A Year at United
Today marks one year that I have been working at United Airlines as an art director. Not only have I worked on incredible projects but I've been able to meet some of the most amazing people in my career. I feel incredibly lucky to have met my boss who happens to be an incredible role model and mentor. After losing my job a year ago, I was devastated, scared and unsure of what I should do next. In a panic, I accepted a freelance position at United. I wasn't sure how long I would stay there but I knew I would get experience working at a large global company. Not only have I been able to add a fantastic company to my resume, but I have learned more than I ever thought I could possibly learn within one year.
In addition to learning about the airline industry, I have been able to learn how to run a successful design team. Our department functions as a stand alone agency. Our clients come to us and request work. They pay for design work and production costs. I've learned more about billing, time management, client relations, and business working on this team than I have at previous agency jobs. I am one of the art directors so I have learned how to manage people and provide constructive feedback to my clients, project managers, designers, illustrators, animators, and photographers.
United has provided me opportunities to step out of my comfort zone. One evening, around midnight, my senior art director called me in a panic. She was extremely ill and due to be at a food photo shoot at 6:30am the next morning. She wasn't going to be able to make it and asked if I could stand in for her. I have never done a food photo shoot. I have never worked with a chef, food stylist, or food photographer. I didn't pick out the props or create the shot list. So I went to bed and called a cab the next morning to drive me the hour trip to the studio in the burbs. The food stylist took me under her wing and empowered me. She told me that while she has suggestions and experience, ultimately I am the one in charge. I was so thankful to everyone who was patient with me and even more grateful that my boss trusted me. Sometimes you need others to believe in you before you can believe in yourself.
As an avid traveler, one thing that fascinates me is how dedicated everyone in the United network is to their job and customers. We have an incredible program that highlights stories about front line employees, those employees who work with customers face-to-face everyday. I work on this internal campaign and every round makes me more and more proud of the people I work with. They do incredible things that put the best customer service I've ever received to shame. When I travel now I take my time to tell the gate agent thank you and show my flight attendants a little more respect. They work incredibly hard and aren't always thanked for it.
I love being a part of a company who's mission is to connect the world. Especially now days, I think it's hard to remember how connected and united we all are. I am honored and thrilled to work in an environment that gives me global perspective.
Cheers to one year!
Check out some of the work I've done this year at my freshly updated website: