The following is an interview with Kaitlin Yapchaian, ‘04, an executive producer with the Prototype Studio at R/GA, a digital advertising agency.
What did you study at University of Richmond, and what were your post-graduation plans?
I studied studio art (design and photography) and took journalism classes. I was also interested in marketing and technology.
After college, I put all of that on hold and went to the A Bar A Ranch in Encampment, Wyo., with close friends from Richmond. If you ever get the chance to work there, go!
What did you actually do after graduation and what is your current position?
When our western adventure ended, I moved to New York City and joined the NBC Page Program, which, to this day, is still one of my all-time favorite jobs. I’ve since moved around to R/GA, Vogue, Google and now I’m back at R/GA as an executive producer.
What is a typical workday in the life of Kaitlin Yapchaian?
Agency culture is laid back; the day doesn’t really get rolling for me until about 10 a.m. R/GA creates digital products and services for clients like Nike, so I work with a variety of teammates across disciplines: technologists, creatives, experience designers, social media strategists and more.
We develop mobile apps, websites, interactive installations and the list goes on. Like many jobs, my day also entails meetings, brainstorming, project management, presentations and client communication. Overall, the work is exciting, and there’s great camaraderie among my co-workers.
What do you know now (career-related) that you wish you had known as an undergraduate student?
No job is perfect. You’ll prioritize different things at different times in your career — location, lifestyle, compensation, commute, title, benefits, etc. But I’ve found that doing something you love (this is imperative), in an environment where you can learn and grow, with a smart and supportive manager are three critical elements to professional happiness.
What is your most valuable networking technique?
Be proactive. Meet people, remember people, say “thank you” and stay in touch with people — you never know where you or they will end up. Don’t be shy when it comes to asking people for help. And help out others as much as you can. Lastly, LinkedIn is a gold mine — use it.
What is the most played song on your iPod?
It was “I Love It” by Icona Pop but it’s since appeared in an episode of “Girls” so I need a new go-to. Suggestions?
The Spider Way: In Print highlights the career path of UR alumni. For additional career advice and tips, visit spiderway.wordpress.com or call Career Services at (804) 289-8547 to make an appointment.