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: 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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Sircle Squad Profile: Michelle Paltan

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We have a wonderful new intern, trying to earn a coveted spot on the #SircleSquad in 2018. Her name is Michelle Paltan and we asked her some questions to get to know her better.  Enjoy!

Full name/nickname?  Michelle Paltan, tons of nicknames–at Sircle my nickname so far is MP.

Age? 23

University and Major? The University of Tampa, Class of 2016. Advertising and Public Relations major, with a concentration in PR.

How did you find out about Sircle Media?  How ironic is it that I found Sircle Media through social media?  Not that ironic I suppose, since it’s how our whole world is functioning these days. So, Adam posted in a Facebook group for social media jobs and internships, that they were in need of Social Media Managers and interns. He touched upon the different types of clients they worked with and the culture at Sircle and I saw the opportunity and knew I had to go after it since it seemed too good to be true or to pass up.

Most surprising discovery/realization after working here? That it wasn’t too good to be true.  It’s a social media marketing agency that is filled with smart, scrappy, and hustling individuals that focus on different attributes that together, make up great social media marketing and strategy for clients.  I knew that this would be a great learning experience, but I didn’t expect how fast I would start learning first hand. Right out of the gate, I was working hands-on with tasks for clients and learning new approaches to managing the different aspects of social media like scheduling, strategy, creative content planning, and more.

What is the best part of your internship? This is hard to limit to one thing, but I would have to say the people.  There are many talented, bright, encouraging and intelligent people to learn from and to use as resources but at the same time, it is a small company where you aren’t being ignored.  You can ask questions, get critiques and share ideas, without feeling judged in any way whatsoever. The comfortable culture allows you to take away knowledge that you can apply to other areas beyond social media.  Whether you are interning for a Social Media Manager role, or on the creative/design side of the agency, you can still learn from other departments and figure out how to benefit from those different skills and resources.  What’s important in your work environment (and life in general I suppose) is who you surround yourself with. I can say that this culture is ideal for growth, learning, and self-confidence.  We also have a lot of fun along the way, which is a huge bonus!

What can you tell us about Adam or your supervisor? I’ve had the good fortune to work with Adam, The President, and Sara Lerner, The Managing Director intimately over the past couple of months.  Adam and Sara have been inspiring leaders that I will continue to look up to and learn from, regardless of where I end up in the years to come.  Adam has a great philosophy about life and business and is a mentor that is available to everyone who is a part of the company. He has developed a bulletproof method of creating success for clients and the employees at Sircle. Sara is a super smart, strong leader who has mastered the art of multi-tasking, problem-solving and developing strategy methods for social media that will yield success for all clients.

The advice you would give to a future intern? Attention to detail is the most important thing in everything that you do or create at Sircle. We work in both social media and service, so it is very important to be spot on with communication and deliverables. You must really be on the ball to be successful, that is for sure.

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Sircle Squad: Sara Siegel

Social media management requires a team of talent, bottom line. Our team (affectionally referred to as The #SircleSquad) is made up of many awesome individuals from our President down to our seasonal intern staff. Each plays an integral role in our collective success, and our different skills, interests and POV’s provide our clients with unparalleled support and service.

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We love talented young interns with diverse skill sets and we sat down with one of them, Sara Siegel, to learn a bit more about her. Here is what we found out:

Full name and nickname?

Name: Sara Siegel. Nickname: My parents have multiple super embarrassing nicknames for me, but I refuse to put them on paper.

Age?

23

University?

Furman University in Greenville, SC. Headed to Parsons School of Design in the Fall!

Major?

Communication Studies, but will be studying Graphic Design at Parsons.

What made you choose Sircle Media?

I took one Graphic Design class at Furman and loved it but I knew that I had a lot to learn. When I came across the Sircle Media internship, I could tell that it would be a great place to learn more about Graphic Design in a field that I’m very familiar with, Social Media.

Most surprising discovery/realization after working here for a couple of weeks?

My most surprising discovery while working at Sircle Media is how much hands on work I do for clients. Every day is different and fast paced. There is never a dull moment. I truly feel like I am part of the team.

What is the best part of your internship?

My favorite part is getting to work alongside the team at Sircle Media. Everyone that works here is energetic, fun, and super welcoming. They’re also close to my age which makes the work day feel less stressful and more fun.

What can you tell us about Adam or your supervisor?

My supervisor, Carlos, is very helpful and patient when I get a little lost. I’m never nervous to ask him questions which has helped me learn and progress. Adam is an awesome boss. He always provides the interns with motivation and confidence by reminding us that we are an important part of the team.

Advice you would give to a future intern?

Be confident! There’s a reason you were hired and you have what it takes to create quality content if you put in the work.

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SirceSquad: Shannon Adriaan

We typically have interns from The USA only, but we met Shannon from South Africa and fell in love. She has an incredible “can do” attitude and a great personality and we just had to have her. We thought you might like to learn more about her too, so we asked her some questions. Enjoy:

unnamedFull name and nickname?

My name is Shannon Adriaan.  Recently I have been called ShanSwag which is my favorite nickname that has ever been given to me- and I’ve been given A LOT.

Age?

I’m 22 :)

University?

Currently in my last year of my graphic design course at Inscape Design College, in Cape Town South Africa.

Major?

The graphic design course covers EVERYTHING within graphic design. We don’t focus on a specific field so I am super diverse at the moment. That also means we get a lot of work assigned to us within the 3 year course.

What made you choose Sircle Media?

My dream is to come and move to America, get a farm, get my horses and work. Been dreaming of New York my whole life so when it came to looking for an internship I wanted to grab the opportunity and Sircle Media gave off such a fun, energetic energy which I love. I have loads of energy so its great to find a place that I can feel comfortable being energetic with too.

Most surprising discovery/realization after working here for a couple of weeks?

No surprises just yet, but since I’m interning remotely and my hours go into 1am, I have realised I need a proper coffee machine. LOL

What is the best part of your internship?

I’m all hands on deck for the internship because I love to learn new things about the industry I’m about to go into. I love being able to develop on my own skills and learn new things in the process!

What can you tell us about Adam or your supervisor?

There isn’t one person who I have spoken with, who I don’t think is lovely. They are so great to deal with, from the one-to-one communication, to the mass e-mails, everyone is super friendly and on board! That part is so so refreshing and great to see.

Advice you would give to a future intern?

If you’re not a coffee lover, become one. ;)

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SircleSquad: Emily Habashy

Emily Habashy

This summer we have an excellent roster of amazing interns on the #SircleSquad and we thought it would be a good idea to share more about them with the world. Talented college students have always been a key component to the Sircle Media offering and most of our current staff members originally began in the intern role. We sat down with Emily, one of our graphic designers this week, and this is what we found out:

Full name and nickname? Emily, and no nickname! (boring, I know.)

Age? 20

University? Pratt Institute

Major? Communication Design

 

What made you choose Sircle Media? I chose Sircle because I wanted to work at an agency that combined advertising and graphic design in its creative process, and could tell Sircle did just that! When I visited, everyone was really nice and the environment seemed fun!

Most surprising discovery/realization after working here for a couple of weeks? I like seeing the “behind the scenes” work on a social post. What seems like an effortless post on Instagram actually may have taken many people, many props, and many, many shots to pull off.

What is the best part of your internship? The best part is working with a variety of different clients that each have a distinct branding flavor, which challenges me to step out of my comfort zone.

What can you tell us about Adam or your supervisor? Everyone in the office is cool, down to earth, and clearly cares about what they do.

Advice you would give to a future intern? Absorb everything. Part of being a good creative is learning as much as you can, from books, movies, websites, and the world. And ask questions. Knowledge is power. Also, read “Steal Like An Artist.” It’s good stuff.

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On Hiring The Right People

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You know that great employee who goes above and beyond, sending emails on the weekend with an idea, proactively suggesting improvements for the company, or just spreading goodness about your brand? This kind of employee is what makes a business, and I have had the good fortune to work with many of them.

What I have learned more than anything in my four years running Sircle Media is that the right hires mean everything. Without good people who work hard and believe in the cause, it’s very difficult for a business to succeed. The wrong person, or worse, an unhappy employee, can be crippling. (Trust me, I’ve seen that side of the coin, too.) The time spent on your staff recruitment and personal and professional development is critical if you want to win.

Interested in learning how to hire the right people? I’ve noticed that the best employees at Sircle fall into two categories.

1. The farm system

An intern at our company continued to work with us over multiple semesters, knowing deep down that this was definitely the place for them. The nice part for me is that I was able to assess their skills and sense of responsibility. We had the chance to pick the cream of the crop amongst many candidates seen side by side. Most of my best employees have come to me this way.

2. The grass-is-greener system

I have also found success in bringing in people who have worked at other social and digital agencies for a year or so. They have a good feel for what they like and don’t like in an employer. When they feel it deep down in their core, they work harder and they become amazing advocates for the company.
I am a big believer in hiring based on the person, and then training them on the skills. Many other companies will use headhunters to find the individual with all of the boxes checked and the experience in specific areas, but if that person is not a hard and motivated worker and doesn’t play nicely with others, then they are useless in my book. Every company is a community, and that community needs to be comprised of good people who care and contribute positively.

That is one of the things that attracted me to WeWork when I signed my lease in February 2015. I loved that the values at WeWork mirrored mine, and it offered credibility in what I was promoting to my staff. The mantras of working hard, always hustling, and doing what you love are very close to the core ethos at Sircle Media. I have a small company of 10 employees, but now they feel part of a bigger organization thousands-strong and one that espouses the same belief system as mine. It has actually helped me recruit new, great people, as they get the upside of working for a small company that is housed within a larger one.

This post was originally published on Creator by WeWork.

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#SircleSquad Spotify Take Over: Alexis Futoran

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Here at Sircle Media we are all about music and we jam all day long while working hard for our clients.  We have some crowd favorites that get us all singing out loud; think Journey, Billy Joel and we all seem to really dig Ed Sheeran. We also each have our own style and unique tastes, so we thought we would share some of the songs we are really feeling with you our fans and clients.

To do this we are going to have a monthly DJ takeover where a member of The #SircleSquad will share their very own Spotify Playlist.  First up is Alexis Futoran.  Listen, enjoy and critique if you feel so inclined.

Just click on her mug to play:

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Sircle Media’s Newest Member: Alexis Futoran

Alexis-Blog head shotWhere did you grow up? One of the biggest towns on Long Island, Valley Stream. It’s pretty much as far west as you can go before you hit Queens. It was such a great place to grow up.

How old are you? I will be a quarter of a century old this month. Twenty-five years of living under my belt!

Where did you go to college and what was your major? I went to CUNY Queens College. I double majored in Media Studies and Psychology. My thought was that no matter what field I end up in, it will always be helpful to understand people better.

What made you get into social media? I worked for a small e-commerce company with absolutely no social media presence and I thought to myself “this is not ok.” So I started building the company brand and had a lot of success with my campaigns. After that, I was hooked.

What drew you to Sircle Media? I saw that Adam had posted in a group on Facebook for social media positions. His post was simple and straight forward unlike the rest of the wordy posts in the group, so I felt like he really understood how to reach out to his audience, and that intrigued me.  After I met Adam and some of the Sircle Squad I was impressed, and I knew this was the team I wanted to be a part of. I couldn’t be more excited to join the #SircleSquad.

Last song you listened to? “Choke On ‘Em” – Swear To Me

Favorite T.V Show? The Walking Dead. I am so prepared for a zombie apocalypse.

Starbucks? Dunkin’ Donuts? Or the local coffee shop? Usually Starbucks, unless I am by the house I grew up in, and then I have to go to this local coffee shop for their snickerdoodle ice coffee.

What’s your guilty pleasure? Dragonball Z and Reality TV

 

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Interning With The: #SircleSquad?

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Sircle Media is built on a foundation of incredible employees and interns.  We affectionately refer to this group as The #SircleSquad and we genuinely feel like a family.  We all go to work each week and we believe it is mission critical to love the environment and to engage with and be inspired by your coworkers. So much time is spent in “the office” so it means everything to enjoy the company of those around you.

When you are motivated to come in and see your 2nd family each day, you work harder, create better and are just in the right mindset to crush it at your job.  This is so important when you work in a service business as we do.  The right culture readily does pave the way for the right work product.

Here is a little video our interns put together from ideation, to production/editing and even the starring roles.  Want to join this crazy team?  Contact us and throw your hat in the ring.

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