I Am In-House: Angela Buchanico

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This month we get some InSight from Angela Buchanico, Assistant Director of Marketing at University of the Sciences (USciences).

  1. Where do you work? What does your company do?

    I work at University of the Sciences (USciences). Founded in 1821 as the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, USciences is a fully accredited University offering undergraduate, graduate, and professional education in healthcare and the sciences.

  2. What types of services does your team specialize in?

    Our team acts as a full service marketing communications team, providing support for recruitment and fundraising via just about everything print and digital. We are also responsible for front-end website support.

  3. How many people make up your team?

    Four people make up the Marketing side of the Marketing and Communications department: myself, a web manager, a web developer and a web/graphic designer. We also have support from a marketing analyst and the communications team of two.

  4. Your title/role within the company:

    I am the Assistant Director of Marketing. I function essentially as a creative director, while providing marketing integration, design, and brand leadership for the institution.

  5. Share a best-practice leadership experience:

    As our team moved through a particularly difficult University-wide reorganization, and while I was concerned about my own job security, I always refocused my energy on the support and guidance of my team. I made sure that no one felt marginalized or overtly threatened, and continued to allow the same kind of creative freedom and professional courtesy that I had all along. This led to continued success in keeping our focus, in meeting our deadlines, and finding little victories and joys as much as possible. In the end, I found this helped me to cope as much as it helped them. I’m happy to say, our value was recognized and we are still a team.

  6. What are you working on now that you’re excited about?

    I am leading a committee to secure a new CMS, a sustainable and responsive redesign and governance, and migration for the University website (over 2500 pages!). It is a challenge, a ton of work, and frustrating at times, but I am thrilled to be tackling such an important initiative. I am using every tool in my skill set and then some!

  7. If you could share one piece of advice for an up-and-coming creative leader what would it be?

    Listen. A lot. And hear what is being said. If you can see the problem from all sides, the solutions are revealed more quickly.

  8. What inspires you?

    Different cultures, house music, visual innovation, quiet spaces.

  9. What is the first thing you do each day to organize yourself?

    Make lists, scan email for priorities, actually schedule the time to get work done.

  10. Have you noticed any changes or trends for in-house creative in the past year?

    More creativity with less dollars. This is something I have always strived for, so it’s cool to see this in these times of austerity in higher education.

  11. What has been your greatest challenge as a creative leader?

    It is the age-old struggle of persuading the executive level to understand the importance of design strategy and creative thinking. The tendency to brush off these things to save money and time always leads to a more costly problem in the end.

  12. Describe the career path you have taken.

    I began my career as a designer on the traditional path, through small- to mid-size marketing communication firms. Along the way, I was eager to understand marketing and business principles, so I was given more in-depth responsibility at each step, working my way up to creative director fairly quickly. Eventually, I realized that I wanted to utilize all of the skills I had acquired more thoroughly. So I took an in-house position at a lower level to get my foot in the door and to experience a rebranding from the inside out. After almost 13 years here at USciences, I have built a solid creative team from scratch, tackled a successful major rebranding initiative, revamped the University website twice, established successful partnerships both in-house and out, and survived several reorganizations and some pretty intense siloing. I now find myself in a unique position, straddling two worlds, marketing and design, and looking forward to the next challenge!

  13. Where were you born?

    Philadelphia, PA

  14. Where do you live now?

    Lived all across the US but I’m a Philly girl at heart so I moved back!

  15. What is your favorite indulgence?

    Travel…I will go anywhere, whenever I can.

  16. What talent do you have that most people may not know you possess?

    Metalworking, I make custom jewelry from silver, bronze, etc. I am also a budding entrepreneur, partnering in an independent house music label, 418 Music. This venture helps me to get some really current and creative insight into the same demographic that I am marketing to for USciences recruitment.

  17. What was your very first job?

    I worked as a file clerk at a law firm while I was still in high school, filing and refilling folders for a few hours a day. I loved it! It satisfied my deep-seated desire for organization. My first design job was my college internship at the Franklin Mint, designing direct mail packages for all kinds of collectibles, from coins to cars. I learned a bit of just about everything there is to being a graphic designer. Hands down, the best working experience I have ever had.

  18. What is your favorite food?

    Stracciatella gelato!

  19. What do you plan to do when you retire?

    I hope to live near the beach, honing my metalworking skills crafting beautiful jewelry, and traveling as much as possible.

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