé, along with a portfolio of their work if they’re in the creative industry.
But since so much of today’s creative work is done digitally, having a digital portfolio is a great way to show off your skills and samples in a clean, visually pleasing format that reflects the candidate’s understanding of the industry and that they’re comfortable with the technology.
OmniCreative Staffing candidates have the option to include their résumés on our secure portfolio site, which emphasizes the candidate’s samples and includes space for employment history, education and skills. This allows select employers to view a candidate’s qualifications and streamlined portfolio in a format that makes them more attractive to employers.
Putting your best foot forward in the creative industry means putting your work on display in a sleek, well-organized layout, and showing that you’re comfortable with the technology you’ll be using on the job.
Looking for specific talent and skill sets? Look at the thousands of working women who have taken a few years off to raise kids and are now looking to get back in the workforce.
The metro area is packed with moms (and many stay-at-home dads) who are designers, art directors, programmers, writers, media buyers, event planners…name it, they’re out there. They were invaluable employees for someone a baby ago, and are a relatively untapped resource today.
They might want to get back on their own terms—like part-time, flextime and telecommuting. But they’ll deliver, just as they did years ago. We’ve found this group to be mature, dedicated and eager to go back to work. The tradeoff? Once in a while they’ll need to pick kids up from soccer practice and go to recitals.
We match creatives with non-profits and government agencies – a unique niche and often a better relationship.
Good news for D.C.-area job searchers: Yahoo lists more than 7,000 associations and non-profits in the greater metro area. Add to that dozens of good-sized government agencies.
All have active websites; publish newsletters and magazines; run events and meetings; and produce loads of communications, Facebook pages, listservs, and job boards. Most need designers, writers, social media strategists, programmers and marcom pros.
Even more good news: They don’t chase bottom-line profits as much as supporting, educating and providing resources for their mission or cause.
OmniCreative Staffing specializes in matching creatives with jobs in non-profits. Their missions range from the environment and international relations to human rights. If you have a passion for causes, Washington is the best place to settle down and build your career.
Maybe you can change the world—or at least a piece of it. Perhaps it’s time you began working for something you can believe in.
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