In the mid-90s, I had just graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. After almost two years working as an in-house graphic designer for a large corporation, I knew I wanted to move on to a more challenging role. I learned a lot from my experience, however I was ready to move on to the excitement of broader creative challenges, juggling a larger workload and working late into the night.
I was on second interviews with two companies, one was in a retail corporate environment, and the other was at Core. I have to admit; the corporate job offered more money, better benefits and had a clear outline for career growth. Core was small – four owners and two employees – however I had a chance to be at the ground floor of an ad agency that had a lot of growth potential. As the interviewing process was coming to an end, I was trying to decide which I’d choose if I got both offers.
Then, I got the call.
The retail corporation said it was a very tough decision, but they decided to go with another candidate that had more retail experience. I was devastated. At 24, I felt like my shot at working up the corporate ladder doing what I loved – was shattered. I really wanted that job. And the thought of being second choice drove me crazy. How could I not have been chosen? I thought I said all the right things. I was a decent designer, experienced, hungry for work and driven to succeed. Isn’t that all you need? After all, I got my first job out of college before I even graduated. I thought it was always going to be that easy.
The next few days, all I could think about was what could have been. My frustration and anger turned into a mission – a mission to find out what I was meant to do with my career. I needed something more than just the opportunity to be a good designer. I wanted to be part of something bigger.
Then, I got the call.
[pullquote align=”right”] I have been blessed with working with some very talented, selfless and thoughtful people here at Core. [/pullquote]
At the time, when I accepted my position as a production artist at Core Creative, I never would have imagined I would be here 15 years later – and in a role of marketing and business development. The funny thing is, I knew – even then – that I was part of something really special. Core had that spark from the beginning – and it was only a matter of time before that spark became the Core Creative it is today. Being involved in the growth of an agency is not all sunshine and roses, but through the years we have made mistakes and learned from them. And we continue to try to make this place better for our employees and our clients every day.
I have people ask me all the time why I’ve stayed at Core as long as I have. And the answer is as simple as this: a reason to believe. Core has always given me a reason to believe this agency could thrive. A reason to believe work could be – and should be – fun. A reason to believe I can get up and come to work every day and know I can impact my colleagues, this agency and our clients (and potential clients) in a positive way. A reason to believe WE can help take this agency to another level, and will always have the personal opportunity to be a part of that.
I have been blessed with working with some very talented, selfless and thoughtful people here at Core. I want to thank everyone I work with for making Core such a great place to work, and a special thanks to Jeff Speech and Rich Vetrano for hiring me back on July 22, 1998!
And thank you, other company, for not hiring me.
Angi Krueger is Core’s vice president of marketing and business development. After many years working as an art director, she is instrumental in developing the strategic direction for both our clients and ourselves. Follow Angi on Twitter @angikrueger.