Member Profile: Emily Cohen

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Emily Cohen

Company Name: Consultant to Creative Professionals

Emily has been a consultant to creative professionals for over 20 years, providing experienced, objective advise on implementing effective staff, client and process management strategies. She currently serves on the board of advisors of InSource, served as Secretary for the AIGA/NY Board of Directors and has taught classes and conducted seminars for many leading design schools and organizations. Emily is a frequently-requested speaker on business-related issues for the creative industry and has spoken at the HOW and InHOWse Conferences, as well as at numerous AIGA events.

  1. What is the best thing about working in-house?

    Consulting with a range of in-house creative service groups is like going back to college all over again—I love being exposed to new challenges as well as best practices within our industry. This helps inform my own approach and I’m continually impressed by the untapped intelligence and commitment to improvement my clients demonstrate.

  2. What types of projects does your department do?

    In-house corporate creative departments struggle with ways they can demonstrate and sell the value of what they do and position themselves as strategic partners, rather than simply executors or producers. Working within heavily silo-ed, slow moving and often change-adverse corporate cultures can also stifle creativity, so keeping staff structured, focused and motivated is also challenging. Growing a department isn’t always easy either!

  3. What keeps you motivated and inspired in your job?

    I love working with designers. I went to design school and even worked as a designer for a few years, and while I realized quite quickly that I wasn’t as talented as other designers, I nonetheless fell in love with design. Consulting with both in-house creatives and design firms allows me to keep this passion alive and keeps me motivated and inspired. I also stay motivated by keeping a good balance between my personal and professional life—by not working crazy hours and enjoying life.

  4. What do you consider the biggest success of your career?

    One of my proudest achievements was overcoming my initial fear and lack of confidence in public speaking and becoming a well-recognized industry speaker. A close second is working with New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS) as Consultant to the Dean to initially develop and launch their new Certificate of Graphic Design program – which resulted in the highest enrollment of any new program for the school.

  5. What are you currently reading, watching and listening to?

    Re-reading my favorite books: Great Expectations and Poisonwood Bible Watching: Heroes, Lost and any “chic flick” (I have a 12 year old daughter to bond with!) Listening: to my clients complain about their clients!

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