Employee highlight: Andrew Salerno
At Sticky Brand we like to highlight our achievements and success when we can. This includes the employees who we feel have gone above and beyond to be exceptional. Today our spotlight is on Andrew Salerno. Andrew is a rising senior at The University of Vermont, he started as an intern at Sticky Brand in August, 2019. Since then he has become an integral part of production at Sticky Brand. He was quick to master the learning curve and now it’s hard to imagine making stickers without him. As he returns to UVM in the fall for his final year we will miss having him full time. However, we are excited to have him here part time and look forward to him coming back full time at Sticky Brand. We sat with him to discuss what his experience at Sticky Brand has been like thus far.
- When did you first start working at Sticky Brand? How did you hear about us?
I started as an intern in late August 2019. I found out through the UVM Community Development and Applied Economics Internship postings. I had ordered stickers though Sticky Brand before, and followed the brand on Instagram so I was excited when I saw the internship posted. I beefed up my portfolio, applied and was among several people that they interviewed. I was super excited when I got the call saying I was hired.
- What are you studying at The University of Vermont?
I’m studying Communications with a concentration in graphic design.
- What would you tell someone who was interested in interning at Sticky Brand?
At first it’s a lot of busy work like popping and mailing stickers, but you slowly accumulate skills that help in a lot of different aspects of your professional life and your career. For example, Adobe Illustrator, Creative Cloud and general print production and business skills. A lot of the knowledge I have accumulated applies to other forms of print production. It doesn’t have to just be stickers.
- What is your job description?
I’m an associate production artist. That means that I primarily handle the production at Sticky Brand. I make and produce stickers and process orders as they come in. I also do some design work for the company.
- What is your favorite part of coming into work everyday?
The environment. It’s very fun to work here. But the fact that it’s fun doesn’t take away from its professionalism. It’s a creative and entrepreneurial environment full of creative people that work together as a team to get to the finish line. We all learn a lot of things from each other while doing so.
- You started here as an intern. What made you want to stick around?
I just thought it was a really cool company. I like working in a creative environment because I’m creative myself. I’m still honing my graphic design skills and watching the lead designers at Sticky Brand do their thing is really inspiring in terms of where I want to be. I totally see how my education in design is applicable here and as the company grows I’m excited to see how I can be a part of it.
- What does a typical day look like for you?
I get in around 9 AM, check in with everybody in both the sales and marketing and production spaces. I then touch base with my production teammate, and we’ll create a goal list for the day and evaluate what needs to get done first. A large part of my day is processing orders, that’s everything that happens after you pop a sticker. Popping a sticker is when you remove the sheets of material from the cutter, and then remove the stickers from the sheets.
- What gets you most excited about the company’s future?
The uncertainty of it, in a good way. We’re growing so quickly and things are changing so fast– it’s cool to be someone so low on the totem pole, i don’t know where I’ll be in six months. I’ve grown so much and my position has grown so much with the company. My trajectory is changing very quickly and that’s exciting to me.
- What’s different about working here than anywhere else you’ve worked?
I’ve had office jobs and I’ve had food service experience. This is different because it’s working with a small group of people that are all vital to the process. Along with that, I feel like everyone has a say and everybody’s voice matters. It’s a very collaborative company.
- How has the company changed since you joined?
When I started we did everything out of one room. There was one cutter, one printer. It was very low key– not a super high end operation. Our busiest days a year ago are our slow days today. We have more than doubled our footprint and added a lot of new equipment. For example our latest printer can print both stickers as well as magnets, which adds a whole new product line we did not have before.
- What’s the work culture like at sticky? Does the team have group events and meetings?
We meet as a team at least once a week. That’s always a really great part of the week. For the most part production works separately from the sales and marketing team so it’s nice to touch base with everyone. It gets us all on the same page and excited about the goals of the month and what’s coming up. It really allows us to celebrate accomplishments together.
- What’s your favorite office tradition?
Team lunch Fridays! It’s really nice to slow things down on Friday afternoons and maybe have a beer with my coworkers. It gives us a chance to bond and chat about life and non work related stuff.
- What’s the company and culture like?
Light hearted but hardworking. As creative people, we strive to find creative solutions for the problems we run into. Everyone jumps in and helps where they can and when they can. We all have a can do mentality and we help each other problem solve. It’s very collaborative. It really feels like we all have a stake in the big decisions.
- What major challenges and problems have you faced? How did you handle them?
With the nature of how fast our company is expanding we’re experiencing some growing pains associated with new machines, new products offerings, the sheer volume of orders. Finding ways to quickly adapt to a rapidly changing work environment is hard but rewarding.
- You’re going back to UVM in the fall. Do you see a future for you at Sticky Brand? If so, what would be your ideal trajectory here?
I’m still figuring out what my day to day will be once I start taking classes again. I do know that I will be working here. My plan is to be working here after I graduate. I graduate this spring, I love burlington and I really see a place for myself at this company.