On this week’s episode, design leader and vice president of creative at experience design firm FreemanXP Katie O’Brien joins the show for some real talk on the agency life of a creative captain, her every-which-way path in design, which led her to ultimately tackle events and live experiences, and the life-shaking moments that rocked her free of a narrower, more control-oriented mindset toward a career flow that has taken her to some of the top agencies in the world delivering the creative goods for Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, and today’s best brands, all while approaching every project like it’s her dream job. Listen in for advice on first career moves and what Katie looks for when hiring for experience design.
“Being able to find something interesting about each project [I] work on, no matter the industry or business, is really my job. So if you’re not able to turn every single one of your projects into a dream job, then I think you are doing it for the wrong reasons.”– Katie O’Brien
Katie O’Brien is the vice president of creative at FreemanXP in San Francisco, where she leads a group of visual storytellers and innovators to bring ideas to life at live events and works with clients in a range of industries to figure out unique ways to immerse their attendees in their brand with design. Previously, Katie spent years designing for brand and publication organizations and was creative director at FleishmanHillard, where she developed integrated marketing campaigns for government and nonprofit clients with a focus on social impact. Originally from the East Coast, Katie graduated from Syracuse University with a BFA in communication design. She currently resides in the Excelsior District of San Francisco with her good-looking husband, ambitious 4-year-old son, and smiley baby girl. If you had to describe her in one word, it would be “frank.” But still call her Katie.
The best way to summarize design leader Katie O’Brien’s approach to work and life is a nugget of wisdom from our interview for Making Ways: “Being able to find something interesting about each project [I] work on, no matter the industry or business, is really my job. So if you’re not able to turn every single one of your projects into a dream job, then I think you are doing it for the wrong reasons.”…