Day in the Life of a Provisional RGD: Natalie Di Maria
Name: Natalie Di Maria
Name: Natalie Di Maria
Employer: Law Society of Ontario
Job Title: Graphic Designer and E-Learning Developer
Time in current position: 2 years
School/Program/Year: York University/Sheridan College Program in Design (YSDN) Graduated in 2016
What’s the first thing you do when you get to work?
The first thing I do every morning is fill my reusable bottle full of cold water, look through my emails, water my plants and flip to the current date on my affirmation calendar.
List the 5 things you spend the most time on during a typical work day and allot them a percentage amount (adding up to 100%)
10% - Checking emails and voicemails
10% - Speaker and Chair Filming: I meet with speakers of our upcoming programs and help facilitate the setup and filming of short videos for our social media along with other members of the Marketing Team
10% - E-course Discussions: I meet with the Director of the CPD Department and members of our Counsel to discuss upcoming e-course development
20% - Team Meetings: Our team meets once a week to discuss our ongoing projects, future projects and how we can support each other to be successful
50% - Design and Production: Being the only designer on the Marketing Team, I brainstorm and create campaigns to advertise our programs through digital and print media
Of all the tasks you complete during a day, what is your favourite?
When I can cross a completed project off my list. There are usually quite a few things on the go for me on a daily basis. Getting the final approval for a design project is a great feeling (especially when I’ve been working on it for what feels like forever!)
What is your least favourite?
My least favourite part is checking my voicemails. I avoid talking on the phone as much as possible when it comes to discussing tasks with co-workers. I much prefer to keep track of what I’m working on via email.
Do you have any strategies to keep up your productivity / inspiration over the course of the day?
I listen to podcasts while I work. It helps me to focus when I hear other people speaking in depth about a particular topic. Hearing others be inspired, inspires me.
Are there any tasks that you like to do at the end of the day? That you feel you must do before you leave?
I will usually leave image sourcing until the end of the day. It’s a tedious task and helps the time fly by in the afternoon before I head home. I also like to clean up my desk and workspace so it feels fresh each day.
In your job, what do you wish you had more time for?
Exploring all my options and ideas when I start a new project. We have a lot on the go and sometimes there isn’t time to create 5 or more options for a cover image or layout. I wish I had more time to sit and brainstorm.
How has your role changed over the last year?
At the beginning of February, my position was promoted to Graphic Designer and E-Learning Developer. This allowed me to pass off certain Desktop Publishing tasks and focus on the development of e-courses and general design work.
Can you share a project you are currently working on?
I’m working on a few projects including the promotion of our 15th Solo and Small Firm Conference in June, New Licensee Pass 2020 and our Spring Calendar.
15th Solo and Small Firm Conference
New Licensee Pass 2020
Spring Calendar 2020
What goal, if any, have you set for yourself for the next year?
Since I’m in a newly promoted role, this year I’d like to focus on creating and perfecting my process with creating an e-course. I hope to discover the challenges of that this year and overcome them.
What would you say is the biggest lesson you've learned since you left school and started working?
Not everything you create is going to be understood by everyone and there are more opportunities to explain your ideas. In design school, we critiqued other design work knowing the time that goes into each piece. In the working world, not everyone sees your work from that angle and you have to work harder to win them over. This can be challenging but fun.
What would you say is the most important skill/lesson that you learned during school that is helping you to succeed in the workplace?
The most important lesson I learned is to trust myself. During school, I would never trust that my first idea could be the one. I realized quickly that all ideas are valuable and worth exploring. In the workplace, I present all my ideas no matter how small they may seem. They can always be worked into something better.
If you could go back and give your younger self advice when you were just starting your design program, what would it be?
Be patient. I always thought that my only choice as a graphic designer in the field would be to join an agency. As I learned more about the field and took on internships and freelance work, I found out what I enjoyed most and followed it. I would remind myself to do what feels right and that it will take you down the right path.