From General to Hawk-Eye: Expanding my skillset

After I left the Kmart account behind in Chicago I went back to Detroit, my husband and I moved to a new place, and – during an impromptu vacation in Florida – I received a call to interview with a local marketing communications firm. I landed the job and was assigned to the General Motors Product Training Library project as a graphic designer.

Not only was this a great team of people to work with, but there was an excellent structure in place of expectations, roles and responsibilities, and documentation to help learn processes and standards. Because of this, I always came to work knowing exactly what needed to be done and when.

I learned about the print production process and what to look for when signing off on proofs. I learned about building extra time into our schedules to account for unexpected edits in order to still meet project deadlines. I learned about AP Style guidelines for content and how a client's style guide can override AP Style.

One day I overheard senior team members discussing the need for a new proofreader. With everything I had learned – combined with my natural obsession with consistency – I felt I could do the job and wanted to challenge myself even further. I approached the Creative Director to see if he would give me a shot. He agreed to giving me a proposal to proofread and, once I was finished, he evaluated my work and said "I'm going to call you hawk-eye." My role expanded from that point forward.

I continued my graphic design duties while also proofreading nearly every project: brochures, publications, training guides, window clings, banners, proposals, letters, cover art, invitations and more. 

My husband and I were eventually ready for a big change: a cross-country move to Raleigh, North Carolina. I left the marketing firm, but didn't say good-bye. I remained a copy editor for three-and-a-half more years, working remotely on a freelance basis. I loved doing work that fed into my natural instincts and skills. But what I loved most was the opportunity to continue working with one of the best teams on the freaking planet. 

I loved working with Nikki! Her positive attitude, creativity and organization are second to none. Luckily, I had the pleasure of working with her as both a graphic designer and a copy editor. She met every deadline with ease, accuracy and efficiency. Her attention to detail is unparalleled!
— Angie S., Art Director