Katie Sulatycki is an LMAEC member, LMAEC communications committee member and provocateur (i.e. brand and marketing manager) at Cubicle Fugitive. With a master’s degree in philosophy and an MBA, she brings a sense of the theoretical, practical, and people-driven aspects to strategic marketing. A selfdescribed creative and existential problem-solver, Katie helps clients with their marketing needs with the bonus of being able to solve their next existential crisis! Enjoy this Q&A with Katie!
How did you land your role at Cubicle Fugitive?
When I graduated from the University of Windsor with my MBA, I knew I enjoyed marketing and strategy, but I hadn’t quite landed on what field I wanted to work in. I took time trying out different roles to see what “fit,” dabbling in recruiting, research and government. At one point, I considered going back for my PhD, but after so many years in school, I just wanted to find a role in the private sector that I was passionate about. I hadn’t previously considered agency work, but you don’t know unless you try, right? Eventually, I stumbled upon Cubicle Fugitive, and it turned out to be a perfect fit for me!
What does a typical day look like in your role? What’s different about working in your role? With your company?
Cubicle Fugitive is a full-service marketing, branding and web development agency. We specialize in professional services – 85% of our clients are law firms, so as you can imagine, every day offers something different. We always have a lot of interesting projects on the go, and sometimes my day consists of focusing on one or two projects or working on 10+. I do everything from crafting tailored marketing and brand strategies, to running ads, managing website design and development projects, copywriting and everything in between.
What aspect of marketing makes you feel most passionate about your role?
I really enjoy the branding process. Prior to joining legal marketing, I studied philosophy, so I continue to be drawn to the idea of identity and authenticity. In other words, what defines us and how do we convey our differentiator authentically? These are exactly the questions that I keep in mind when I am working on a client’s branding. I don’t just drill down on what makes my client unique, but I use my background in philosophy to create an actionable plan for how they can convey that to their internal and external stakeholders.
How do you add value to the company and the clients you serve? How do you make your client’s lives easier?
I take the time to really get to know my clients. A large part of my role is problem-solving and anticipating my clients’ needs. Sometimes a client will come to me for an ad or a piece of collateral with little direction, and it’s up to me to read between the lines and deliver something I know will reflect the client’s brand and be in line with their objectives. I also draw upon my team’s wealth of knowledge whenever necessary!
How can someone make themselves indispensable to their company?
Never stop learning no matter what your role may be. For example, every time my boss would give me an article, paper, or book that she thought I might find interesting, I would actually make time to read it! This simple act not only helps build up your knowledge base, but it signals that you’re actively open to learning new things and that you value the opinions of your coworkers.
What adjustments have you had to make in your role in order to continue to provide value during COVID-19? How has COVID-19 affected your role?
Our office is open concept, which fosters a collaborative and social work environment. As you can imagine, the work-from-home setup has been quite an adjustment! However, over the years, I’ve learned to “roll with the punches” and take life as it comes, so this mentality has definitely helped me through the last few months. The biggest change for me has been taking the time to be more present with colleagues and clients. This is new to all of us, and we’re all experiencing this differently, so I’ve been trying to stay conscious of that.
Considering COVID-19, what advice would you give to others who are new to their role and want to add value but are also adjusting to a new normal?
You come first. Your mental health is the most important part. Personally, my role has helped keep me in a routine and keep some normalcy in my life. But at the end of the day, none of this is normal, and that’s okay. Having a supportive team is also very valuable. If you have the capacity to check-in with colleagues and clients, I highly encourage you to do so. However, if you’re finding yourself with more downtime, consider personal and professional development. I’ve been taking advantage of LMA’s resources and webinars!
You’re part of the LMAEC Communications committee. Why did you get involved?
Being new to legal marketing, it has been a great opportunity to better understand my clients and grow professionally. I continually learn more about the community, forge connections and hear new perspectives on common issues. For me, being involved is about genuinely connecting with people and helping contribute to the legal marketing community.
What type of training or professional development would you recommend?
Take any opportunity for professional or personal development that comes your way – don’t pigeon-hole yourself to specific areas of development. Right now, I say yes to any opportunities – whether it is taking on new tasks and projects at work that I’m not familiar with or trying new hobbies and activities at home. Being open to learning anything and everything has by far provided me with the most personal and professional growth. My recommendation is to keep reading, never stop learning, ask questions, take chances and be open.
What do you subscribe to?
I’ve only recently jumped onto the Twitter bandwagon (please follow me @katiesula), but I check LinkedIn often. I treat my newsfeed like a repository for updates from my network, trending topics and professional interests. Outside of social media, I take advantage of our company’s subscriptions to Harvard Business Review and Canadian Lawyer the most.
What are your passions outside of the office?
I do a lot of hiking and traveling, but that’s of course on hold right now. I’m also passionate about weird and quirky Canadian history, improv, experimenting with new vegetarian and vegan recipes, hanging out with my dog Lorelei, shouting motivational things at my friends, and binging bad Netflix shows!
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