Name: Danielle Komro
Title: Prepress Operator
Company: Japs-Olson Company
Company URL: https://japsolson.com/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/danielle-komro-119644157/

Did you choose print or did print choose you?

The graphics industry chose me, but I chose print. During my time in junior high and high school, I found myself very interested in the graphics world. A computer class in junior high was my first exposure to anything in the Adobe suite. Sure, the basic Photoshop assignment we worked on wasn’t much, but it was enough to get me hooked. When it was time to prepare for college I had been applying for Graphic Design programs because at the time that was all I thought I could do in relation to the graphics industry. After getting accepted into my top choice school, University of Wisconsin-Stout, I started to wonder if Graphic Design was truly right for me. I researched other programs Stout had to offer, I found a program that seemed like it’d be a better fit for me. Graphic Communications (Cross-Media Graphics Management at the time) sounded like the perfect blend of everything I was looking for. I met with the Program Director to learn more about the program and left knowing that was what I needed to be doing instead. I made the switch that night. Now, I have been graduated and working fulltime for over a year and could not be happier with where I am at.

How do you establish credibility with customers, colleagues, and bosses?

I showcase my credibility the most by getting involved. In my position, I mainly only interact with some of our vendors, not so much with the customers we print for. To establish my credibility with the vendors, I try to make myself known. I go to industry conferences, networking events, and even some certification courses so I become more knowledgeable and comfortable talking to vendors and other industry professionals about our passions. With my colleagues, they have seen me work my way through the ranks and build my credibility. I started off as an intern in the pressroom in June 2017 to having a fulltime position with the press leadership team after spending my seven-month internship and the following summer out on the floor and working on various projects. Now, I have changed departments and opening myself up to another production workflow. Moving through the company not only shows my credibility to my colleagues, but to my bosses as well. They can see I’m interested in improving myself and learn more about the company at the same time. Also, when I talk to them about getting permission to go to training courses and conferences, I keep proving my interest in becoming better for myself and the company.

What advice can you offer regarding negotiating salary raises/addressing fair pay issues?

The best advice I can give is to be the best employee you can be so you know and can show how valuable you are. Go into that conversation knowing you have been the best version of yourself and explain all the good you have done for yourself and your company. If you keep pushing yourself to be the best you can be, management should be able to see that too.

What advice did you receive in your career that you wished you had followed?

“Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion.” My officemate at the time wanted to make sure I knew my opinion mattered and was important to our department and company. When I first started my career, I was hesitant about voicing my opinion, as I’m sure most people are. I was worried that managers and other team leaders in different departments wouldn’t want to hear what my ideas were. As time progressed, I began giving my input. That’s when I started to realize my coworker was right, my opinion is important. Just starting out in a career it’s easy to think your opinion isn’t valuable, but that’s where you are wrong. Every opinion matters. Every opinion is important. I wish I would have realized it sooner than I did.

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