CE: Visual Designer: Megan Otto
1. What area of STEM do you work in?
I work in Technology.
2. What is your job title?
My job title is Senior Visual Designer. I work on a marketing team where I design and code websites.
3. Where do you work?
I work at CoSchedule, a software application that allows businesses to plan, create and schedule all their marketing projects in one calendar.
4. Have you ever been the only girl in a class or meeting? If so, how does it feel?
I have been the only girl in a meeting a few times and it always feels odd. It can feel intimidating and uncomfortable being the odd one out. But I know my opinions and viewpoints are valuable and unique, for many reasons, but *especially* because I’m a girl. I try to use my voice to share those with others and use my voice to invite other girls to join me.
5. Do you have any advice for girls who may be the only girl someday?
Know you’re important and your voice matters! Don’t be discouraged by the possibility of saying the wrong thing or intimidated by standing out. You are there because you deserve to be and you deserve to be heard. Plus, invite your friends!
6. What degrees/diplomas do you have?
I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Graphic Design Technology.
7. Did you think that one day you'd be where you are now?
I always knew I wanted to work in art or design, but I had never thought of doing so with technology! I always enjoyed playing on the computer and making my own creations in Microsoft Paint when I was younger, but I never thought it could be a career. I am extremely thankful to those who introduced me to all the possibilities!
8. What are two failures that have led to your success today?
When I was in high school, I worked incredibly hard on a painting I thought was my best one yet! I was really hoping it would win an award at the regional art show. But, as it turned out, it didn’t even get accepted into the show! I was devastated. But, that failure taught me how subjective art is. Just because someone else didn’t like my painting, or my idea, didn’t mean I didn’t do a good job. I was proud of myself and how hard I worked to create something I loved. I still have the painting today!
Another failure is probably my first websites. When I look back at the websites I created years ago, I can’t believe I wrote that code! I notice all the little (and big!) mistakes I made. But... they worked! And I learned something from all of them. I am constantly learning and constantly improving how I work. I keep all those lessons in mind as I create my websites today… even though I know when I look back at them a few years from now, I’ll go through that same process again! Never stop learning
9. What is your favorite and least favorite part about your job?
My favorite part of my job is the ability to be creative everyday. Creativity goes far beyond art and design; it’s problem-solving, brainstorming, learning, etc. In the world of technology that is constantly changing, it’s so much fun to come into work each day and solve a new problem. I love to be challenged and my job presents me with the best challenges.
My least favorite part would probably be... there’s never enough time! I have so many ideas and I just want to do them all, but there’s never enough time. I work at a start-up, so we’re always trying to move fast and create even faster. I have to remind myself that done is better than perfect, and there’s always a version 2! It may be tough for me as a perfectionist, but it definitely keeps everything interesting.
10. What are two things you wish you would have known as a teenager?
I wish I would have known that what you want to do when you "grow up" doesn’t always stay the same, and it doesn’t always have to be the same! Especially in STEM fields, the jobs are constantly changing with the times. What I’m doing this year may not be what I will be doing 10 years from now, and that’s extremely exciting! Don’t be afraid to try new things, be curious, and never stop learning!