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Symposia Labs recently added another member to our intern team! We’re welcoming Julia Schwark as one of our newest digital marketing interns. We sat down with Julia and asked her a few questions about herself and her role at Symposia.

Tell us a little about your background.

My name is Julia Schwark, and I am a summer intern at Symposia Labs. I am originally from a small town on the east side called Fraser, Michigan, but Hope College brought me over to the west side of the state. I am currently a junior pursuing a major in Business with a marketing concentration and minors in German and Studio Art.

What is your role at Symposia Labs, and what makes you excited about it?

Being the newest addition at Symposia, my role is still being defined. During my time here, I will be working with each team member to learn their roles and help with various projects. I am looking forward to tackling a project of my own. The Symposia team has been incredibly helpful and welcoming, and I am excited to be a part of it.

What interests you in the world of digital marketing?

I have found that marketing ties together my interests in business and art. Digital marketing requires creative and strategic thinking to plan and problem solve. This makes every day different and keeps each project unique. Even though I am a new addition to the world of digital marketing, I am excited to continue learning and exploring this field.

What’s an interesting fact about yourself?

My love language is food. I love to cook, bake, decorate, you name it. It is fun to see a good meal and a great dessert bring people together with laughter and conversations.

What are you hoping to get out of your internship during your time at Symposia?

Experience. I have been led towards a marketing track, and I would like to learn more about it to figure out if it is the right fit for me. Symposia has been very helpful in allowing me to explore the different positions across the digital marketing field.

What’s important to you in the workplace?

I appreciate having a creative space to work in and an environment that welcomes both collaboration and independence.

What’s your best advice for people looking to enter the digital marketing field?

Well, since I am just starting, I am always looking for advice. The most helpful advice I have been given so far is to stay on your toes. Digital marketing is fast so in order to keep up, it is important to be flexible and adaptable.

Symposia Labs recently added another member to our team! We’re welcoming Riley Waugh as our new User Intent Analyst and Google Adwords Guru. We sat down with Riley and asked her a few questions about herself and her role at Symposia. Get to know Riley:

Tell us a little about your background. 
I grew up in and around Grand Rapids and graduated from GVSU with a degree in Marketing. I was lucky to have several internships in college that helped me narrow down my focus and find out what I like to do.

What is your role Symposia Labs, and what makes you excited about it? 
I’m the User Intent Analyst at Symposia, which is a mishmash of digital marketing and UI/UX (User Interface and User Experience). I mostly create ad campaigns with a focus on matching user intent with user flow and optimizing for conversions. Sometimes digital marketers will have quantitative goals without considering the qualitative aspect, or vice versa. It’s not enough to know that a page didn’t convert the potential lead; you need to know why it didn’t convert. You need to know your users. It’s important to look beyond traffic goals and consider what the visitor’s intent is and how you can optimize your page around that. I love seeing a campaign’s success in hard numbers and user satisfaction.

What challenges have you had to overcome in your field? 
I think the biggest challenge for me has also been knowing when to stop. Any career in the digital space will touch upon other adjacent fields, and it can be hard to keep yourself from going down rabbit holes. I’m not a developer, but learning some development has been helpful in creating landing pages. I’m not a copywriter, but I think a great deal about the wording on a page. The challenge has been staying on track and knowing where to draw the line between other fields when the limit does not exist.

What are you looking forward to in 2018 in the world of digital marketing? 
I love seeing marketers get creative and use different formats. I think video and gif ads have been on the rise and will continue to be perfected through 2018.

What’s your best advice for people looking to enter your line of work/digital marketing? 
Two things: read and experiment. Try to balance learning and doing.

What’s an interesting fact about yourself? 
I love to travel and recently went to Europe for the first time.

The month of September has been busy for the Symposia Labs family! We recently welcomed Jake Bradford to the team as our Senior Graphic Designer while we bid a fond farewell to Ashley Navarre, our former graphic designer, as she started her new job in Colorado. We sat down with Jake and asked him a few questions about his background and aspirations. Get to know Jake:

Tell us a little about your background. 

I’m from the village of Sparta, MI. Yes, village. I graduated from Sparta Senior High School and I attended Ferris State University. I have a degree in Graphic Design.

What drew you to graphic design as a field of study? 

I took an interesting path to graphic design but it is a long story. In short, I love design because it’s unique to the individual and every project is different. Graphic design is problem solving, but it is not as simple or straightforward as 1+1=2. Every design problem has an infinite amount of visual solutions. Creating my unique solution is what makes my job so fun. It’s also extremely rewarding to create something for someone, and leave them happy with an appreciation for my craft and ability.

What makes you excited about Symposia Labs? 

When talking with Tim about the company, he emphasized the family vibe. Family is extremely important to me. I’m very excited to take my talents to Symposia and contribute to the company’s success. But, since most of our time as professionals is spent on our career, I couldn’t be happier or more excited to spend mine with the Symposia family, while also growing as a designer.

What challenges have you had to overcome in your field? 

One of the biggest challenges I’ve learned to overcome is tackling digital design. It is a medium that is forever changing, but keeping up with the changes and always being open to new processes has helped me become successful as a young designer.

What’s your best advice for up-and-coming graphic designers? 

I advise young professionals looking for design work to understand the difference between personal projects and professional projects. In a professional setting you, the designer, are no longer the decision maker or the one paying the invoices. You may have three awesome concepts you are stoked about, and maybe they would look great in your bag, but if the client isn’t on board with any of them, you have failed. So, be a sponge, ask questions, and do your best to fulfill the client’s wants and needs rather than your own. That will give you the best chance at leaving them satisfied, which is ultimately your goal.

What’s an interesting fact about yourself?

I consider myself a master of sandwich making and I’m currently in the midst of watching “The Office” TV series for my 6th time.

What’s important to you in the workplace?

I think being able to work in different environments and settings is important. It keeps my mind fresh and allows me to stay inspired when designing.


Thanks for sharing, Jake! We’re happy to have you as part of the Symposia Labs team!