As part of our ongoing employee spotlight series, we’ll be profiling colleagues who inspire us. Today, meet Krizia Vance.
Company Role: Creative Department Producer
Most likely to: Get injured stumbling on their own feet
Secret talent: An expert in random celebrity facts + gossip
An aspiring artist in her younger years, Krizia came to the realization — early on — that some passions shouldn’t be made into careers. Instead of turning her hobby into her hustle, she found a balance in project management — a discipline that’s half science (using certain tools and techniques) and half art (using personal judgment and making tough choices to deliver project masterpieces).
With a clear focus on creatively-driven advertising agencies, she began her career in Boulder, Colorado, interning at Crispin, Porter + Bogusky. Working her way through the country, she moved to Columbia, Missouri to work at another ad agency before ending up at a smaller one in Chicago, Illinois (her home state) working on the McDonald’s Happy Meal app and website. But although she was raised in the “Staten Island” of the Chicago suburbs, went to college there, and worked there, Krizia was unable to resist the unrelenting call of New York City, so she headed east and left the rest up to fate. She’s been happily living in Brooklyn ever since and has been working with our team for nearly two years now.
Also, on an utterly separate note, her dad’s name is Bob Vance — just a little fun fact for any Office fans out there.
So read on to learn more about our fantastic producer, Krizia.
What does your typical workday look like?
I work as a producer for the creative team, where I manage tasks, meetings, goals, resourcing, and planning. I’m basically the one “non-creative” on the creative team, which is cool since it transitively makes my job exciting. I get to plan and see all the amazing work my team puts out. We start the day bright and early, discussing the important to-dos for that particular day and reiterating any important deadlines coming up for the team. Before I can begin, I usually need a minimum of two cups of coffee and a fed cat, so I don’t have him destroying the apartment (he gets super hangry). During the day, I’m usually reaching out to folks to see where they’re at with certain items, scheduling meetings, writing up Trello cards, and triaging any workload issues within the team.
What’s your favorite part about working at String and Key?
The fully-stocked kitchen! Duh! Just kidding; it’s the people. Everyone here is not only super smart and talented, but they are also very humble and approachable. There is never a time where you don’t have to lean on a coworker for help and guidance. The folks that work here are more than willing to lend out that extra helping hand. Trust me, I speak from experience. Also, the folks here are just really cool to hang around with after hours. We can go from having these super intense meetings and/or disagreements to hanging out at the bar with each other as if nothing happened. There is no “type” of person that works at this company. It’s like you took a person from each type of clique in high school and dropped them into a company to get the culture that is String and Key.
What excites you about your job?
As our Head of Strategy and Marketing, Edwin put it best, “we are flying the plane as we are building it.” Now that sounds insane, but I think that’s the cool part about the job. We are ideating and building this product off the fly as we go along. We have defined processes in place, so we aren’t operating as a hot mess, but there is something fun about not having a rule book in place. It’s like we threw it out to see how we can really make this product be the differentiator in the market. I’m excited to see the impact we bring to the industry.
What do you find most challenging about your role?
The constant changes in technology and tools. My role is purely soft — as in mostly communications and planning — so one would think I wouldn’t need to care about what kind of language we are using to code or what a design system is. But I do. As I learned from previous roles, I must understand these tools because it makes me more effective as a producer. These tools change often and fast, so it can be hard to keep up, but it’s exciting to be at a company that challenges you in this way.
What are the values that drive you?
Humility. To be working professional adults in NYC, we should know that we must be pretty talented. The concentration of talent here is immense, and whenever I feel like I am not enough, I try to keep that into consideration. On the other hand, it’s quick to get caught up in your talents, so it’s important to bring yourself down to earth. In my opinion, being humble is less so about being modest and more about trying to think about the needs of others before yourself. You need to think less about “I” and more about “we.” That is a value that I try to carry with me always.
What drew you to tech, and what excites you about the industry?
Tech has always been this world of endless possibilities and innovation in making something commonplace and making it more efficient and approachable for people. I think about how much of my life has been simplified due to countless innovations. I can apply for jobs via an app. I can order my medication and have it delivered to me in less than 24 hours. I can purchase items via Instagram (although dangerous to my wallet). The list goes on. I’m stoked to see how we will be one of those companies that changes the way people think and do certain everyday life tasks.
What’s one thing — either industry-related or not — that you’ve learned in the last month?
I learned how to make homemade pizza dough and pasta. I’m kicking myself for not doing this sooner. I’m finally bringing out my inner nonna in the kitchen because we all know grandmas do it best. Making your own pasta and dough REALLY makes a huge difference in leveling up your dish. Also, I have officially sworn off using canned sauce. Now I just buy plain tomatoes to create my gravy to my liking. As Ina Garten says, store-bought is fine, but it’s just fine. It’s never great.
If you could swap places with anyone at String and Key, who would it be and why?
Ironically I would switch with anyone in my own team. It would be cool to think about how users go through an experience on the UX side and create visually beautiful illustrations on the UI side. We also have an amazing copywriter who did a great job of crafting up our product voice. They are so talented, and they help me want to find ways to become better.
What unexpected subject could you give a one-hour presentation on with no advance prep?
Fashion trends of 2021. I’m not implying I dress like the most fashionable person out there, but this is a topic I personally love reading and learning about. I love how people are taking masks and making it a part of their outfit now instead of just something you gotta wear. It’s our new normal now, why not make it fashion?
What keeps you busy outside of work?
In these COVID days, I find myself cooking a lot more than I used to — probably because I’m home a lot more. I’m trying to train in anticipation for some half marathon that can hopefully happen next year, but who knows. Otherwise, I watch copious amounts of TV and movies. I love low and high-standard content equally. I don’t discriminate between reality TV and art films.
Can you list five hashtags that describe your personality?
#Caffeinated, #Clumsy, #CelebGossip, #CatMom, #ChampagneTasteBeerBudget
Big party or small gathering?
Nice restaurant or street food?
Nice restaurant (when I don’t have to pay for it of course :P).
Hot air balloon or helicopter?
Hot air balloon.
Use a map or get happily lost?
Get happily lost!
The tropics or the northern lights?
The northern lights.
Interested in working at String and Key? Join us!
Learn more about the other members on our team here.