Sircle Squad Profile: Lauren Utecht

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Full name/nickname: Lauren Utecht. Sometimes people just shorten my name to Laur or Lau.

Age: 22

University & Major: Roger Williams University. Major – Journalism, Minor – Film, and Concentration – Spanish

What made you choose Sircle Media? I decided to apply to Sircle Media because after researching the company and looking at their website, I really liked their overall vision and POV on social media. At school, I was introduced to the power of social media and all things digital. I believe it has opened up a window of opportunity for brands to have conversations, develop relationships and show that they care about their customers by sharing personal stories and giving them an inside look at their company through the use of digital elements. Sircle Media really emphasized this idea and I knew it was somewhere I could enhance my skills. I always make sure I can believe in a company before I interview with them. Most importantly, I really liked the company environment as it seemed positive and productive. Everyone was extremely friendly, encouraging and I could see that there was a lot of opportunity for growth. That is why I ultimately chose Sircle Media.

Most surprising discovery/realization after working here? The most surprising thing I’ve learned after working here is that brands don’t need to take their social media management too seriously. What I mean is that people don’t want a product being shoved down their throats on social media and most likely aren’t going to take the time to read a long caption explaining a product. I always knew it was best to keep captions short, but I’m really learning to have fun with my posts. It’s OK to be silly and make jokes and puns because it shows off the brand’s personality, explains who they are, what they stand for and breaks the ice between sellers and buyers.

What’s the best part of your job? The best part of my job is that it is not restrictive at all and I have a ton of autonomy. With social media, every day is different from the last and I get an opportunity that most new hires don’t, which is to have fun while learning new skills. Social media forces me to be creative, innovative and keep up with all of the latest trends. Social Media Managers have the ability to create content that can influence a culture and shape the future. That is really exciting and encourages me to be better.

What can you tell us about Adam or your supervisor? I’ve been working really closely with Sara Lerner on a few brands. Both she and Adam truly care about their employees. They help me believe in myself because they took a chance on me very early on in my career. They are now teaching me everything it takes to be a Social Media Manager, from building relationships with clients to managing day to day functions and even experimenting with audiences by promoting posts. They are always accessible if I need help and when I have questions, they get back to me right away. They are always reminding me that no question is dumb and are constantly encouraging me.

Advice to future interns/employees? My advice would be to ask questions and research topics you don’t feel comfortable with. It’s always better to make sure you’re doing something correctly than guess and make a mistake because you were too nervous to ask.

Bonus Questions:

What are three songs that never fail to get you hyped?: “Closer” by the Chainsmokers, “Levels” by Avicii and “All of the Lights” by Kanye West ft. Rihanna and Kid Cudi.

What is something about you that people would be surprised to know?: My sister and I did competitive gymnastics since we were very young. I was always getting injured and eventually had to give it up at the beginning of high school, after my third broken arm because I fell too far behind on my skills.

What cartoon/movie character were you inexplicably afraid of as a kid?: I wasn’t really afraid, but I hated the “The Emperor’s New Groove” for some reason when all of my friends were obsessed with it.

Favorite hobbies? I love to travel and see new places around the world. I’m a firm believer that spending money on experiences rather than on material items makes you happier. I love to run, as I ran track all throughout high school and college. I like to cook and experiment with new recipes, read a lot and watch really good movies because film has always been another interest of mine. I also love playing with my dog and spending time with family and friends! :)

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Sircle Squad Profile: Kevin Sikorski

With the end of July in sight, it’s time to introduce everyone to one of our Photography Interns, Kevin!

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Hometown: Norwich, Connecticut

School: Parson’s School of Design

Major: BFA Photography

Why Sircle? Social media is how I have grown through photography and gotten many opportunities as well as made some of my best friends. I love shooting models as well at products so I felt this would be a good fit to learn how to further push myself.
Random Fun Fact: One time I got flown out to have lunch with Michael Jordan

Most Likely To…: Most likely to embarrass myself

Favorite Movie/Book: Any Harry Potter movie or Book

Appetizer or Dessert? Dessert

Beach or Forest? Beach

Favorite Client to Work On: FatBoy

 

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Sircle Squad Profile: Taylor Gray

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Summer 2018 is in full swing, and so are our amazing crew of interns. Have you listened to their awesome playlist?

Today, we’d like to introduce you to Taylor Gray.

Hometown: Boca Raton, FL

School: University of Florida

Major: Advertising

Why Sircle? To get great experience working with advertising on all forms of social media.

Random Fun Fact: I am EXTREMELY afraid of mayonnaise!

Most Likely To… WIn the lottery and lose the ticket!

Favorite Movie? Notting Hill

Appetizer or Dessert? Dessert

Beach or Forest? Beach

Favorite Client to Work On: Kidfresh

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Sircle Squad Profile: Carly Schindler

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Here at Sircle Media, we just love our amazing interns. They provide invaluable support and a fresh perspective that our clients really benefit from. We want you to get to know them better and to that end, today we spotlight Carly Schindler.

Hometown: Plainview, New York

School: Tulane University

Major: Marketing and Psychology

Why Sircle?: Sircle is providing a valuable experience to work on real accounts with real clients and learn what goes into scheduling and creating social media content. So far I have not been asked to make any copies or get anyone coffee and instead, I have been asked to do actual productive work! I am glad I picked Sircle because I have learned so much already, and I am looking forward to learning much more before the end of summer that I can actually use in the future.

Random Fun Fact: I am a singer and I play guitar and piano! I also speak English, French, and Jibberish!

Most Likely To…: Be caught singing around the office

Favorite Book/Movie: Favorite book of the moment is “The Woman in the Window” by A.J. Finn, but I am currently reading “The Third Twin” by Ken Follett, and it might give it a run for its money!

Appetizer or Dessert? Appetizer

Beach or Forest? Beach

Favorite Client to Work On: So far, I really like working on Koia! I am personally allergic to most things and I have always been obsessed with any new Vegan, Non-Dairy, health-related products, and Koia is something that I would genuinely want to buy in real life.

 

 

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Summer Interns 2018 – Spotify Playlist

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Summertime is always a favorite for the Sircle team, at least it is for me. My name is Lizzie and I’ve been helping Adam coordinate our summer intern class – all 21 of them.

Sircle Media is a blessing in that we are able to have interns from all over. Some move to NYC for the summer while others work remotely. My favorite part is an interns first day and getting to show them around. They’re all a little nervous, excited, and eager to prove themselves.

This summer, we’re doing something new to get to know our interns better. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing their intern profiles, and to kick it off I’ve compiled their go-to songs on Spotify into one playlist.

The songs are random from all different genres, but they work to form a cohesive unit and tell the story of our interns. You don’t know who submitted what, which makes it even more uniform and tells a group story.

Click here or on the image above and take a listen for yourself – I think it’s pretty special!

Til next time.

-Lizzie

 

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Hump Day Hype: Perspective and mindset…

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This week, I am all about perspective. I tell my team that it is on all of us to get up every day, get our mind right and then put in the work that will help each member and in turn, the team and the company succeed.  As young members of the workforce, it is mission critical that we have a strong mindset, confidence in yourself and your situation and the right POV.

To help get there, it is so important to take stock of your immediate, inner circle and assess whether or not each person drags you down or builds you up. So many successful people talk about this topic as a key to success and Will Smith broke it down in an interview a while back. Curate your crew and make sure you surround yourself with winners as best you can.

Regardless, the heavy lifting lies with you. It is very easy to sell yourself on anything (good or bad) and you need to keep things in perspective and adopt a positive mindset. If you start there, then you are putting yourself at an advantage and you will find much more fulfillment in your daily life.

At Sircle, you work at a social media agency (exciting and emerging category), in NYC (many would argue is the best city in the world), that works almost exclusively with healthy CPG brands (that are mostly good humans, making good products that add value to people’s lives) in a WeWork (young, fun, progressive work environment) and for a boss who embraces work-life balance, self-exploration, meditation and mindfulness, personal development and growth and who implemented remote Fridays to help offset the grind of commuting and offer up more autonomy and freedom over your schedule.  Needless to say, s@#t could be worse. ;)

Sometimes even the best of us lose perspective and it is so important to snap back to the reality of your scenario from time to time. Let’s all take a deep breath, appreciate what we have and the table that has been set for us and go and execute.  Remember, your altitude is determined by your attitude!

 

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On how being grateful serves me…

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On this episode, I talk about being grateful. I have written multiple times about gratitude and the importance of deploying it personally and professionally and I continue to be impressed by the power and impact it has on my mind and day to day interactions.

I added a gratitude journal to my life in 2018 and I think I first got the idea from Tim Ferriss. For me it helps me set the stage for a great day and reflect a little on the day, week, month or even life prior to that day. This helps me shift gears and get my new day into focus. I can tell you that when you begin the day with some gratitude reflection, you are pushing away from shore with some real wind in your sails. As an entrepreneur, this is even more important because you need to be as focused as humanly possible to navigate the rough waters that come with being your own boss.

Only positivity comes from it and I tend to get more done and allow less to really upset me or take me off my game. So not only does it feel good to stop and give thanks, but it actually helps yield better business results. If you are like me and are always seeking ways to get an edge or productive ways get ahead, then this is a smart move for you.

In my case, by appreciating the employees and clients who put me where I am, I find that I am a better leader and more empathetic in most situations. Trust me, I still get frustrated and aggravated by silly things, but much less so than I used to. I use my daily journal as a way to reset and not let the things that were annoying me from the day prior linger for too long. Remember, I am grateful to even have clients and employees to be annoyed about…

Does that make sense?

 

 

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On Hump Day Hype

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Every Wednesday I send an email to my team to make sure they don’t succumb to the malaise that can come with “Hump Day.” Most people are going thru the motions at work and I find the day they are most susceptible to the lure of less work or checking out is Wednesday.

The best way to get them to be motivated is not to yell or mandate, but to light a fire in their belly and encourage them to want to be great for themselves and not necessarily for me or the company.  If they see it as serving themselves, they can be selfish and own the effort rather than being told to and potentially resenting it or tuning me out.

During the interview process, I try to hire awesome candidates who seem to have more curiosity than apathy in any aspect of their lives. People who are seeking self-improvement and constantly learning new things are the types that work best for me and who will take a reminder to be great and internalize that message the right way. At least that is the hope…

Today’s message:

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It is the middle of a rainy work week and it is easy to be a step slow and a little unenthused. Dont fall victim to that mentality and dare to be different than most.

If you develop good habits you can maintain high productivity levels, despite the temptations to do otherwise. The foundation can be laid by me, but the mindset and effort lie with you.  I (and your clients are too) am counting on you to be better than the rest.

We are all different people with varied origin stories and backgrounds, but all of us should share the interest in being our best selves.  Today, that is all I ask of you.  

-Adam

Let’s see how it plays out.

 

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Sircle Squad Profile: Ilana Strauss

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We just hired an amazingly talented new content creator after she won us over during her trial internship. We love to hire via our farm system and when a talented young recruit stands out, we know we have a real winner.  She just joined our squad and we wanted you to get to know her too. We sat down with her this week, and this is what we found out:

Full name/nickname: Ilana Strauss. No nicknames really (we are working on that!)

Age: 22

University and Major: Towson University, Class of 2017. Major: Art + Design with a concentration in Photography. Minor: Mass Communication

What made you choose Sircle Media?: I chose Sircle Media for several reasons. First, by working here at Sircle, I am able to combine two of my passions: photography and social media. In school, I majored in photography where I learned all about the art form from the technical aspects, to the history of photography. Simultaneously, I was studying mass communication where I learned about advertising, marketing, and even took a class specifically on social media and branding. Sircle Media allows me to take everything I’ve learned over the years and apply it to the real world. Another reason I chose Sircle, is because of the company’s culture and work environment. I am able to work alongside an amazing group of creatives that offer their unconditional support and guidance. With their encouragement, I have been able to step outside of my comfort zone and experiment with different projects.

Most surprising discovery/realization after working here?: One thing I learned quickly from working here is how different each and every day is. One day I could be on my hands and knees, styling potato chips for a photo and the next day I could be shooting at a restaurant on the other side of Manhattan. I love how no two days are exactly alike.

What is the best part of your internship?: The best part of this internship has been Sircle’s team environment. Since day one, everyone has made me feel like I was an integral part of the team and that my ideas and opinions were valued just as much as anyone else’s.

What can you tell us about Adam or your supervisor?: The person I work most closely with on the team is Reid, the Media Director. I’ve learned so much from working alongside him. From walking me through new editing techniques in Photoshop to giving me full responsibility and creative direction over several different projects, Reid has been an awesome mentor and I look forward to working more with him. I’ve also had the pleasure of getting to know Adam, the President, over the past several months. Adam has been an incredible leader and continues to inspire me. His motivational emails remind me of the importance of not only working hard at this job but also focusing on improving myself as an individual. He is also extremely approachable and I know I can go to him with any idea, question, or concern.

The advice you would give to a future intern?: The advice I would give to a future intern is to truly take advantage of everything Sircle has to offer. You are sitting in a room full of talented designers, photographers, and social media managers. There is so much to learn and everyone at Sircle is willing to help you grow.

Bonus Questions:

Three songs that never fail to get you hyped: September – Earth, Wind & Fire, Kill the Lights- Alex Newell, Jess Glynne & DJ Cassidy and I Wanna Dance With Somebody- Whitney Houston

What is something about you that people would be surprised to know?: I played goalie for my intramural and travel soccer teams for 8 years

What cartoon/movie character were you inexplicably afraid of as a kid: I really loved the movie E.T as a kid until my parents brought home an E.T toy for me, unaware that its eyes glowed in the dark. After that, I was terrified of the character and could never watch the movie again. (I hid the toy in my closet.)

 

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Fault vs. Responsibility – in a service business.

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At Sircle Media, we are a service-based business working within the social media industry. I tell my team that we all have a responsibility to ourselves, to our company and to our clients to take ownership of any situation and deliver hard work and great service at all times. It doesn’t mean the customer is always right and in fact, they are often wrong in their approach and treatment of situations with us.

The reality is that most people struggle with managing their own work, let alone people under them or agencies that are serving them. Most people don’t respect authority and don’t know how to be their best selves or to deploy empathy and understand the other side of the conversation. If you want to be “a boss” when it comes to customer service, then you need to dare to be different.

I encourage my team to lean into the issues and never shy away from them.  To be vocal and confident and not cower and acquiesce just to play nicely. We work hard to make sure our clients are happy, but at times the path to happiness might be bumpy and unpaved. Some clients don’t want to be told what to do or that they need to improve on their end and as a result, they have a high churn rate with agencies. They won’t change and so the vendor is the one to go automatically. They place fault on the outsider rather than taking responsibility to fix it.

It is on us then to dig deeper, be even more solid in our work product and communication and to win through taking responsibility and owning our own actions.  When we do that, we are on the right side of history with each relationship and we will win much more than we lose. Those are just the facts.

I love this little rant about fault vs responsibility from Will Smith. I think it applies to our work with clients and is a great guide for life in general. Things happen to you personally and professionally all the time. The question is, how will you respond and fix the situation?

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