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Genue Inc.
May 24, 2017

Genuinely You: Donovan Fisher

 

Donovan Fisher works in marketing in Atlanta, Georgia—a dream job he landed after spending three years post-college trying to break into the industry. Donovan is a dear friend from college—he’s extraordinarily loyal, one of my best resources for style advice, and is always up on the latest trend. Read on to hear about Donovan’s tips to staying relevant while job searching, his favorite Instagram accounts to follow for inspiration, and how to he “wowed” his way to his current position…

 

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Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

My name is Donovan Fisher and I’m an Assistant Media Planner at Moxie based in Atlanta, GA. I was raised in Connecticut and moved to Philadelphia, PA to attend Temple University, where I studied Advertising.  After 3 years of working various retail positions, I finally landed my current job at Moxie, where we work with big budget clients—who have 2-3 marketing teams and a PR team—to essentially build and distribute all of their sponsored posts and content on social media. I love that in my job I get to see the entire marketing process, from an idea all the way to delivery and consumer interaction.

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How did you get into your kind of work?

I first learned about marketing after taking a class in high school.  I recently found all my old marketing plans from that class, and it was really fun to look back on that experience. I was instantly drawn to marketing because it was the perfect intersection of both analytical and creating thinking and processes. I was pretty good at finance and had considered that as a career, but it just wasn’t fun. I couldn’t see myself doing that 40 hours a week. I also loved graphic design and photography, but those activities weren’t quite as intellectually stimulating in the same way that marketing was. Marketing was the perfect balance of both of my strengths and interests.

 

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Could you describe a little bit of your creative journey? How did you get to where you are now?

I studied advertising in college, and while living in Philadelphia, I worked for an e-commerce boutique called Kembrel. I loved it because I got to do a little bit of everything. I helped choose and price the pieces we sold, I did visual merchandising for the store, helped with photo shoots and even got to assist in store planning.  After a series of unfortunate events, I lost my job there, but stayed in retail, working first at Madewell and then J. Crew, and most recently for Apple, before I got my current job. It took me 3 years of applying to advertising/marketing jobs every day before I got my position.  It was truly an uphill battle.  Earlier this year I was visiting a friend in Atlanta and visited him at work.  His job happened to be in the same office park as Moxie which peaked my interest, so I did my research and applied for the position I currently hold.  I think I was able to land this job because I finally figured out how to “wow” my interviewee.

 

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What advice would you give to someone who hasn’t been able to land the career they’re looking for?

Even when you’re unemployed, use your time to do something.  Even though I had been out of college for 3 years without a job in advertising, I had actually done things related to my field, even if it wasn’t through a position at a marketing or advertising agency. I learned, over time, how to talk about those experiences and myself, which is why I think I landed my interview at Moxie.  Over the course of three years, I had finally learned how to tell my own story. When you’re applying for jobs right out of college, you usually don’t have a lot of related experience, just relevant course work. I had 3 years of different experiences that I was finally able to put together in a way that made me stand out. And throughout those 3 years, I did my own side projects—I wasn’t stagnant. I taught myself SEO; I gave myself mini-assignments for made up companies and created logos (like the one you see below) and drew up marketing plans. Marketing changes rapidly. It’s changed even since I graduated college 3 years ago. So staying up to date, practicing and honing my own skills even when I wasn’t working in that field demonstrated that I was a go-getter. I never want to be stagnant.

 

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What does a typical day look like for you?

I usually wake up each morning at 7 am, tell myself I’m going to go to the gym… and then end up skipping the gym. I get into work and spend the bulk of my day answering emails. My job requires managing a lot of communication between a lot of different people and overseeing a lot of moving parts. After work, I spend my time doing projects to stay relevant and firm up my design skills. I do the same kinds of mock projects I did in high school, in college, and when I was looking for a job. I always want to stay fresh and up to date. I also try to read so that I’m always learning and using my brain. Right now I’m reading Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay. And my evening always consists of watering and talking to my plants. I love them! They’re like my kids.

 

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Where do you draw inspiration from? And how does that fit into your creative process?

I get inspired by staying up to date on trends and following interesting people on social media. Right now I’m loving Hannah Costello and Abbey Schlangen, both really talented photographers. I also really love Stephen McMennamy. McMennamy does composite artwork that seamlessly combines two unlike images to create symmetry. I also follow bloggers who draw type and practice calligraphy. I have really bad handwriting, so I’m really fascinated by type and calligraphy. I really like Goodtype and Handmadefont. In addition to seeing what other people are doing, I get really inspired being outside. Anytime I just stop and look around at the small things I do every day and really take the time to pause and see, I’m inspired.

 

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What’s your favorite thing about what you do?

Since I’m really new at my job, I love that I get to be on the inside. Because we work with big clients and Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, I get an inside look at how people are using these platforms, but also about the future of social media. I spend a lot of time talking to industry experts and I love learning about how to use new technology to influence and shape how people consume.

 

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Do you have an overall design or maker philosophy?

Always be doing something. It’s so easy to become stagnant! For me, that means making time in my schedule to keep creating and learning even when I’d rather just relax.  It’s tempting to come home every night and just watch Netflix. And trust me, there’s a place for Netflix. But spending my time reading and using other media to learn and grow is a better use of my time. I always try to be doing something.

 

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Genue celebrates designers, makers and creatives that are unabashedly themselves. What does it mean to be “genuinely you”?

Being genuinely you means knowing what you like and being comfortable with that. It means disagreeing or having differing opinions with people you respect and admire, and that not being a bad thing. There’s a time and place for other people’s opinions, but you have to be confident in your own first. You’re going to do things and make decisions that people don’t like, and that’s okay. If all you imitate people you admire, how are you ever going to be yourself?

 

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Thanks so much, Donovan! Check back next month to see his custom designed bow tie using the My Genue iPhone app!

Donovan’s interview is part of our monthly designer spotlight series. We’re always looking for designers to feature—especially Genue users! If you’d like to be featured, please comment below or send us an email to help us learn a little bit more about you.

 

 

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