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Lasting Legacies Marks Made by Creative Ink Alumnae Student-run marketing firm at Stephens College


Creativity at play and at work.


Welcome to Creative Ink.


Contents Foreward Mission Intro Alumnae Lasting Thoughts Index

5 6 7 10-55 59 61

color key:

Creative Executive

Founding Member

Account Executive

Director


Foreward In 2007, I began my career at Stephens College. That same year, Creative Ink, Stephens College’s student-run marketing firm, was established. I remember that fall semester of new beginnings. The autumn leaves had just started to turn delicate shades and tints of crimson. I remember walking into a room filled with focused and passionate students, sitting side-by-side on mismatched vintage furniture. We all huddled together in a tiny office and dreamed of something new and bigger than anything one person could accomplish on her own. Creative Ink was born. I wondered, “Is it possible to create an opportunity that would provide students with their first job in their chosen careers–while still in college?” If so, could that experience stand the test of time? Nine years later, I have had the grand opportunity of becoming the firm’s third Faculty Adviser and to watch how the Creative Ink experience has transformed students and prepared them for not just the workplace–but life. At the beginning of the 2015-2016 academic year, I took a moment to reflect on the Creative Ink experience. I stood quietly in an empty Creative Ink office. In the silence, I could hear the chaotic chattering, uncontrollable laughter and professional client meetings taking place. I mentally recreated the picture of so many amazing individuals learning, growing and graduating to become confident leaders in their chosen fields. I wondered, “If the office walls could talk, what rich stories would they tell?” But walls can’t talk. People can. In order to capture the effects of the Creative Ink experience, Lasting Legacies: Marks Made by Creative Ink Alumnae, was created. Our goal for the book has been to collect stories of past “Inkers” and the marks they made in order to establish a legacy for future Stephens College students. Thank you to the Creative Ink’s fearless founding members, wise advisers and dedicated “Inkers,” all of whom have helped transform a dream into a lasting legacy that is alive and well. Best of everything, Kate Gray, MFA Assistant Professor of Strategic Communication Design Creative Ink Adviser

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Our Mission “We, Creative Ink, strive to provide trustworthy expertise and quality service beyond expectations while maintaining the integrity of clients.�

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Beginning Creative Ink began in the same way it flourishes today: through collaboration and creative synergy. In 2006, my first year at Stephens, three Stephens women and I were returning after attending an American Marketing Association student workshop in St. Louis. We were sharing our dreams for the MPA (Marketing, Public Relations and Advertising) program and I shared my vision for a student-run advertising and public relations agency.

Former students had worked with some clients as part of their participation in the student professional association, PRSSA, Public Relations Student Society of America. However, I wanted to have the firm as part of the academic program so more students could benefit from the experience. As a new faculty member, I knew I could not do it alone. The students in my car were as enthusiastic about the opportunity as I was and said “let’s do this.” They took on the job of developing the idea further, organizing students, writing a handbook and guidelines and promoting the first Creative Ink team. I was able to establish a practicum course with faculty supervision for our first-year team.

Originally, we were allowed to work with internal clients. After the first year, the students had proved to be professional and trustworthy so external clients were added to the client list. The name “Creative Ink” was chosen to capture the holistic approach to marketing and public relations, including copy and design.

Many alumnae have pointed to their experience in Creative Ink as critical in their job interviews, portfolio reviews and job opportunities. That first year was challenging, but successful. Thanks to the initiative and commitment of many students, Creative Ink has gained in reputation and quality every year since its beginning.

Dr. Susan M. Bartel Stephens College 2006-2014

Creative Ink Advisers Dr. Susan M. Bartel 2007–2009 Professor Barbara Scott 2009–2012

Professor Kate Gray 2012–Present

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Inkers meet in the old office to discuss the progress of their projects.

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Rachael Heffner ’07 Lead Designer and Founding Member Rachael Heffner was a founding member of Creative Ink when the firm was first established in the fall of 2007. In that year, Rachael won a silver ADDY Award. She has since worked as a freelance graphic designer, a designer for the Missouri Press Association, and most currently, as a television news producer for KMIZ-TV. Rachael has recently become a certified hypnotist and is looking to work within the field full time.

Q: How did Creative Ink help form your college experience? What was your biggest takeaway from being a part of the firm after graduating from Stephens College?

A: “Being a part of Creative

Q: W  hat advice would you have for a Creative Ink member entering her first semester with the firm?

A: “ You don’t always get real-world experience in school, so be grateful for this opportunity!”

Ink gave me a sense of confidence. I felt like I was part of something important as opposed to just a class–it was something official that was working out in the real world.”

In three words, describe your time with Creative Ink.

“Confusing. Intimidating. Busy.” 10


Jennifer Anderson ’08 Account Executive, Firm Director and Founding Member Originally from Northwest Iowa, Jennifer Anderson graduated from Stephens with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing: Public Relations and Advertising with an emphasis in Graphic Design. Her first post-college job was with a small advertising agency in South Dakota. Since then, she has found her passion in brand management and marketing. Jennifer currently lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and two dogs. She is the brand manager for Pacific Foods, a nationally distributed organic food company.

Q: How did Creative Ink help form your college experience? What was your biggest takeaway from being a part of the firm after graduating from Stephens College?

A: “Creative Ink was something we formed in hopes that it would set future students up for opportunities that are many times only awarded to those at big universities. Building CI with the support from Stephens was empowering. I learned

incredibly valuable lessons of how hard work and quality can pay off and how the most rewarding experiences don’t come easily. My first client was First National Bank (now Landmark Bank) and we were building its Random Acts of Finance program. This guided, yet real-life, experience helped me to secure my first ‘real’ job post-college at an advertising agency.”

Q: W  hat advice would you have for a Creative Ink member entering her first semester with the firm?

A: “Think of yourself as your own brand. Every decision you make and every piece of work you produce builds the perception others have of your brand and your name. It’s harsh but true; the world doesn’t owe you anything. Prove yourself; respect, warmth, and consistent, high quality work will get you far in life. If work has your signature on it, ensure it is always, always up to your brand standards. Don’t ever give anyone reason to doubt how great you are!”

In three words, describe your time with Creative Ink.

“Stressful. Challenging. Rewarding.” 11


Elizabeth Power ’08 Account Executive and Founding Member Elizabeth Power (Beth Harrington) currently lives in Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband and three children. Elizabeth serves as the director of marketing and public relations for the Women’s Center for Advancement, a nonprofit serving victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Elizabeth’s recent accomplishments include securing more than 100 media stories covering violence against women and being featured on CNN’s This is Life with Lisa Ling.

In three words, describe your time with Creative Ink.

“Worthwhile. Challenging. Teamwork.” 12


“Be brave and be open. All ideas may not be killer ideas, but all ideas are worth sharing.”

Q: H  ow did Creative Ink help form your college experience? What was your biggest takeaway from being a part of the firm after graduating from Stephens College?

A: “Creative Ink allowed me to see into what it takes to build a business and run a marketing firm. It gave me managerial experience, something traditional internships were unable to provide. Learning how to motivate

and communicate to a team of diverse members has been critical to my continued career.”

Q: W  hat advice would you have for a Creative Ink member entering her first semester with the firm?

A: “Be brave and be open. All ideas may not be killer ideas, but all ideas are worth sharing. Your idea might lead to something bigger and better that you never imagined.”

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Rikki Takeyama ’09, ’10 Account Representative, Firm Director and Founding Member

Rikki Takeyama graduated from Stephens College with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing, Public Relations and Advertising and a Master in Strategic Leadership. Rikki leads the Regional Health Commission’s $1 million initiative, Alive and Well STL, a community-wide effort focused on reducing the impact of toxic stress and trauma on our community’s health and well-being. Her other work includes managing the Regional Health Commission (RHC) Provider Services and Community Advisory Boards.

In three words, describe your time with Creative Ink.

“Most Rewarding Experience.”

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“We are taught that we are strong Stephens women and we can do anything we set our mind to.”

Q: A  s a founding member of the firm, what has been your experience seeing the firm grow and evolve through the years?

A: “It has been humbling to see Creative Ink grow over the last nine years. What started as a few Stephens women gathering to work on projects and applying what we learned in the classroom, turned into a full-blown firm that has propelled the experience of students majoring in either Integrated Marketing Communications or Graphic Design (and everything in between!). I cherish my experience as a member of Creative Ink, but to see the work being accomplished, I wish I could return to Stephens and be a part of this amazing group of women.”

Q: How did Creative Ink help form your college experience? What was your biggest takeaway from being part of the firm after graduating from Stephens College?

A: “Creative Ink helped round out my college experience. I loved my major (at the time, Marketing: Public Relations and Advertising), my minors (Graphic Design and Event Planning), my instructors and the empowering culture that came with being a young woman at Stephens College. We are taught that we are strong Stephens women and we can do anything we set our mind to. For me, my experience with Creative Ink proved just that. It proved, at the time, that I was capable of putting my knowledge, experience

and skills to work in the real world. I felt much more prepared as I graduated Stephens College with four semesters of Creative Ink under my belt.”

Q: W  hat advice would you have for a Creative Ink member entering her first semester with the firm?

A: “Be curious. It can be hard at times, just being new to real-world application, to stray from what you’ve learned from the textbooks and lectures. Be that strong, smart, savvy Stephens woman that you are, and speak out your ideas! Ask the questions that make you think outside the box. This makes things more interesting and fun.”

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Jessica Church ’10 Creative Executive and Creative Director Jessica Church has been a professional graphic designer since 2010. A graduate of Stephens College, Jessica earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design and works for Independent Stave Company, an international company in the wine and spirits industry. An Adobe Certified Expert in Photoshop CC, she designs and edits selfpublished books. She currently lives in Columbia, Missouri.

Q: How did Creative Ink help form your college experience?

A: “Creative Ink provided me with the opportunity to apply knowledge gained from classes and internships in a realworld agency environment, turning client needs and ideas into purposefully rendered marketing materials.”

Q: W  hat was your biggest takeaway from being a part of the firm after graduating from Stephens College?

A: “The biggest takeaway from Creative Ink was the resounding knowledge that ‘I can do this!’”

Q: W  hat advice would you have for a Creative Ink member entering her first semester with the firm?

A: “ Listen, observe and never miss a chance to speak up and voice your ideas.”

In three words, describe your time with Creative Ink.

“Exciting. Creative. Challenging.” 16


Aubrey Bryzeal ’11 Creative Executive and Creative Director Aubrey (McMurtry) Bryzeal graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. In 2010, she was awarded an ADDY for her graphic design work. She currently works as an interactive/UX designer for Integrity, a St. Louis-based web design and development firm.

Q: H  ow did Creative Ink help form your college experience? What was your biggest takeaway from being a part of the firm after graduating from Stephens College?

A: “Creative Ink gave me a taste of real-world experience before I was ever out of school. The classroom can only provide so much. It is real-world experience that really provides true insight and prepares you for not just

a job, but a thriving career. Creative Ink taught me how to work and collaborate with a team, with clients and how to manage and meet strict deadlines. The experience I took away from Creative Ink helped me land three internships while in school and has helped me get to the position I am in today.”

Q: W  hat advice would you

A: “ New members entering into Creative Ink should know that they need to take this opportunity and run with it. They have been chosen to be a member in an impressive organization and they will greatly benefit from every experience they take away. Be proud of your accomplishment, work hard and push yourself to new heights. You won’t regret it!”

have for a Creative Ink member entering her first semester with the firm?

In three words, describe your time with Creative Ink.

“Impactful. Influential. Memorable.” 17


Natalie Stezovsky ’11 Account Executive and Firm Director Natalie Stezovsky is the vice president at Influence & Co., a content marketing company based in Columbia, Missouri. She has been a part of the team for over five years and has watched the company grow from seven employees to nearly 100 employees since the start of her employment. Influence & Co. was recently named a top content marketing company by Inc. and best entrepreneurial company by Entrepreneur. Natalie currently lives in Kansas City, Missouri.

In three words, describe your time with Creative Ink.

“Leadership. Growth. Creative.” 18


“I was able to talk about realworld experiences that most other students didn’t have. It was the reason why I landed my internship and first job. ”

Q: H  ow did Creative

Ink help form your college experience?

A: “Where do I begin? It shaped

everything about my college experience. It was a place where I made new friends and learned how to work with individuals who had different skill sets and personalities. It really provided me a true place to hone in on my management, creative, account and business development skills.”

Q: W  hat was your biggest

takeaway from being a part of the firm after graduating from Stephens College?

A: “I’d say that there were two main takeaways from my experiences there:

1. Team management. 2. Real-world client experience. “When I was an account executive and met with clients, taking their visions and turning them into creative realities was an exciting and challenging

adventure. It gave us real insight into how to work with clients, how we needed to work as an entire agency to put together a high-quality finalized product for them and present to our clients our thinking behind each element of the pieces we were creating. “When I was the firm director, I was in charge of a few client accounts, but it was the management and leadership of the team that really helped grow me as a professional my senior year. I had to understand skill sets, personalities and team dynamics of our members and pair them with the right types of accounts and make sure that everyone was being accountable for the work that they did. “I had to make it engaging and help grow the team’s skill set as a whole. I was able to bring in speakers and different activities to help expand the expertise and hone in on team building. It was a challenging, but wonderful experience. I honestly

wouldn’t be where I am today without Creative Ink. I’m forever grateful.”

Q: W  hat advice would you

have for a Creative Ink member entering her first semester with the firm?

A: “Be open-minded. Don’t be

afraid to take on challenges or risks. It’s key to listen to what your clients are wanting from you and then build on that. At the end of the day, you need to come together as a team with your counterparts, whether that’s creative or account, to really produce the best possible result.

“Collaboration is key. It’s something that I’ve taken from my experiences at Creative Ink into my professional career. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice and get constructive feedback. It will help you grow as an individual and make the end product better. Don’t be afraid of any idea, small or big. You never know where it can get you!” 19


Monica Wood ’11 Account Executive After graduating from college in 2011, Monica Wood joined the award-winning consumer promotions agency TracyLocke in Wilton, Connecticut, where she worked as a project manager on accounts such as Pepsi, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Koppen Private Label clothing, Chase Sapphire and several others. Following her heart, she moved back to her hometown, where she now teaches middle school English, incorporating creative writing and visuals in her students’ curriculum whenever possible. She lives on a farm with her boyfriend, Ben, and two beautiful fur-children, Khaleesi and Otto.

In three words, describe your time with Creative Ink.

“Beautifully Creative Explosion.” 20


“Creative Ink also provided me with a thirst for knowledge and for creativity.”

Q: What was your biggest takeaway from being a part of the firm after graduating from Stephens College?

A: “I took away bravery and thirst from my time in Creative Ink. The firm made it easier to take chances; it gave me a boost in confidence when dealing with superiors and clients. After college, I was employed at an agency with very high-profile clientele. Creative Ink helped to foster the ‘guts’ to say, ‘I see where you’re coming from, but have you thought about this?’ I took chances and was not scared to approach my superiors, something I consider an asset and something I feel like a lot of entry-level job seekers often lack.

“Creative Ink also provided me with a thirst for knowledge and for creativity. By observing the creatives in our firm, my love of graphic design grew. I knew I wanted to be able to shape a message

into an artistic experience. I enrolled myself into all the design classes I had room for, and it’s all an explosion of creation from there. I met some of my greatest friends and mentors in those classes. They taught me more than I’ll ever know about passion, freedom, love and expression. All of this stemmed from experiences in Creative Ink.”

Q: How did Creative

Ink help form your college experience?

A: “Creative Ink helped to prepare me for what my life would be like post-graduation: managing time, clients and meetings. The firm also created a community of like-minded thinkers and innovators. I often learned from my peers. I learned things like what creativity meant to me, how to look at a problem from different perspectives and how incorporating a little of yourself into each piece you design will make you love your job that much more.”

Q: W  hat advice would you have for a Creative Ink member entering her first semester with the firm?

A: “ I would give the first-year

Creative Ink member this advice: Dive in. Give every project a piece of your soul, not that each project steals and crushes your soul, though some will. Leave your unique mark on everything you touch. Never belittle your ideas. Getting out the bad ideas leaves room for better ones. Some of the worst ideas I ever had turned into something beautiful. Finally, I’ll leave you with a piece of advice my mother gave me as a much younger version of my current self: ALWAYS exceed your expectations. Give more into everything you do, whether it be a spec piece not asked for by your clients, more versions than what they asked for or some crazy idea you know your client will love.”

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“Dear old Stephens, we hail to thee.”

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Laurel Angstead ’12 Account Executive and Firm Director Laurel Angstead is a marketing communications manager for ATI Nursing Education based in Leawood, Kansas. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Marketing with a minor in Graphic Design from Stephens College in 2012 and her Master of Business Administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2015. She has served in various marketing communications roles at Sprint Corporation and Rhycom Advertising among others. Laurel and her husband, David, a University of Kansas-trained architect, have a love for the ocean and hope to someday have the opportunity to move to the Florida gulf coast where they were married in June 2016. For now, she enjoys playing with her two dogs and exploring the friendly Kansas City area finding new restaurants, festivals and activities.

In three words, describe your time with Creative Ink.

“Inspiring. Empowering. Rewarding.” 24


“Listen, challenge and inspire one another daily. If you can do these things, the rest will come naturally.”

Q: What was your biggest takeaway from being a part of the firm after graduating from Stephens College? How did Creative Ink help form your college experience?

A: “Creative Ink helped form my college experience by giving me an opportunity to learn the industry, teamwork, professional, and most importantly, leadership skills through hands-on experience. Learning through experience with clients and peers inspired and motivated me on a different level than any textbook or case study could. “I began at Creative Ink stretching my legs with the tools I had learned in the classroom paired with instinct. I left with a sharpened toolkit and greater self-awareness. While the hands-on experience

with clients and projects was incredibly insightful and helpful in post-graduate interviews, the greatest gift my fantastic team of women and friends gave to me was the ability to grow as a leader. “Through dialogue, teamwork, feedback and friendships, I learned more about myself, my strengths, my predispositions, biases, tendencies and weaknesses than many leaders do in their first decade out of school. With these insights, I was able to capitalize on and finesse my attributes, skills and tendencies to now stand out competitively with my ability to build relationships and lead teams in the professional world. I use these skills daily and strongly believe they’ve made a great impact on where my career is today.”

Q: W  hat advice would you

have for a Creative Ink member entering her first semester with the firm?

A: “Build personal relationships stronger than you feel an obligation to. You can’t trust one another and fully flex your creativity without having a strong relationship. Share ideas, thoughts, critiques and advice willingly, but don’t take yourself too seriously. Be eager for and open to feedback always. This is how you’ll grow. “These women who surround you were selected for a reason. Ask lots of questions of each other and learn from your diverse array of perspectives. You all bring different life experiences with different insights and approaches to any challenge. Listen, challenge and inspire one another daily. If you can do these things, the rest will come naturally.” 25


Lindsey Iverson ’12 Creative Executive and Creative Director Lindsey Iverson currently works as a full-time graphic designer for Hoffman Estates Park District in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. She previously worked for a small design and communications firm called Rx Creative Lab. You can find her work on the pages of the American Diabetes Association’s “Diabetes” and “Diabetes Care” journals.

Q: H  ow did Creative Ink help form your college experience? What was your biggest takeaway from being a part of the firm after graduating from Stephens College?

A: “Creative Ink rounded out my college experience like I never imagined it could. I was nervous when I first applied that it was going to be too much work and I would be overwhelmed.

There were definitely times where that was the case, but it was all worth it. I feel like being a part of the firm helped me become a professional, from how I managed my workload, my communications with others in and outside the firm and the confidence I gained in myself. I walked away and into the real world, applying for jobs, overqualified compared to most my age and prepared for my career.”

Q: W  hat advice would you have for a Creative Ink member entering her first semester with the firm?

A: “ You can handle it. Be conscious of your own time and sanity, but try to say ‘yes’ whenever you can and take on new opportunities.”

In three words, describe your time with Creative Ink.

“Best College Decision.” 26


Jori Robinson ’12 Creative Executive and Account Executive Jori Robinson graduated from Stephens College in May 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Advertising with a minor in Graphic Design. Jori previously worked for TracyLocke, an ad agency. She currently works for Samsung as a senior project manager in Dallas, Texas, where her role consists of coordinating the launches of Samsung devices in 1,400 Samsung shop-in-shops, Best Buy stores and 50 Macy’s shop-in-shop locations across the country. Her next career goal, one that she hopes to accomplish by 2017, is to be a manager.

Q: H  ow did Creative Ink help form your college experience? What was your biggest takeaway from being a part of the firm after graduating from Stephens College?

A: “I loved Creative Ink because it created friendships that went far beyond my years at Stephens. The ladies who were in the firm with me are still some of my good friends.

“Post-graduation, it did a lot for me. It prepared me to take feedback and use it to change for the better, which has assisted me a great deal in my career. It also taught me what real-life deadlines felt like. I use that daily in my career as a project manager. Without that experience to speak to in job interviews, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

Q: W  hat advice would you

member entering her first semester with the firm?

A: “ Take this experience seriously. I know it’s ‘just college,’ but you can put this experience on your resume as if it were a real job. It puts you ahead of the curve to be able to work with real clients and produce real work. Employers seeing the work that you’ve done prior to graduating is huge.”

have for a Creative Ink

In three words, describe your time with Creative Ink.

“Best Experience Ever.” 27


Charell Strong ’12 Account Representative and Account Executive Charell Strong is a sales and media professional as well as founder of StrongandElite.com, an emerging digital lifestyle platform for women of color to empower and inform through regular blog content, interviews, resources and merchandise. Charell graduated Magna Cum Laude from Stephens College in 2012 with a degree in Fashion Marketing and Management and a minor in Mass Media. She is from Kansas City, Missouri, and currently resides in New York City.

Q: How did Creative

Ink help form your college experience?

A: “Creative Ink helped to form my college experience by showing me hands-on what the industry was like and the different roles available. I was able to see multiple facets of marketing actually applied, such as developing copy, editing, creating timelines and working with a team. Coming from an account perspective, it also allowed me to understand the creative side, know the jargon and be able to have productive conversations regarding design.

“Creative Ink also exposed me to a group of dynamic women I likely would not have encountered on campus beyond a brief hello. I was able to work closely with women from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines who each brought unique perspectives and skills, but all shared the same determined work ethic and passion for getting the job done.”

Q: What was your biggest

takeaway from being a part of the firm after graduating from Stephens College?

A: “My biggest takeaway was

with a portfolio of work, which was crucial to my job search process as a recent graduate.”

Q: W  hat advice would you

have for a Creative Ink member entering her first semester with the firm?

A: “ Do it all and love every moment! You get as much from Creative Ink as you are willing to put into it, so put your all into it! Don’t be afraid to fail. Ask questions. See what’s happening now, meaning read articles, follow blogs, listen to podcasts, research companies, etc.”

that I left Creative Ink

In three words, describe your time with Creative Ink. 28

“Life-changing. Inspirational. Fun!”


Brittny Goran ’13 Account Executive and Firm Director Brittny Goran graduated from Stephens College in May 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing with an emphasis in Public Relations and Advertising along with a minor in Event Planning. She now works for the Missouri Department of Agriculture as the public information specialist at the Missouri State Fair. She handles both print and online media for the fair, along with media relations and coordination of special events. She takes pride in promoting excellence and education of Missouri agriculture.

Q: How did Creative Ink help form your college experience?

a part of the firm after graduating from Stephens College?

A: “Creative Ink was a major

A: “My biggest takeaway from

reason I attended Stephens College. Being able to gain real-life experience with a student-run marketing firm was an opportunity I knew any other college would not be able to give me.”

Q: What was your biggest takeaway from being

being a part of Creative Ink was to step out of my comfort zone. You never know what type of client will cross your path and what skill sets you will need. Work on your weaknesses to make them strengths so that you can give your client the best experience possible.”

Q: W  hat advice would you have for a Creative Ink member entering her first semester with the firm?

A: “ Never stop learning–Come into Creative Ink like a sponge, ready to soak in every adventure and learn from others.”

In three words, describe your time with Creative Ink.

“Invaluable. Unforgettable. Rewarding.”

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Walter Hall: Home to Creative Ink.

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Laura Dresser ’14 Account Executive Laura Dresser grew up in Columbia, Missouri, living there for almost 20 years. In May 2014, she graduated from Stephens College with a degree in Fashion Communication. During Laura’s senior year, she completed a capstone project in which she started her own media company, Actualized Media Group. AMG offers branding and content creation for individuals and small businesses. After graduation, Laura moved to New York City to pursue a career in the fashion industry. She completed an internship for Ix Style, and she freelanced for Shopbop, Ralph Lauren, Lily Kwong, Natasha Royt, Laura Jones and Gisella Lemos. She currently works for Vera Wang in sales and for Spherical Communications as a photographer. Laura also works as a freelance writer, photographer and stylist. In her free time, Laura enjoys going to the park, meeting up with friends, taking photos and seeing live music.

In three words, describe your time with Creative Ink.

“Fun. Inspiring. Empowering.”

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“I liked being pushed by my peers to constantly improve my work.”

Q: How did Creative

Ink help form your college experience?

A: “Creative Ink helped form my college experience in different ways. I enjoyed the comradery of working with other creative, like-minded women. I liked being pushed by my peers to constantly improve my work. Working at Creative Ink helped me learn how to manage and produce projects in a team environment.”

Q: W  hat was your biggest

takeaway from being a part of the firm after graduating from Stephens College?

A: “My biggest takeaway from being a part of the firm was the importance of communication. It’s important in any work environment to communicate well with others. Be direct, clear and timely when you talk with your peers and your co-workers. What I learned about communicating at Creative Ink definitely benefited me as I’ve started out in my career.”

Q: W  hat advice would you

have for a Creative Ink member entering her first semester with the firm?

A: “ I would tell new Creative Ink members to be organized, to communicate with your firm members and to enjoy yourself! It’s important to stay focused, meet your deadlines and work hard. Also, be sure to take time for yourself outside of the classroom to relax!”

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Moki Lee ’14 Creative Executive

Moki (Blanding) Lee graduated from Stephens College in 2014 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. Her previous graphic design work includes an advertisement featured in the brochure for the 2013 Citizen Jane Film Festival. In 2014, she won a silver Kansas City ADDY Award for her graphic design work, which was created out of an assignment in her information and promotion design class. The work largely featured the illustration of an owl that was to be used by a fictitious brewery.

In three words, describe your time with Creative Ink.

“Strength. Support. Risk.”

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“Being surrounded by such driven and creative women helped me work harder in class, with clients and in my personal life.”

Q: How did Creative Ink

help form your college experience? What was your biggest takeaway from being a part of the firm after graduating from Stephens College?

A: “I transferred to Stephens College with credits from a community college in Kentucky and knew no one except my mom in Columbia. Since I lived with her, I was able to save some money and live off campus. However, I couldn’t help but to feel that I was missing out on the tightknit community that Stephens had to offer by not living in the dorms. “Being accepted into Creative Ink gave me that tight-knit family. Being surrounded

by such driven and creative women helped me work harder in class, with clients and in my personal life. I had a team that supported me and would help when I was in need. That experience doesn’t stop in the Creative Ink office. I was able to connect with other people on campus and be proud of myself. “After graduation, most of the pieces in my portfolio were Creative Ink assignments that had great background stories to talk about to prospective employers. Creative Ink also taught me how to be professional in a way that is welcoming and powerful. I was taught how to take control and able to handle clients who are not ideal. I truly believe that it was the perfect introduction to

the ‘real world.’ Even though I don’t walk on campus, I’m still able to connect to Inkers via social media, which is one of the strongest tools I could have in my creative toolbox.”

Q: W  hat advice would you

have for a Creative Ink member entering her first semester with the firm?

A: “ Take risks and make mistakes. Creative Ink is one of the safest learning environments due to the allaround support. If you don’t take risks, you will never know what you’re capable of. I guarantee you will learn from your mistakes and they will only make you stronger. Your team will make you stronger.”

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Emily Marchant ’14 Account Executive Emily Marchant graduated from Stephens College with a Bachelor of Science in Integrated Media in May 2014. While at Stephens, she was the co-editor-in-chief of the 2014 edition of Harbinger, the award-winning literary journal. Since graduating, Emily has served as a contributing writer for Luna Luna magazine, Potluck Magazine, The Advocate and The Sentinel newspaper. She currently works as a legislative assistant for the state of Oregon.

Q: How did Creative Ink help form your college experience? What was your biggest takeaway from being a part of the firm after graduating from Stephens College?

A: “I didn’t exactly apply to Creative Ink on a whim, but when I first heard about it, I didn’t know if it was right for me. After giving it some thought, I decided to go

for it and was pleasantly surprised to find out I had been accepted. Creative Ink ended up being one of my best experiences at Stephens. I gained a lot of valuable insight in professionalism that has stayed with me.”

A: “ To incoming members, I

Q: W  hat advice would you have for a Creative Ink member entering her first semester with the firm?

In three words, describe your time with Creative Ink.

“Inspiring. Valuable. Fun!” 36

would advise them to go for it. Volunteer for projects, write a blog post, make suggestions to the directors and take photographs for the website. Gain as much experience as you can, because that’s why you’re there.”


Michelle Marcum ’14 Creative Executive Michelle Marcum graduated from Stephens College in 2014 and has since gone on to work as a graphic designer for various companies, including CNW Management, Computer Service Professionals, Inc. and the local Columbia photography lab Miller’s Professional Imaging. During her senior year at Stephens, Michelle had the opportunity to design the marketing materials and cover of the 2014 edition of Harbinger, Stephens’ award-winning literary journal.

Q: H  ow did Creative Ink help form your college experience? What was your biggest takeaway from being a part of the firm after graduating from Stephens College?

A: “Frankly, my favorite part of attending Stephens College was Creative Ink. I was apprehensive to apply for creative executive because I already had a full schedule. It was the best decision I ever made. I had

previous experience as a freelance designer, but I had never worked in a group of creatives. It prepared me for a group dynamic, and I greatly enjoyed the camaraderie and support from my Creative Ink peers.”

Q: W  hat advice would you have for a Creative Ink member entering her first semester with the firm?

A: “ My advice for new members entering their first semester would be to work ahead. Deadlines catch up fast. The more prepared you are, the more confident you will be presenting your work to the client. Your finished work will be much more polished because you will give yourself extra time to edit final touches.”

In three words, describe your time with Creative Ink.

“Best Time Ever.” 37


Bree Martino ’14 Creative Executive and Creative Director Following her graduation, Bree Martino was offered the first job she applied for in her hometown of Melbourne, Florida. Currently, she has been working as an in-house graphic designer at Accent Technologies (a SaaS software company) for more than a year and a half. At Accent, she has been given the ability to expand her education and further her career by going back to school for UX/ UI design.

In three words, describe your time with Creative Ink.

“Challenging. Rewarding. Fun.” 38


“It was absolutely invaluable having real-world experience in a safe, educational environment.”

Q: H  ow did Creative Ink help form your college experience? What was your biggest takeaway from being a part of the firm after graduating from Stephens College?

A: “Creative Ink is what brought a lot of credence to what I was learning in the classroom. It wasn’t just about knowing how to finish projects for a class anymore. Creative Ink was all about putting that newly learned knowledge into action and

gaining real experience with clients–with all the advantages and pitfalls included. It was absolutely invaluable having realworld experience in a safe, educational environment. “After graduating, not only was it impressive to my employer that I’d already had the real-world experience, but I was thankful to have gained all the client and collaborative experience that Creative Ink had to offer. Beyond the excellent education at Stephens

College, I feel Creative Ink really gave me a head start in my career.”

Q: W  hat advice would you have for a Creative Ink member entering her first semester with the firm?

A: “ Don’t shy away from any project. Creative Ink is a safe place to grow and challenge yourself. Seek out the projects that are beyond your comfort zone and most importantly, have fun!”

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Michelle Niewald ’14 Account Executive, Traffic Manager and Firm Director Michelle Niewald graduated from Stephens College in May 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Strategic Communication: Integrated Marketing and a minor in Graphic Design. Michelle currently works as the external communications specialist for The Laclede Group, a natural gas distribution company based out of St. Louis. Her work focuses primarily on integrating social media and digital communication into the traditional media mix for the company. Michelle currently lives in St. Louis with her golden retriever, Marley.

In three words, describe your time with Creative Ink.

“Influential. Challenging. Rewarding.”

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“Creative Ink was the highlight of my college experience. I really feel that it made me strive harder as a leader on campus.” Q: What was your biggest

takeaway from being a part of the firm after graduating from Stephens College?

A: “It’s important to be confident in your own abilities. In life and in business, there will always be someone better than you, but if you market yourself accordingly, work hard, meet deadlines and produce excellent work, you will be rewarded.”

Q: How did Creative Ink help form your college experience?

A: “Creative Ink was the highlight

of my college experience. I really feel that it made me strive harder as a leader on campus. Creative Inkers are held to a high standard on campus because we work so closely with many community leaders, campus staff, students and faculty. It was a rewarding experience because of all of the friends I made and professional relationships I forged.

“When I was firm director, I learned more about business and marketing from other Inkers and from our wonderful faculty adviser, Kate Gray. I was also fortunate enough to have a semester with the incredible Barbara Scott. These women, along with other Inkers, pushed me to be the best I can be. Now that I’ve graduated, I’ve learned that those professional clientfacing experiences are crucial.”

Q: W  hat advice would you have for a Creative Ink member entering her first semester with the firm?

A: “First and foremost, ask

questions. If you don’t understand something, ask every question you can think of. Make sure your work is always complete. When you’re just starting out, it’s OK to find incomplete answers, but learn from those second inquiries and feedback from your peers and don’t make the same mistake twice. It’s OK to fail and make mistakes, but if you’re constantly getting the

same feedback, it makes you look like you don’t care. Push yourself. Don’t settle for second-class work. Don’t be afraid to challenge corrections, but always make sure you can back your claims with research. “At the end of the day, you need to stand by every piece of work you produce, so make sure you produce work as though you’re going to be asked about it in the interview for your dream job. Lastly, reach out to old Inkers who already graduated. We work for some of the best companies in the country–from MLB teams to Univision. We’re always willing to give you a hand-up.”

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Jennifer Pestle ’14 Account Executive

Jennifer Pestle graduated from Stephens College with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations. She has previously worked as a pay-per-click intern with Veterans United Home Loans in Columbia, Missouri. She is currently the store manager of Cha Boutique in downtown Columbia, where she launched the store’s opening. She is responsible for customer growth and retention, and oversees nine sales associates and five marketing interns.

In three words, describe your time with Creative Ink.

“Inspiring. Challenging. Informative.”

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“Creative Ink helped shape my education by providing real-life experiences in conjunction with my academic work.”

Q: How did Creative Ink help form your college experience? What was your biggest takeaway from being a part of the firm after graduating from Stephens College?

A: “During my two years with the firm, I was provided with a well-rounded educational experience. Creative Ink helped shape my education by providing real-life experiences in conjunction with my academic work. What Creative Ink provides students is invaluable real-life work opportunities.”

Q: W  hat advice would you have for a Creative Ink member entering her first semester with the firm?

A: “ We always hear the words ‘life is what you make it.’ That is something I have tried to tell myself when confronted with new experiences. When I joined the Creative Ink team, I decided to dive in and work as hard as I could. Because of this, I couldn’t have asked for a better two years with the firm. I learned so much not only about the professional world, but

about myself and fellow Stephens women. Creative Ink is a group of hardworking women ready to take on new challenges. For the new Creative Ink women … jump in, get creative and get ready to see where you can go with an amazing program!”

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A still day on Stephens’ academic quad. 45


Sara Barnett ’15

Creative Executive, Account Executive and Creative Director Sara Barnett, an Illinois native, is currently balancing work as a graphic designer for Think Tank Public Relations & Marketing along with freelance projects. She is the recipient of a Kansas City Student ADDY Award for her rebranding work for Main Squeeze, a natural foods cafe in Columbia, Missouri. Her favorite accomplishment to date is Coldplay featuring her poster design on Twitter for the group’s upcoming “A Head Full of Dreams” tour.

In three words, describe your time with Creative Ink.

“Supportive. Developmental. Inspiring.” 46


“Creative Ink helped me understand people–how to communicate, motivate, work alongside others, lead, manage, and, ultimately, befriend.” Q: What was your biggest

takeaway from being a part of the firm after graduating from Stephens College?

A: “Creative Ink helped me grow tremendously as a designer. I often think of it as a huge turning point in my education, specifically in working with the City of Columbia to rebrand the public transportation system. Honestly, there was everything before COMO Connect and everything after; that’s at least how I picture it. COMO Connect was the biggest challenge I had ever faced as a designer. With the help of the directors, my account executive and Kate Gray, I was able to push myself beyond what I thought I could accomplish.”

Q: How did Creative

Ink help form your college experience?

A: “Creative Ink helped me understand people–how to communicate, motivate, work alongside others, lead, manage and ultimately befriend. It’s important to get out of your own mindset and see things from a different view. Creative Ink allowed me to do that on a daily basis. “Every firm member was unique and I was able to learn what practices worked best for them, individually. I can say that some of the best people I’ve ever met, I only met because of Creative Ink.”

Q: W  hat advice would you have for a Creative Ink member entering her first semester with the firm?

A: “ Take challenges head on and show them what you’ve got! You were selected to be in the firm for a reason. The directors and Kate saw something really

awesome in you, and this is your opportunity to show those awesome things off. Creative Ink is a safe and educational environment–don’t be afraid of failure. “At the end of the day, give 110 percent to a project. So, the client doesn’t like it. Can you really say that is failure if you gave it your all? Give it everything you’ve got because it can lead to amazing opportunities. Complete the project within the deadline. Communicate effectively and as quickly as you can. Have solid, thoughtful and bountiful concepts. Do these things and even if a client doesn’t go with your idea, know that you really did, in fact, try your best.” 47


Nickie Bartels ’15 Account Executive and Copy Editor Nickie Bartels earned her Bachelor of Science in Strategic Communication: Integrated Marketing from Stephens in 2015. She currently works at Influence & Co., a content marketing agency, as a marketing editor. As a senior at Stephens, she represented the Ten Ideal of Leadership and was the May Commencement speaker chosen by the Alumnae Association Board. While not hard at work, you can most likely catch her re-watching episodes of her favorite series, Breaking Bad.

In three words, describe your time with Creative Ink.

“Empowering. Challenging. Transformative.” 48


“Creative Ink gave me the reassurance that I had selected a path that was right for me and the confidence to continue on that path head-on.”

Q: What was your biggest

takeaway from being a part of the firm after graduating from Stephens College?

A: “It showed me how to work

as a member of a creative, dynamic team with actual clients who trust you as the expert, and that level of teamwork, trust and energy made my transition from student to agency professional much smoother and stronger. It not only helped me build a portfolio I was proud of, but it also equipped me with much of what I needed to walk confidently into interviews— and, ultimately, my first day of work—knowing exactly what value I can bring to a company.”

Q: How did Creative

Ink help form your college experience?

A: “Beyond giving me the

safe, supportive, real-world environment to put my more formal in-class education to the test, Creative Ink gave me the reassurance that I had selected a path that was right for me and the confidence to continue on that path head-on. It helped form my college experience by giving me the chance to put all the pieces of my education together and practice them while learning new skills that I couldn’t possibly have learned in a traditional setting. It gave me the opportunity to build some of the very best friendships I’ll ever have.”

Q: W  hat advice would you have for a Creative Ink member entering her first semester with the firm?

A: “You’re here for a reason. You

do have what it takes to succeed in your role, and as long as you’re open to the challenges, the rewards and hard work that it takes to achieve that success, you’ll be great. And that extends to your partner, too.

“Trust your partner—trust that she’s here for a reason, and rely on her talents, qualities and judgment. She can become one of your dearest friends, a role model and an inspiration to you if you are open to that kind of relationship and experience. Be open, be honest, communicate frequently and deeply and always, always, always push each other to do and be better in everything every chance you get.”

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Sarah Coyan ’15 Account Executive and Firm Director Sarah Coyan is the tournament coordinator for Boeing Classic and has worked there since graduating from Stephens in May 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing, Public Relations and Advertising. She previously interned for Boeing Classic as its corporate partnerships intern. Sarah currently lives in the Greater Seattle Area of Washington.

Q: How did Creative

Q: What was your biggest

Ink help form your college experience?

A: “Now having a ‘real-world’ job, I have no clue where I would be without Creative Ink. Creative Ink was the greatest asset to my college experience. I got to see and work with women who push themselves and are consistently working to improve themselves. Creative Ink showed me to never do anything half-way; you can always make things one step better.”

takeaway from being a part of the firm after graduating from Stephens College?

A: “The biggest takeaways are the friends I have from Creative Ink. Second, I am ahead of the game in the industry I work in. I got my dream internship, which in the end turned into a job that I love going to every day. Creative Ink showed me to work hard and push myself. You are the only one in control of your own destiny.”

Q: W  hat advice would you have for a Creative Ink member entering her first semester with the firm?

A: “ It is such an exciting experience; my advice is to take everything in. It can be overwhelming, but just relax and watch your peers and notice how they approach different situations. Ask questions. You are just beginning; there are so many questions to be asked and so much information that you can take in.”

In three words, describe your time with Creative Ink.

“Life-changing. Inspirational. Fun!” 50


Haley Padilla ’15 Creative Executive and Account Executive Haley Padilla is a designer at Hoot Design Co., where she helps build websites, brands and content marketing strategies. She is also a graphic technician at the City Channel for the City of Columbia, where she animates graphics for videos and designs information graphics. Haley also designed the 2015 Citizen Handbook.

Q: H  ow did Creative Ink help form your college experience? What was your biggest takeaway from being a part of the firm after graduating from Stephens College?

A: “I was only part of the firm for one semester and my experience was unique in that I didn’t have a partner. It was also my graphic design capstone. Though it was different for me, it was still really great to be part

of a group of like-minded people. Everyone was very driven to do their best and to come up with new ideas for their clients. It’s always great to be surrounded by people who care so much. “I already knew that communication was important–between team members, clients and directors–but being in Creative Ink helped solidify that. You really can’t over communicate and that is so valuable to know.”

Q: W  hat advice would you have for a Creative Ink member entering her first semester with the firm?

A: “ Take what your clients say seriously but not personally. As a designer, it can be hard to not get attached to your work. You really have to separate yourself and know that if clients don’t like your choices it doesn’t mean they don’t like you.”

In three words, describe your time with Creative Ink.

“Fun. Inspiring. Rewarding.” 51


Stephanie Stack ’15 Account Executive Stephanie (McHenry) Stack graduated in December 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Event and Convention Management and a double minor in Graphic Design and Media Studies. Outside of school, she had the honor of interning at many great organizations, including Cosmopolitan Events, where she completed her capstone event: the first annual Concordance Academy Gateway Gala. She currently lives in St. Louis, Missouri, with her husband and Australian Shepherd puppy. She is the event team leader at Overlook Farm, where she runs the event department, focusing on weddings and other social events. Stephanie holds her year with the Creative Ink near and dear to her heart; she attributes her client relation skills, professionalism and confidence to her time in Creative Ink.

In three words, describe your time with Creative Ink.

“ Patience. Growth. Connectivity.” 52


“I had to learn what it is like to think from two perspectives: The best interest of your team or company (even yourself) and the best interest of your client.”

Q: What was your biggest takeaway from being a part of the firm after graduating from Stephens College?

A: “My biggest takeaway from Creative Ink was how to work with others: Clients and team members. I had to learn what it is like to think from two perspectives: The best interest of your team or company (even yourself) and the best interest of your client. I find myself in that situation currently in my professional life, where the majority of events that we do are weddings. It is an everyday battle of finding that balance of, ‘How do I make this amazing for the client, but how do I stay on that bottom line that we are a business that needs to survive?’ It is something that I think I will always be learning, but I would not have that foundation without Creative Ink.”

Q: How did Creative Ink help form your college experience?

A: “At first, I went back and forth on whether I should apply for Creative Ink or not. It was the end of my sophomore year and the posters were up encouraging people to apply. As a graphic design minor, I had a class with Creative Ink’s adviser, Kate Gray. One day following class, she pulled me aside and encouraged me to apply. I was worried, though, because I did not have marketing experience. “I am so glad I applied. That experience taught me to still go after opportunities, like a job for example, I didn’t think I was qualified for. I reminded myself of that when I was nearing graduation and applying for jobs. You would be surprised how many interviews or phone calls you may get. We are such critics of ourselves, and

it is important to remember that although you may not have the qualifications for something, it does not mean you are not capable.”

Q: W  hat advice would you

have for a Creative Ink member entering her first semester with the firm?

A: “My advice for Creative Inkers in their first semester is to listen. Do not just hear, but listen. Listen to your client and listen to your team. That relationship is so important; make sure it is a great one. Always remember that every little experience is a time of growth and learning. There are experiences that frustrated me at the time, but I look back on them and I see all that I learned.”

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Kate Zumwalt ’15 Creative Executive Kate (Rudder) Zumwalt currently works as a graphic designer for 1canoe2, a stationery and home goods company in mid-Missouri. Kate is able to do a variety of things from brainstorming and designing products to product photography and designing the catalog. Along with her creative work, Kate works on licensing projects with outside clients from where she works to produce products outside of the wheelhouse.

In three words, describe your time with Creative Ink.

“Challenging. Rewarding. Fun.” 54


“It taught me how to work with clients, which is a vital skill that you can’t learn in a classroom.”

Q: How did Creative Ink help form your college experience? What was your biggest takeaway from being a part of the firm after graduating from Stephens College?

A: “Creative Ink was a great opportunity to gain design experience outside of the classroom, in a real-world setting. It taught me how to work with clients, which is a vital skill that you can’t learn in a classroom.”

Q: W  hat advice would you have for

a Creative Ink member entering her first semester with the firm?

A: “ Always ask questions. There are

many processes that come with working in a firm like Creative Ink and most of them, you won’t understand until you do handson work; that doesn’t mean you can’t ask questions. There are so many knowledgeable women around you who have been in your position and probably have had the exact same questions. Utilize your resources.”

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Inkers hard at work. 56


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Lasting Thoughts

Shelly Romero ’17 Brittany Stanfield ’18

Early in the spring semester of 2016, we were assigned to create a book featuring the stories of Creative Ink’s alumnae. As first-semester Inkers, the task seemed monumental. In one semester, we interviewed alumnae and created, designed and edited the look, layout and copy of the book. Essentially, we were to create and publish a book in one semester, a process which typically takes many more months. Though at first we didn’t know it, we were ready for this undertaking. It was an incredible experience for us to be able to read the inspiring and wise words of the Inkers before us. As we read through the alumnae responses to our questions, we couldn’t help but to notice how their experiences in the firm were the very same experiences we were encountering during our first semester. Through their words, we could feel the powerful emotions that the alumnae felt regarding their time with Creative Ink and how it shaped their experience at Stephens College and their post-graduate careers. The words of the alumnae featured in this book are words that fully resonated with us and words that we will carry with us even after we leave the firm. However, the most beautiful part of being the team behind this book is how much we grew over the course of its publication. In executing this project, we were able to grow, learn and cultivate our existing skills. Together, we both taught each other language and skills that we had never been exposed to within our respective disciplines. While the book was challenging, like any publication is, our combined backgrounds in writing and graphic design paved the way for the book’s completion. All of our time, energy, late nights in computer labs and full-blown passion for this project culminated in the very book you have read. This is the lasting legacy we had the pleasure of creating. We hope that you have enjoyed reading the stories and experiences of Creative Ink’s alumnae. Thank you, Shelly Romero ’17, Account Executive, BA in English Brittany Stanfield 18, Creative Executive, BS in Strategic Communication-Design


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Index

Anderson, Jennifer; 11 Angstead, Laurel; 24, 25 Barnett, Sara; 46, 47 Bartel, Susan; 7 Bartels, Nickie; 48, 49 Bryzeal, Aubrey (McMurtry); 17 Church, Jessica; 16 Coyan, Sarah; 50 Dresser, Laura; 32, 33 Goran, Brittny; 29 Gray, Kate; 5 Heffner, Rachael; 10 Iverson, Lindsey; 26 Lee, Moki (Blanding); 34, 35 Marchant, Emily; 36 Marcum, Michelle; 37 Martino, Bree; 38, 39 Niewald, Michelle; 40, 41 Padilla, Haley; 51 Pestle, Jennifer; 42, 43 Power, Elizabeth (Beth Harrington); 12, 13 Robinson, Jori; 27 Stack, Stephanie (McHenry); 52, 53 Stezovsky, Natalie; 18, 19 Strong, Charell; 28 Takeyama, Rikki; 14, 15 Wood, Monica; 20, 21 Zumwalt, Kate (Rudder); 54, 55

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Stephens in bloom, a sign of things to come.

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Creative Ink, student-run marketing firm

Lasting Legacies  

“Lasting Legacies: Marks Made by Creative Ink Alumnae” spotlights Creative Ink alumnae, detailing where they are working now and how the exp...