Employers Who Love Us: Interbrand

September 14th, 2011 by CCAD News
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Interbrand alumni: Front Row: Jen Rossignol, Les Maass, Jon Moser, Lauren Kemnitz, Ted Monnin; Back Row: Kayla Risch, Jack Hinkel, Susan Burke, Derek Robinson

Back in 1974, when Interbrand was founded, the world still thought of brands as just another word for logo and Les Maass (CCAD, 1974) was fresh out of college.

Since then, the Illustration major and a steady stream of other alumni talent have joined the ranks of Interbrand—a business at the forefront of the movement to capitalize on brands as business assets.

With one of the world’s leading brand consultancy companies consistently hiring our graduates we thought it would be worthwhile to take a look at the creative assets and traditional skills that CCAD contributes to the business of brand management.

Understandably, Interbrand’s human resources department must remain impartial and recruit from various schools, but we think (and admittedly we may be biased) that the company has made some wonderful hires and has some very talented tenured employees within its leadership who are graduates of CCAD.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, all of the CCAD alumni currently working at the Cincinnati office of Interbrand were Advertising & Graphic Design majors. We queried two of the nine alumni: Art Director Lauren Kemnitz (CCAD 2005) and Creative Director Ted Monnin (CCAD 1991). They don’t claim to speak directly for their classmates, but their perspectives illuminate the work environment of designers Susan Burke (CCAD 2010), Jon Moser (CCAD 2007), Kayla Risch (CCAD 2010), Jen Rossignol (CCAD 2009), Associate Creative Director Derek Robinson (CCAD 2001), Executive Director of Implementation Jack Hinkel (CCAD 1983), and last but certainly not least, the aforementioned Les Maass, who is a senior implementation designer.

Q) What’s it like to work for a company that hires so many CCAD alumni?
Lauren Kemnitz (LK) It makes me proud that Interbrand hires so many students from CCAD. It verifies that our education prepared us well for the working world. We all share a strong bond from our years at CCAD and love sharing stories about our experiences there. We respect each other’s skills and count on our ability to deliver strong strategic design solutions. The energy and passion for design we all carry is intoxicating.

Q) Why do you think Interbrand keeps coming to CCAD for employees?
Ted Monnin (TM) Interbrand is very interested in bringing in strong talent and developing them into world-class branding creatives. Our design process is built around concept development via collaboration and sketching ideas before going to the computer.  Having traditional hand skills to clearly communicate concepts and experience in a critique-based environment is key to successful design development here at Interbrand. CCAD grads have the skill set that works very well with our creative process. That, along with personal creative passion, are the elements we are looking for in our employees.

Q) For any CCAD grads heading to Interbrand or dreaming of one day working at Interbrand, what’s your advice?
TM) Package Design class is not optional, it is imperative. For a CCAD student it is where you will learn how a brand functions in the real word. Also, focus on your hand skills and how clearly you can represent your ideas through typography, color, pattern, and verbal expression. The idea is king, so make sure you can communicate your ideas clearly and can highlight all the facets of your concepts. If you are passionate about design and having your creative work and your career reach a global audience, then you need to look at Interbrand.

Q) What’s the best part about your job?
LK) I work with such talented people! I am inspired daily by the people sitting right next to me. The design world is ever-changing and learning from your colleagues is key.

TM) I really enjoy the collaboration involved in our creative process—the way we all work toward a common goal and how different ideas can come together to create exciting, breakthrough work. I also enjoy working closely with our younger employees and helping them develop into strong, world-class creative talent.

Q) What do you miss most about CCAD?
LK) Being around amazing artists all the time. The exposure you have to all the other art disciplines when you are at CCAD is incredible. I would definitely recommend to everyone that they network during their time at CCAD. Knowing the best photographers, illustrators, and artists can be a great advantage in the future.

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