Before They Were CRAFTers... - CRAFT Media | Digital

Before They Were CRAFTers…


“Experience is the teacher of all things.” – Julius Caesar

At CRAFT, the diversity of our team members’ experiences contributes to how we approach our work… every day.

On the political battlefront, it’s easy to forget where you came from. So we asked our team to remind us, or in many cases, to tell us for the first time:

What was your first job, or a job you’ve had that you wouldn’t find on your resume, and what was one thing you took away from that experience?

So see for yourself. We think you’ll raise an eyebrow or two.

Brian Donahue, Partner

  • Job: Valet Car Attendant
  • Takeaway: Hustle. The more you hustled the more tips you got. Hustling says a lot about how you approach your career.

Matthew Dybwad, Partner

  • Job: Summer Camp Garbage Man
  • Takeaway: Do your job on time every time and then enjoy the time you have left, free from worry about what you still have left to do.

John Randall, Director of Digital

  • Job: Prison Guard
  • Takeaway: Keep control of difficult situations and maintain a steady outward facing persona.

Lana Tsimberg, Director of Human Resources

  • Job: Babies R’ Us
  • Takeaway: When you need a job, you can’t be picky. The opportunities in front of you are meant to be taken.

Alex Finland, Director of Media Booking

  • Job: Window Manufacturer
  • Takeaway: Driving my boss (who was also my grandfather) home from the office provided me with many useful real world insights.

Buck Cram, Director of Political Accounts

  • Job: Landscape Architect (a.k.a. “Hole Digger”)
  • Takeaway: Never underestimate the misery of northern Virginia summers.

Chelsie Paulson, Director of Social Media

  • Job: Babysitter
  • Takeaway: Have patience with all things, but first, with yourself.

Lee Doren, Director of Research and Outreach

  • Job: Restaurant Waiter
  • Takeaway: Keep cool under pressure and hit deadlines.

Joe Greeley, Director of Production

  • Job: Lifeguard
  • Takeaway: Treat all customers, clients, or guests with respect.

Evan Gassman, Manager of Business Development

  • Job: Game Associate at GameStop
  • Takeaway: Build relationships with your customers to understand their tastes and preferences, and encourage them to keep coming back.

Sinead Casey, Administrative Coordinator

  • Job: Little League Umpire
  • Takeaway: Be fair, lead by example, and know the value of a hard day’s work… And don’t use your cell phone while umpiring a baseball game.

Travis Holler, Account Manager

  • Job: Coldstone Creamery “Ice Cream Maker”
  • Takeaway: Good customer service is the most important part of retaining clients and customers.

Cory Maran, Account Executive

  • Job: Pizza Delivery
  • Takeaway: Small order or big order, a client is still a client. Treat them all equally. And resist the temptation to eat the chicken off their pizza.

Joe Richards, Account Executive

  • Job: Lifeguard
  • Takeaway: Even when a workday seems light, you must be prepared for surprise situations and know how to handle them.

Sri Shankar, Digital Production Manager

  • Job: Bookkeeper
  • Takeaway: People skills are just as important as hard work. Also, doing jobs not in your ideal field can still help shape your career.

Danielle Theroux, Graphic Designer

  • Job: Selling caramel popcorn on the boardwalk
  • Takeaway: Peanut allergies are no joke.

Catie Weckenman, Social Media Manager

  • Job: Camp Counselor
  • Takeaway: Children remind you to take notice of the little things in life and be the first to see/kill the bug.

Chelsea Hurley, Account Executive

  • Job: Babysitter
  • Takeaway: Get CPR certified. Preparedness and understanding have a huge influence on how you work… And you can help in life-threatening situations.

Jess Matsumoto, Associate Creative Director

  • Job: Coldstone Creamery “Ice Cream Scooper and Cake Designer”
  • Takeaway: Camaraderie is important when working in high stress situations.

Matt Atkinson, Digital Advertising and Marketing Manager

  • Job: Carpenter/Painter
  • Takeaway: Helping to build a house provides an incredible sense of accomplishment.

Alice Ly, Front End Website Developer

  • Job: Dim Sum Cart Pusher
  • Takeaway: It’s important to manage stress in a fast-paced environment, when you have to provide great customer service in both English and Cantonese.

Jerry Stephens, Front End Website Developer

  • Job: Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HazWOpEr)
  • Takeaway: If the job doesn’t seem to meet legal guidelines, make sure you question it.

Bradley Heinz, Content Analyst

  • Job: Caddying
  • Takeaway: Early bird gets the worm, angry golfers are scary people, master small talk, and wear sunblock.

Louisa Tavlas, Communications and Content Manager

  • Job: PR Intern | Bank of Greece
  • Takeaway: It’s important to maintain focus and productivity amidst distractions and chaos.

Ashley Carter, Political Manager

  • Job: Pet Shop Sales Associate
  • Takeaway: Working in a small business teaches you the importance of hard work among the entire team, but also the importance of listening.

Evan Ross, Digital Data Analyst

  • Job: Camp Counselor
  • Takeaway: You have to be assertive, but not aggressive when dealing with others if you want positive results.

Bryan Levine, Production Fellow

  • Job: Lobstertrician, Clam Bar Manager
  • Takeaway: As a manager, keeping your employees happy ensures you can trust them to get the job done correctly, without having to constantly look over their shoulders.

Morgan Farenthold, Political Intern

  • Job: Camp Counselor
  • Takeaway: Hand-writing a note is a lost skill. Taking five minutes to say thank you leaves a small but everlasting impression.

Liberty Riggs, Design Intern

  • Job: Pottery Barn Kids
  • Takeaway: The importance of treating every customer like an individual: commission.

Tyler Klink, Intern

  • Job: Canvasser,
  • Takeaway: You can literally pay your bills with “hope” and “change.”

Nicole Drummond, Booking Intern

  • Job: Hostess, Carrabba’s
  • Takeaway: Hungry people are always angry.