How We Make Our MARK – A Day in the Life featuring Elyse Miceli

We’re rolling right into our next sit down. Let’s get to know another member of our talented team just a little better.

If you missed any of our previous issues of How We Make Our Mark, check them out here!

This month, we caught up with Graphic Designer Elyse Miceli.

How are you adjusting to graduating college and beginning your career?

“I experienced a big shift going from college life with friends to a more structured schedule, for sure! And of course, college education is more theoretical and therefore is different from applying it to real-world experiences, so I was excited to dive into the industry. But with that comes a learning curve which evolves with experience.

To be specific, printing and direct mail were the newest elements I learned when I started working here. College focused more on digital work, so I needed to become familiar with how to prep files for print and all the requirements that came along with that. College also centered more on one-off projects. Here, I’ve gained experience with larger-scale projects that span several months and require a team. I’m gaining collaboration skills and enjoy working with other colleagues, like the project managers on the account.”

Elyse posed at the Nittany Lion Shrine at Penn State on graduation day

What drew you to OTM?

“I felt connected during the interview process. I remember Devon emphasizing the team's collaborative nature and support and that was something I was looking for. I was also impressed by the flexibility and management’s willingness to accommodate my desire for in-person hands-on experience while I was learning the ropes. I was also excited by the diverse scope of projects that we all get to work on. Every day is different, and it allows me to grow so many different skillsets.”

What does your typical workday look like and what type of client accounts do you work on?

“The first thing I do at the start of my workday is organize all my projects and prioritize my tasks for the day. Then, most of my time is spent designing, which could consist of continuing projects in progress or tackling a new one from scratch. After I finish a piece, it usually goes through a few rounds of edits with the client, as well as the marketing account manager assigned to the project.

I also assist the design team by lending a hand on projects outside my immediate scope of work. This gives me the opportunity to dip my toes into clients across many industries such as healthcare, education, food, lawn care and fine jewelry!”

What was your favorite project to work on?

“I enjoyed working on postcards for a spring campaign we do every year for our lawncare clients. It’s a large-scale project that spans over 6 months in duration and consists of over 2 million postcards!

What I particularly liked about this project was getting to delve deeper into the creative process. Beyond just designing, I had the opportunity to brainstorm and shape the concept and creative ideas for the campaign pieces.”

If you could magically acquire one new skill or talent overnight, what would it be and how would you use it in your career?

“Oooo! I think being able to draw something perfectly that I envision in my mind would be awesome. I have sketching capabilities but having the ability to bring to life exactly what I’m imagining would be a super helpful tool I could utilize before moving it into Illustrator.”

When you’re not at work what are you doing? What are your hobbies and interests?

“I enjoy reading in my downtime and have knocked back a few books already this year but not as many as some people on this team (a.k.a Sam)! (Check out Sam Pucci’s story here to find out how many books she read last year!) I’m also an avid reality TV show girl. Do I religiously watch the bachelor? Of COURSE.

And I can’t forget about my love for travel. A lot of my friends now live in different states, so a silver lining is getting to see new places when I take weekend trips to visit them!"

Elyse’s last read – Happy Place by Emily Henry

Yes, you’re a chronic traveler! How many countries have you visited and what was your favorite destination?

“I think I’m at 13 countries now! And out of all of them Italy has been my favorite.

I just went this past summer to visit Rome and the Amalfi Coast. It was a good balance of historic sightseeing in the nation’s capital for part of the trip and sunbathing on the scenic shores of the Mediterranean Sea for the other half. On our way from Rome to the Amalfi Coast we also made a pit stop in Pompeii, so I got to see Mount Vesuvius from a distance, which was epic.

My sister is studying abroad in Florence in the fall so I’m hoping to make my way back this year. Fingers crossed! If my family does decide to take the trip, we’ll also add a stop in Venice."


The Colosseum in Rome, Italy
Elyse’s sister and Elyse in Ravello, Italy

Do you have any closing advice for someone starting out in graphic design?

“First, for graphic design specifically, it’s very important to have strong attention to detail. Also, ask a lot of questions. There’s no such thing as a silly question and it will only strengthen you and your team!

Second, for someone trying to get their foot into the door of the industry my advice would be to push yourself creatively by practicing with creative prompts. You don’t need to work on real-life projects to get experience – you can make them up! In college I felt that a lot of the assigned projects were very similar so sometimes you need to take it upon yourself to broaden your skillset! I follow a great account on social media that frequently pushes out prompts for the creative community to play around with! It’s simple things like this that can go a long way."

A snapshot of Ravello, Italy on Elyse’s family vacation
BONUS! Rapid-fire questions with Elyse.