Young college students and high school students often underestimate how valuable reading and writing skills are in the real world, and why they matter so much in jobs that aren’t commonly associated with those skills. I’ve started this series, Real Talk, to give professionals in a variety of industries a chance to share why reading and writing are so critical to what they do.
Today, we’re profiling visual designer Ellen Ma. Be sure to check out some of her gorgeous creative work on Dribble!
What’s your current job?
I am a visual designer for a magazine app company. I mainly design graphics and visuals used in marketing materials – promotional/follow up emails, banner ads, campaigns, as well as working with the product team to develop visuals for in-app usage and lastly, designing company swag.
What kind of reading and writing do you do on an everyday basis?
There are so, so many emails. Sometimes I’m added into the middle of an email conversation that’s already 20 emails in.
What kind of reading and writing skills are key to your job?
Being able to have good communication skills is a must, especially working within a big company and a number of people who aren’t in your department. Comprehensive reading is so critical, especially when I’m given a creative brief. In a nutshell, the creative brief is a document that kicks off a project. The owner of the creative brief writes the objective of the project, develops the strategy of the project, sets deadlines, and goes into specific details as to what assets need to be created, which is then passed to me to execute. If I don’t read carefully, I could end up spending hours designing a draft and then be told that I did it incorrect, which would be a waste of my time.
What advice do you have for students, particularly college students in first- and second-year writing courses?