A familiar face. A familiar smile. From summer intern to full-time employee, MK3 is welcoming back our very own Alex Miller. In her second take, Alex seamlessly transitioned into the role of Associate Producer and Operations Manager here at MK3. And that means assisting and supporting our creative teams and owner Joel Kaplan – all of which plays a crucial role in MK3’s success.
Alex was quickly welcomed back because it seemed like she never left. And now that she’s experiencing even more of the company, she’s finding it to be a place that thrives on team chemistry, open communication and lots of good humor.
“Everyone knows each other so well and works together so seamlessly that you always know you have the full team behind you on every project.”
Alex Miller, Associate Producer and Operations Manager
When the offer to join MK3 full-time presented itself, it was an opportunity she couldn’t turn down. MK3’s creative capabilities and attention to detail was an attractive mix for her, and she knew she wanted to contribute to the team. Alex found her transition from student/intern to full-time MK3 employee a smooth one, not only because she’d already interned here, but she felt well prepared after four years at Emerson College.
Now her focus is to take that preparation and apply that excellence while paving her own path. Part of her duties when she was an intern was to help tell the MK3 story, through our social media marketing. It’s “take two” here at MK3 for Alex, and she’s ready to help us tell yours!
Working from home isn’t always as easy, or as relaxing, as it sounds. Video conferencing platforms and document sharing tools help us to connect and collaborate with our clients and co-workers, but how do we stay focused and motivated? Here are a few tips from our hard-at-work team!
rise and shine
As simple as it sounds, how you start the day can help create the day you’re looking for. We’re all creatures of habit, but whether you’re a morning glory or a night owl, try waking up 30 minutes earlier than you usually do and set the tone for the day.
Every morning, Mary starts her day at 5:45 am by working out and walking her dog Séamus. And then, she gets ‘dressed’ for work. Dressing professionally, even if she’s working from home, gives her an added sense of “normalcy”.
“When I make the time to do pilates and walk my dog Séamus at sunrise – my day always turns out better.”
Group Program Director
create your own distractions
Make sure your home workspace is comfortable, but not too comfortable. Many people’s “home offices” are actually quieter than their “work offices,” so having no distractions can actually…be a distraction. Play music, open a window, or find a spot with a view that engages you without sidetracking you.
Jonathan describes his at-home workspace as peaceful, though he misses the constant hum of the office, and the accidental hallway meetings and watercooler collaborations.
“I have an actual office I work in that’s quiet and free of distractions, on the top floor of our home. My desk faces windows, so I play ‘70s soft rock music throughout the house and enjoy a sunny, leafy bird’s-eye view of the neighborhood.”
Executive Creative Director
separate but equal
Working from home does have its perks, but drawing a line between personal and professional space is key. Set up a unique workspace away from your kitchen and out of your bedroom, avoiding the clutter and personal baggage that come with each.
Mark has made sure his workspace is for working, and his living space is for living. With a laptop, your office can be anywhere, so making a workspace that works is up to you.
“It’s helpful for me to separate my “home office” from my “home” and keep to “normal” work hours. Taking breaks is an important part of being comfortable and allows me to refuel, recharge and stay productive throughout the day.”
one screen at a time
Keeping up with clients and projects is a constant, but consider limiting your screen time beyond that. Social media is one of the best ways to stay connected and informed, but one of the easiest ways to get distracted. Take advantage of your own discipline or your smart phone’s screen limit feature to restrict time on your phone.
Like all of us, Jenn relies on email for the majority of her internal communications, so there’s not a lot of reason for her to be on her phone during the day. Jenn also unplugs by closing out of work tabs on her computer when she’s done for the day.
“There’s a lot of moving parts to being a project manager, so scheduling out when I’m going to be working on a specific thing is important. When I’m online, I tend to give myself a time limit for a certain task.”
Having creative pursuits outside of work can help keep your mind fresh. Working from home has allowed John to spend some of his newfound time (what commute?) focusing on his hobbies. By being closer to his home studio, he can spend more time painting after work.
“I’ve always had creative pursuits and hobbies outside of work. For years it was live music, and now it’s oil painting. When I have a few paintings I’m working on in my off hours, it gives my brain a fresh perspective for the design and storytelling I create during the day.”
give me a break
Routines are great for establishing balance, but we recommend taking breaks to make your day a bit more enjoyable and productive. From writer’s block to energy lags, we all have obstacles to overcome throughout the day, so do things that let your mind escape from work, even for a few moments.
The pandemic has allowed Joel to establish a new work/life balance – he now takes a more traditional lunch break and regularly checks in with his wife, while still maintaining his productive day.
“I think it’s critical to get away from the computer every 2-3 hours. I find myself getting fatigued with the computer screen and a lot of virtual events. Some days I try to finish my day at home for a change of scenery.”
Change is hard, and adapting takes focus and motivation. We’ve all had to adapt to a new environment – many of us by moving our workplace into our homes, where we lead an entirely different life. Not letting these worlds collide has been one of the many challenges of 2020. Here at MK3, each one of us has found our own form of balance, so that we are capable of doing what we’ve always done – getting things done. We hope our tips help you find a balance of your own.
MK3 values our internship program and has been offering college students the opportunity to gain real world marketing experience since 2009. Our interns work together to drive MK3’s digital marketing efforts, and with the help of file sharing and virtual meeting platforms, we’re collaborating with each other and the rest of the MK3 team while safely working remotely. As the seasons begin to change, we’re excited to welcome our three fall interns. These three talented women have already hit the ground running and we can’t wait to see what they’ll bring to the team! Meet Emerson, Ashley, and Sabrina!
Emerson is a rising junior at Brandeis University, majoring in American Studies with minors in Journalism and History. Outside the classroom, Emerson plays for the women’s volleyball team and writes for the Brandeis Hoot student newspaper. Due to the pandemic, she’s taking this semester off to focus on MK3’s Creative Marketing internship. Emerson works alongside our team to create blog posts, design social media content, and manage our email marketing.
Ashley is a first semester student-athlete at Emerson College, majoring in Sports Communication with a minor in Journalism. Beyond academics, she is a captain of the women’s basketball team and enjoys art as well as exploring new coffee shops around Boston. Ashley is MK3’s Content Marketing Intern this fall and helps to develop our social media and blog posts.
Sabrina is a senior at Boston University, majoring in Advertising and minoring in Psychology. Outside of her studies, she enjoys working with Boston University on Broadway (musical theater) and watching NBA and MLB games with her roommates. Sabrina is our Marketing Strategy Intern, contributing to the production of blog content and social media, and working with MK3’s account management team on our referral program.
Our interns are getting involved with our day-to-day operations as we enter our busy fall season and continue to play a crucial role at MK3. We value the contributions our interns offer, and the fresh perspective, insight and ideas they bring to the table each semester. MK3 specializes in telling our client’s stories, and now, our interns have the opportunity to tell our own.
We’re all acting and reacting to our changing landscape on a daily basis, but MK3 made a big change that pre-dates the pandemic. Meet Bryan Fusco, a production jack-of-all-trades dedicated to the details! He’s worked on feature films, including “Knives Out” and “Little Women,” so that makes him “kind of a big deal.” Check out this conversation with MK3’s new video editor and cinematographer and learn more about what makes him tick!
How has the shift to work-from-home impacted you?
B: It was definitely an odd time to start at MK3. I joined about a week and a half before the pandemic hit, so I was really just getting to know everyone and getting to know the space. I went from having a nice week and a great editing suite at MK3, to working in my bedroom at home!
What were you doing before MK3?
B: Before I joined MK3, I was working on union films, shooting in the Greater Boston area. I worked on “Knives Out,” “Little Women” and a film called “Coda.” The most important thing I learned working on larger film sets was not only how to do things efficiently and correctly, but how to do things safely. And that’s definitely something I’m looking forward to bringing to the table here at MK3 once we start shooting on location again.
What are you looking forward to at MK3?
B: The thing I’m looking forward to the most is working on the wide variety of projects that MK3 is known for and that we know we have coming up again. I know I’ll continue to learn something new and add something to my skill set with each new project I work on. I was really looking to join a close knit team of creatives, and I think I found that with MK3.
We’re looking forward to seeing more of what Bryan can do and sharing it with our clients! For more info about what the MK3 team can do for you, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In these days of social and professional distancing, MK3 continues to adapt as the environment changes around us. We’ve transitioned seamlessly to remote collaboration, converted corporate events from live to virtual, helped clients create user generated video content and customized stock footage in place of live action production. Like many other businesses, we’ve taken time to understand how clients have been impacted, and identified solutions and new practices that could stick around long after COVID does. For more, let’s listen in on a conversation with MK3’s founder & principal, Joel Kaplan.
What message did you have for the MK3 team transitioning to a work from home environment?
J: The goal for me is to get the team to come out on the other side of this exactly how we went in – as a well-oiled machine. I’ve asked everybody to make sure they take breaks, exercise, get away from their computer, spend time with family and make sure they are taking care of themselves. It’s really important to me that everyone takes this message to heart. I think it will only make your work life and your home life better.
How has communication with clients evolved in this new work environment?
J: Not only has MK3 had to change course, work from home, and support our families, but our clients are going through the same thing. So the conversations have actually been much more of a bonding experience, in terms of us understanding what they’re going through, and them understanding what we’re going through.
What does the future look like for MK3?
J: I wish I had a crystal ball, but there’s really no way of knowing exactly when normal is going to return. From a business perspective, MK3 will continue to do what we do best. Our product is key, our service is paramount and we can’t lose sight of that.
Change is inevitable, and we’re continuing to adapt and collaborate with our clients – while always moving forward as restrictions continue to lift!
“Come to me with solutions, not just problems.” This is something I tell my team all the time. In our business, and our world, we encounter problems every day, but the question is – what do we do with the problems we encounter?
The story of Collette Divitto and Collettey’s Cookies is an inspiring example of turning problems into solutions, rather than focusing on the problem.
After graduating from a LIFE program at Clemson University, Collette spent three years trying to find a job. Interview after interview, she was told, “We enjoyed meeting you Collette, but we don’t think you’re a good fit for our company right now.”
Collette was born with Down Syndrome, and each organization she interviewed with saw her disability as a problem. However, Collette saw a solution. She decided to focus her time, entrepreneurial spirit, and passion for baking on her business Collettey’s Cookies.
“I was not only determined to show everyone how capable people with (dis)abilities are, but my mission is to open production facilities across the country and employ thousands of (dis)abled people! ONLY 17.5% of people with disabilities were employed in 2015. Most people with disabilities live on poverty level.” – Collette Divitto
Since the inception of Collettey’s Cookies, Collette has sold 50,000 cookies (and counting!) She has now hired two other people with disabilities, and she sells her cookies across eastern Massachusetts and in Santa Monica, CA. And, she now has a customer in Charlestown, MA. (MK3 has ordered our first batch!)
We don’t all face the same challenges as Collette, but every day we face problems large and small. And when problems arise here at MK3, we try to embrace Collette’s attitude. We don’t let bumps in the road get in our way. We get creative and come to the table with solutions. Just like Collette.
By Joel Kaplan, Principal
Sometimes we just need an outlet for our competitive spirit.
One Friday in August, MK3 spent an afternoon rowing on the Charles with Community Rowing Inc, a non-profit that seeks to provide “community rowing for all.” CRI runs corporate outings to support their mission of providing rowing lessons for high school youth and kids with disabilities, making the sport accessible to those who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to compete.
After learning the basics and getting comfortable on the water, MK3 broke off into teams and raced along the river. (My team won, in case you were wondering). Thanks to our friends at CRI, no one fell in the water, no oars were broken, and we all had a good time.
On Monday though, it was time to “way enough” (that’s rowing lingo for “stop!”) and return to what we do best—storytelling. We’ll leave the rowing to CRI.
By Ann Gennaro, Project Manager/Associate Producer