Name: Sarah DiCello
Company URL: www.thinkgraphtech.com
LinkedIn Profile URL: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarah-dicello-19883723/
Please share advice for young women considering or starting a career in print… Which includes design, sales, marketing, and all jobs within.
While the print industry can be unpredictable in recent years and challenging, it is also a very exciting time to be doing what we do. Whether you want to be a designer, a sign manufacturer, or an owner, the sky’s the limit and you can be very creative.
If this industry excites you, my advice would be to contact several women in the industry to get the good, the bad, and the ugly. It’s very helpful to me to have people I can bounce ideas off of and to get a sense of the direction others are taking as we expand into the wide-format and company store arenas.
I also belong to an organization called the Women Presidents Organization (WPO) and that has been an invaluable resource for me to be able to discuss business as a whole in today’s world to get advice on everything from understanding financial documents to how to deal with HR issues.
How have mentors helped your personal and career development?
Having a mentor, or two, or three, is an absolute must. Before coming into the industry, I worked at various associations in Central Pennsylvania doing what I loved – writing, organizing and editing their magazines and publications.
My first mentor, at a landscape & nursery association, taught me the value of a great work ethic coupled with best practices in editorial excellence for the award-winning magazine we produced. After that, I went on to produce publications for an amusement park association in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, that was right as the Great Recession hit and I lost my job.
Through that loss, I learned the value of stability and what great leadership meant as our Executive Director had to make very hard decisions about closing up our office and what that meant for us, her staff. While heartbreaking at the time, it was the best thing that ever happened to me because I received a call from the owner of Graphtech asking if I wanted to come work for him. He asked if I could manage some of their publications because the marketing managers were the first to get laid off and they had no one to organize their magazines.
Thirteen years later, I am now part-owner and President of Graphtech, taking over for the very same man who called to ask me if I wanted a job. He’s served as my greatest mentor when it comes to running a small business. I tell him all the time that I don’t need to officially get my MBA because after spending 13 years learning from him, I already have one.
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