10.20.2017

Behind the Design: Rachel Shussett

We’re so excited to welcome our new community manager!

Hi! My name is Rachel Shussett and I’m the new community manager at Sparq Designs. I graduated from Westminster College in 2016 and moved to Pittsburgh right after. Before working at Sparq Designs, I was an administrative assistant and social media manager at Pittsburgh Presbytery. I’m so excited to see what I can learn here at Sparq!

Q: Give us some insight into your morning routine!
A: I always run or do yoga first thing in the morning! After that comes coffee and getting my life together for work–the coffee being very key. I need my caffeine to make it through the day!

Q: Three apps that help with your work…ready go!
A: Slack is the best! It’s such a great way to keep communication going with the team without requiring a massive email thread. I also am a huge fan of the Google Calendar. I’d lose my mind if I didn’t have everything organized on there! The last one definitely is Pages Manager through Facebook. Being on so many accounts can be a little crazy, but it’s all in one place and easily accessible with the Manager App! If I get a notification it tells me exactly where to go and I can handle it with ease.

Q: What music do you listen to while you’re working?
A: I’ve been listening to a lot of indie rock and folk lately! Some of my favorite artists right now are Bear’s Den, Alvvays, Dermot Kennedy, and The Jezebels.

Q: What’s your dream job (besides working at Sparq =])
A: I’ve always dreamed of being the editor-in-chief of a major newspaper or magazine. I’m a journalism junkie and studied it in college alongside public relations–it’s definitely my other passion! That said, I’ve wanted to work here at Sparq for ages! It’s so great to have a job on this team. I love it!

Q: If you could sit down and have an hour-long conversation with any person alive or deceased who would it be?
A: Jane Goodall. I love, love, love science, and her research absolutely fascinates me. It would be so cool to hear it all firsthand!

Q: Who is your idol in the business world? Why?
A: Susan Goldberg, the editor-in-chief of National Geographic. She is the first female EIC at the magazine and I think that’s such a huge step! Plus, she’s incredible at her job. Such an inspiration for aspiring writers and editors!

10.13.2017

Behind the Design: Maggie Ress

We’re so excited to welcome our new graphic designer!

Hello! I’m Maggie Ress, Sparq Design’s new Graphic Designer. I’m new to Pittsburgh, and am very excited to call it home. I’m a graduate of Kent State University, where I studied Visual Communication Design. My passion is working with companies to make their visual identity something they love, so I’m thrilled to be a part of a creative agency with such awesome clients!

Q: Give us some insight into your morning routine!
A: My morning routine starts by me snoozing my alarm at least 3 times. I would not call myself a “morning person”. Next, I cuddle my dog who is as fond of my bed as myself. Together we motivate each other to start our day, which always begins with making coffee.

Q: Three apps that help with your work…ready go!
A: Pinterest- When it comes to finding inspiration you can always count on Pinterest for really specific results.
Calendar- I’m the type of person that writes something down and somehow the piece of paper disappears into a different dimension. So having all of my events and meetings digitally in one place is great.
Slack- Slack is a great app for keeping in contact with co-workers and clients. It lets you create different channels for different projects, making it easier to keep in contact with multiple people on a project without having to constantly email.

Q: What music do you listen to while you’re working?
A: Usually some form of Indie rock or pop. My most recently played Spotify playlists are Indie Chill Out and Afternoon Acoustic. Also, you really can never go wrong with a 90’s music playlist.

Q: What’s your dream job (besides working at Sparq =])
A: In a way, I’m kinda already doing my dream job. I don’t know what I would be doing if I weren’t a graphic designer. My passion is working with businesses to make their visual identity awesome. Plus there’s regularly a dog in the Sparq office, that’s a dream. I would really love to someday be able to travel and work with clients all over the world.

Q: If you could sit down and have an hour-long conversation with any person alive or deceased who would it be?
A: I would love to chat with my maternal grandfather. I never had the chance to meet him. Everyone in my family says that he was the funniest guy they had ever met, so I feel the whole hour would be spent laughing.

Q: Who is your idol in the business world? Why?
A: Paula Scher. She currently works as the first female principal at Pentagram in NYC. She was featured in the Netflix Documentary “Abstract”. In the documentary she talks about how creative people should “embrace boredom”, and that her best ideas have come to her while she was bored in a Taxi cab. She’s just has had an amazing career working with huge names and remains totally down to earth.

10.06.2017

Behind the Design: Sam Zytka

We’re so excited to welcome our new accounting manager!

Hello! I’m Sam Zytka and I’m the new Accounting Manager at Sparq Designs.  I was born and raised in the south hills of Pittsburgh and graduated from Point Park University in the spring of 2017.  Before joining the Sparq team, I worked as a Finance and Operations Coordinator for a small educational design company based out of the south side of Pittsburgh.  Prior to that, I lived a very different life as a Wildland Firefighter and Disaster Response Team Member throughout the Midwest and West United States.  I am very excited to grow and develop with the wonderful team here at Sparq Designs!

Give us some insight into your morning routine!
A: Wake up, check out the interwebs to see what I missed during my slumber, take a shower and get dressed, drink a lot of coffee, make a hot breakfast, and drive to work.

Three Apps that help with your work?
A: I spend the majority of my day in the QuickBooks Online Application, categorizing expenses, billing customers, generating reports, and performing various bookkeeping duties. Otherwise I use the podcasts app to keep my sanity while combating traffic on the way to and from work. Finally, most of my work is organized around various functions of the Google Suite. Whether I am using Google Spreadsheets to create financial models and organize information, Gmail to communicate with others, or Calendar to coordinate meeting times and office hours, Google Suite is a bedrock of my work life.

What music do you listen to while you’re working?
A: Depends on the day and the task really. If something takes intellectual horsepower, I normally choose something that is more instrumentally inclined and less vocally focused. If the task is just crunching numbers or data entry, then I listen to whatever I’m in the mood for. Some well-known artists would be Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, Lumineers, Father John Misty, Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Modest Mouse, or Arcade Fire.

Q: What’s your dream job (besides working at Sparq =])
A: Probably running and owning my own company. I would like to be a successful entrepreneur someday.

Q: If you could sit down and have an hour-long conversation with any person alive or deceased who would it be?
A: The late author and newspaper columnist Christopher Hitchens. I have always enjoyed his books, articles, and speeches, and I feel as if he would offer insightful and interesting takes on the current political and socioeconomic divide.

Q: Who is your idol in the business world? Why?
A: Jeff Bezos because he turned a small loan from his father into one of the most influential companies to have ever existed. His ability to leverage liquidity, capture market share, and realize long-term positions, makes him an incredibly formidable force to be reckoned with. Amazon is going to be a major player for years to come and that is largely owed to Jeff Bezos’ vision and ability to execute.