Happy 5 Year Anniversary, Jenna!

Jenna-Blog

This week, our senior photographer Jenna Ruocco celebrates her 5 year anniversary with Sircle Media. This is an important milestone, especially for someone working at their first job straight out of college. We sat down with her to ask some questions and get her POV after a half-decade working full-time on the squad. Enjoy.

How did your journey with Sircle Media begin?

My journey here began back in December 2013, as an intern during my senior year of college. CRAZY!!! Two of my sorority sisters worked for Sircle and they had asked if I wanted to start an internship. I said yes with no hesitation and started as a remote intern. Adam later asked if I wanted to continue interning post-grad, and of course, I said yes as I truly loved what I was doing and wanted to continue to be a part of it!  I continued to intern for a few months in the office, then started working part-time for a short stint and eventually moved up to full-time on January 5th, 2015. The rest is history!

What have been some of your biggest milestones while working at Sircle?

In college, I was a dual concentration in Graphic Design and Photography.  Early on though, there wasn’t much need for a photographer at Sircle because it was much more about graphics. As a result, I began here as a Graphic Design intern and never really touched a camera. So I would say my biggest milestone, was when we moved to more reliance on taking photos and I became the first photographer for the agency. Fast forward and now we have developed a department that is one of the agency’s biggest strengths. We have grown tremendously since our early days when I used to shoot simple product shots at my desk or around NYC. Nowadays, we have a full studio, on-site photoshoots, and three more photographers working alongside me. Working my way up from intern, to part-time, to full-time and now finally to Senior Photographer, has been a series of great milestones for me.

How have you seen your skills progress over your time here?

Coming in, I was very much an abstract/film photo photographer, but at Sircle, it is mostly product photography, food/spirit photography and model/lifestyle photography. Product photography is very different than anything I had done in college or even in my free time. I had to jump right in and learn quickly and I am constantly evolving and adapting to the needs of the many clients Sircle services. We are always shooting something new so it keeps things very interesting! 

How has the company changed for the better in your 5 years?

Sircle has grown tremendously since I first started back in 2013. What was just 5 employees back then, has ballooned to 19, across multiple departments and our client list is ever-growing! I have seen quite a bit of change over the years. From coworkers to clients, to office space AND I have to say that where we are right now, is the best and strongest Sircle has ever been. I am proud to be a part of it and pumped about all that is on the horizon.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned from working with Adam?

It’s hard to narrow down the biggest lesson as I am always learning from him. This may sound cliche, but I would say Adam has taught me how to be the best employee/coworker I can be. He is always guiding us and making sure we are always putting forth our best selves with our coworkers and with our clients. We are truly a family here at Sircle and that is made possible through the foundation Adam has built and the values he instills in us each and every day.

What has been your favorite product or client to work with and why?

I would say Michter’s Whiskey has been my favorite client for sure. It’s the account I have worked on the longest and was one of the first spirit brands I’ve ever photographed. I have developed a very strong relationship with them over the years and I have even been down to Kentucky to shoot at their distillery, which was awesome. They are an amazing brand and I love helping them tell their story.

What do you look forward to in the future at Sircle Media?

There are SO many things I am looking forward to. Mainly, our ever-growing team and new coworkers I get to crush life with every day. I am excited to continue to meet and shoot for new clients and products and further develop my skills. This year I am focused on expanding my management skills and growing my department, so that should be a rewarding challenge.

I’m excited to watch this company continue to grow and to know that am such an integral part of that progress. I’m so grateful to be a part of an amazing team and company!

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Sircle Squad Intern: Claire

Name: Claire Anzalone

Hometown: I hail from the land of Austin, Texas.

University and Major: I attended Austin Community College to major in 2D animation!

Year: I graduated in spring 2019.

Favorite Movie/Book: My Favorite Movie is currently Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. I love the combination of 3D and 2D animation in this movie, and the uniqueness it creates.

Beach or Forest?: I would choose the Forest. I love the scenery and all the different animals that you can find!

Why Sircle Media?: I chose Sircle Media because I thought it would be great experience to learn how motion graphics are done for social media.

What is one social media skill or topic you’ve been working on during your internship?: Creating entertaining and informing videos for Instagram posts.

What is one skill or topic you hope to learn more about?: I’d love to learn more about effects on After Effects, and the possibilities they offer.

Favorite client to work on?: Currently, my favorite client to work on is Rethink. I love drawing and coloring their characters and animating their products.

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Sircle Squad Intern: D-Jai

Name: D-Jai Kosiyabong

Hometown: Bangkok, Thailand.

University and Major: Pratt Institute, Majoring in Photography with a double minor in Psychology and Art History.

Year: Senior

Favorite Move/Book?: 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

Beach or Forest?: Definitely forest!

Why Sircle Media?: I just love the way Sircle creates such innovative and compelling content. I also really like our work environment and how everyone is super communicative and how we are given solid feedback about our work. I was really surprised how much trust they put in the interns and how on my first day I was able to shoot with them. The amazing environment and amount of trust are really what makes Sircle such a good place to work!

What is one social media skill or topic you’ve been working on during your internship?: I’ve been working on honing my skills when it comes to retouching and how to edit packaging in a certain way. Jenna and Ticha have really given me such good feedback and have taught me tips and tricks in order to save time and make the end result great.

What is one skill or topic you hope to learn more about?: I am hoping to learn more about how to talk and communicate with clients!

Favorite client to work on?: There are so many! But right now, it would have to be Terra Origin!

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A Day of Giving Back at Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen

At Sircle, we feel that it is very important to take a moment and provide help to those less fortunate. To that end, the Sircle Squad recently spent an afternoon at the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen for an extremely rewarding volunteer event.

This is New York’s largest food program (and the 2nd largest in the nation) with the mission to feed the hungry, comfort the afflicted, seek justice for the homeless, and provide a sense of hope and opportunity to those in need. Holy Apostles serves a free lunch 5 days per week, Monday-Friday from 10:30AM-12:30PM and we joined in to lend a hand at one of those lunches last Friday.

Before getting started, the staff gave us an informational orientation to learn a bit more about who we would be serving as well as the very impressive history of this amazing program. Afterward, the team hopped into a “soup soul train” to show off our best moves and get our bodies moving and ready for the day. We won’t share the videos here, but we can confirm it was a lot of fun.

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We were reminded during orientation that those coming through the doors for lunch are our guests, and we are their accommodating hosts. The people in attendance are just like the rest of us and are only there because some circumstances in their life put them in a tough spot. They spend most of their days stressed, on the move and feeling uncertain and our objective was to deliver a warm meal and experience to make their day a little more enjoyable.

Each squad member was then assigned to a position in either the kitchen or dining area to help cook and serve the meal for that day. We suited up in our aprons, gloves, and hairnets and got to work. Throughout the day we exchanged smiles, laughs, and even made a few new friends in the process.sircle media action shot 3

 

In New York City there are 61,000+ homeless people, many of whom don’t have access to adequate nutrition. We spend a lot of our time working with better for you CPG and beverage brands and it is easy to lose site of the fact that many people dont have any idea when their next meal will be, let alone how to get one that is good for you. Throughout the day we were reminded that homelessness and food insecurity can happen to anyone, anywhere, even us.

Dedicating our afternoon to give back at Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen was extremely eye-opening and rewarding. As an agency based in Manhattan, we strongly believe in giving back to our local community. Service reminds us of our company values of compassion and humility and we were all humbled by the experience. Lending a hand also shows us that although we live in a crazy world, one can always take action to make a difference in the lives of others. Even if it is just serving one meal, it means more to some than others.

As Sircle Media, we will always see the value in pausing, rolling up our sleeves, gaining perspective, and being grateful for all of the amazing things and people who surround us. We encourage anyone who can, to do the same.

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Happy 3 Year Anniversary, Ticha!

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Recently, we celebrated the 3 year anniversary of Sircle Squad member and talented Photographer, Ticha Vichitlakakran. We wanted to ask Ticha a few questions to reflect on her time here at Sircle Media and find out what she’s learned along the way.

How did your journey at Sircle Media start? 

My major required me to have at least one internship and so during my senior year, I applied and got it! I was inexperienced and I had absolutely no idea what it would all entail or if I would be any good. I remember my first day very clearly in my head. I met Jenna for the first time and she had this amazing new tattoo and I just remembered feeling so welcomed by the whole team. That first day, Jenna had me standing on top of a table!

What do you remember as the best day at work? 

This is a tough one – being here for so long I can’t pinpoint a specific day but I can say that the days when the office is calm, Carlos is playing some tunes, and everyone is chatting all together (while working of course!) those days are the best! BUT if I had to choose ONE day… it has got to be my birthday 2 years ago when I had a MASSIVE pizza party.

What about the most difficult? What did you learn from that experience? 

One of the most difficult days in office was when I was working on a client that was not the easiest. Every call ended terribly and everyone seemed to be at a loss. The whole experience was tough but one of the most important things I took from it was that this/it is a team effort and when you need help – ask!

How do you think you’ve evolved throughout your three years on the Sircle Squad? 

Honestly, the Ticha from last year even is unrecognizable. Meaning I have progressed and grown so much, it is crazy.  I would not be the photographer I am today without having been here. From day 1 I was thrown right into it and every day since I have learned something new. In this kind of work, evolving is a must. Everything is constantly changing and faster than ever. You just have to keep up.

What is your favorite part about working at Sircle Media? 

My favorite part of working at Sircle Media is that since being here for such a long period of time – I have kind of grown with the company. I am grateful for this company and the team behind it. I’ve seen it grow tremendously through the last 3 years alone and I am proud to say that I have been a part of it.

What are you looking forward to in years to come?

I’m looking forward to seeing more progress and growth. As I said, I learn something new every day.

Thank you, Ticha for all of your hard work and for bringing such positive energy to the team! You’re a true SircleSquad member and we truly appreciate all that you do!

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Sircle Squad Intern: Eve Serfaty

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Hi! My name is Eve Serfaty and I am a rising senior at the University of Maryland studying Communications. Today sadly marks my last day as a summer intern here at Sircle Media. Interning this summer has truly opened up my eyes to the many different aspects of the social media world. Prior to this internship, I never realized how important social media was, to be honest. It has become an essential component for every brand and it involves quite a bit of work. I am grateful that I received the opportunity of being an intern here as a Social Media Manager and have learned a ton.

My supervisor, Lexi Levy, has been a great mentor to me and assigns me daily tasks that are not only challenging and rewarding but also quite enjoyable. I had the opportunity to assist her with a few cool, healthy CPG clients: Real Food From The Ground Up, RETHINK, and Bare Bones Broth. Some of my daily tasks included: building out influencer and brand collaborations, creating captions to accompany photos, videos and graphics, crafting tweets, joining in on client calls, and engaging with Instagram and Facebook communities.

Each Social Media Manager listens closely to their clients’ needs and gets a feel for their vision and end goals for the brand. Every brand has its own unique style and the Social Media Managers do an outstanding job of bringing their client’s personalities and ideas to life. The President, Adam Brown, has been a wonderful mentor and his warm and approachable personality has created an amazing environment. I look forward to keeping in touch with the Sircle Media Team and further expanding my knowledge in this field.

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Sircle Squad Intern: Leticia Machado

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A LITTLE BIT ABOUT MYSELF:

Hello, my name is Leticia Machado and I am interning with Sircle Media this summer. I am entering my senior year at Hofstra University, majoring in business marketing. Ultimately, I wanted to work for a marketing company in Manhattan with a specific focus on social media management and Sircle Media was the perfect fit.

A LITTLE BIT ABOUT SIRCLE MEDIA:

My experience here at Sircle has taught me a lot about the social media industry to be honest. I came in open-minded, ready to learn as much as possible and I have found there is just so much to know. Every day we utilize various social media platforms for our clients and we oversee all activities on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (sometimes some other platforms too, where warranted). I’ve learned that the smart brands in the space have hopped on the social trend and utilize social platforms to promote their product or service. Depending on the clients’ specific needs and voice, Sircle creates content (photos, videos, motion graphics, etc.) that help convey their unique message. The agency is very good at balancing art (content) and science (sales and other KPIs) well for each and every brand they work with.

HOW I HELP MY SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER DAY-TO-DAY:

I have the good fortune of working under Sara Heiden, who is awesome and is a Senior Social Media Manager at Sircle Media.  Each day she assigns me tasks such as engaging with followers on Instagram and Twitter, sitting on client calls and taking notes, pulling content inspiration, writing tweets, sourcing brands and influencers to collaborate with and understanding how we can best achieve each client’s goals. What I have learned more than anything else, is that engaging with followers in the comments on posts is crucial. Your brand can have great content and clever captions but if there is no conversation, especially in response to user comments, then the brand stands to lose customers and prospects. As a result, we all lean in and spend quite a bit of time, being highly responsive and engaging. This is a key differentiator from other agencies and even internal social media managers I have learned.

MY FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT SIRCLE MEDIA:

A few of my favorite tasks thus far, have included helping write monthly reports, (as I learned more about the analytics + post-month reporting), participating in photoshoots, and listening in on client calls, as I was able to better understand each clients’ goals and ideas. My first week at Sircle I had the opportunity to go to a client’s, (Caswell Massey’s) photoshoot (featuring a photo from the photoshoot below) which was very cool.

CaswellThis was exciting because it allowed me to meet our client face to face and see a bit behind the scenes. I love to get out of the office and take pictures outside; clients are always looking for more content for their account in new and fun environments. One of Sircle’s photographers used me in one of her shoots for Uplift Food and the client loved it and approved it. :)

Leticia

Sara gives me the opportunity to pitch ideas and contribute in a meaningful way. This is so rewarding and such an important ingredient of the Sircle Media intern experience. I love the Sircle team, as they have been very friendly and helpful during my time here. I am looking forward to learning more this summer and hope to continue with the agency next semester if they will have me!

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Sircle Media + GrowNYC Volunteer Day

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On June 28th, the squad and I volunteered to help GrowNYC build benches, paint signs and make our city parks better.  Despite the extremely hot temperatures, paired with our very black t-shirts, the team had a blast and we really came together to do good work for a great organization. I am proud to be a member of a team that cares to do things like this for others.

Our new content creator Zach, brought along a camera and captured the day on film. Check it out:

 

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A day in the life of a Sircle Media intern…

Katie LHi, my name is Katie Leffel and I am a summer intern with Sircle Media. I was asked to do a brief summary of my experience so far, so here goes…

I have been at Sircle Media for just two weeks now and I have learned an incredible amount during my time here. Not only have I learned about Sircle as a social media agency and how it came to be, but also the important role it serves for the brands it works with. The added cherry on top has been getting to know the kind and energized employees of Sircle (known as the SircleSquad), who really are the foundation of this place.

A typical day for me at Sircle starts by walking a few short minutes from Grand Central to a nearby WeWork and taking the elevator up to the sixteenth floor. I then walk down a long hallway filled with interesting businesses and startups as I make my way toward Sircle’s corner office. When I enter, I am welcomed by the friendly people of Sircle each day. Right from the moment I walk in, my day is pretty structured, which I greatly appreciate, by Michelle Paltan – the Social Media Manager I am working under. Michelle sends me a schedule of my tasks for the day via Evernote and I am on my way to complete these to the best of my ability.

Sometimes these tasks include meeting with the Founder and President, Adam Brown, and learning about his passion for the company and what brought him here, reading an important article posted by Social Media Today, researching influencers for a brand, or listening to Adam’s newest podcast, on important industry topics. Other days my tasks include sitting in on a call with a brand, curating images from Instagram for a brand to repost, researching competitor brands, updating a brand’s Pinterest account, drafting Tweets, or just engaging with the community on Facebook. If I am ever confused with a task I feel comfortable asking Michelle or other Social Media Managers (SMMs) for help, as they are very supportive and approachable. I really cherish the time I get to connect with Michelle or any of the team because it allows me to talk and connect with people I otherwise wouldn’t get a chance to, in an exciting industry that interests me.

Every day at Sircle has been unique and I think that is one of my favorite things from my experience here thus far. I love how I go into every day not knowing what it will bring and even better, that I will learn so much throughout the day and be even better and more knowledgable than I was the day before. Overall, a typical day for an intern at Sircle Media is exciting, educational, interesting, and perhaps most importantly – fun! I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here so far and I am just getting started!

 

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Sircle Squad Intern: Amanda Stanton

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We sat down with our awesome new motion graphics intern Amanda, to get to know her a bit better. Enjoy!

Name? Amanda Stanton

Hometown? San Francisco, CA  

School? Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Savannah, Georgia 

Major?  Motion Media 

Why Sircle Media? I love for the opportunity to create an aesthetic for companies on multiple platforms that match the vibe of their company and attracts clients. It is important as a Motion Graphics artist to understand how to create appealing content for viewers in social media and beyond, and I knew that working for Sircle Media would be an amazing learning experience. 

Most Likely To? Drop everything and travel the world 

Favorite Movie/Book? Ferris Bueller’s Day Off 

Appetizer or Dessert? Dessert 

Beach or Forest? Beach 

Favorite Client to Work On? Terra Origin

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