Senior Graphic Designer
While working at a boutique design firm for nearly 12 years, Marina Hoffberger had preconceived notions about the financial services industry. She assumed a financial services firm wouldn't provide an inspiring environment favored by graphic designers and other creatives. But a workplace leadership change prompted her to look for other opportunities, and for the past four years, she's been thriving at T. Rowe Price.
"My friend who worked at T. Rowe Price would talk at length about how great it was to work there," Marina recalls. She immediately applied when the firm posted an opening for a senior graphic designer. During the interview process, Marina was blown away by the firm's associates and the work they were doing— the designs and storytelling were thoughtful and explained complicated concepts. She also remembers speaking with designers working on an exhibit design for retirement plans. "It was clever, it was all on brand, but it was all very different," she says. "I loved the idea that there were many different mediums to work on beyond the print form."
As a senior graphic designer with T. Rowe Price, Marina has designed everything from race car wraps to web pages for individual investor audiences. At first, she wasn't confident her boutique design firm background would translate to working at T. Rowe Price. "My hiring manager emphasized that it was a positive for me to have a diverse background, expertise, and capabilities," she says. "That was appealing to me— the whole idea of designing experiences. I liked the idea of a new challenge and learning a new industry, but applying the same skill set and capabilities."
The members of her team at T. Rowe Price are continually challenging each other and reevaluating the best approach for a project. They're always pushing the envelope in terms of design and execution. "It's essentially visual problem solving to help people understand very complex topics to make important decisions. We think about what we're creating and why we're creating it," Marina explains. "As a designer, it makes the design that much more meaningful and aesthetically pleasing."
Marina quickly got to work when her art director asked if any of the designers would volunteer to help the PRIDE @ T. Rowe Price business resource group (BRG) redesign its logo. The BRG's mission is to create an environment where all associates can bring their full selves to work each day. "I had a lot of work, but I missed doing brand work and translating it to other materials," Marina says. Many designs were submitted, but in the end, Marina's logo concept was selected. "That led to spin-off supporting projects for the next year with PRIDE, and I was so happy I got involved. I met interesting individuals, worked on different projects, and understood more about our company and its diversity."
She witnessed firsthand how the different resource groups bring people together within the firm, but she also noticed them giving back to the surrounding community. PRIDE @ T. Rowe Price has chapters at the firm's different offices worldwide, so Marina discovered how the brand work shifted to meet the audience in Japan or the United Kingdom, for example. As a native of Belarus, where she was excluded from accessing certain educational opportunities due to her faith, working with PRIDE @ T. Rowe Price had profound meaning. "It's been rewarding in the type of work and the feeling that I'm contributing towards something bigger than myself," she says.
She cautions those coming from other industries or backgrounds not to make the same mistake and write off workplaces like T. Rowe Price without investigation. "Make far fewer assumptions and pay less attention to stereotypes. Don't just accept the preconceived notion that a corporate environment will be stifling. There's likely way more there than meets the eye," she says. "I would also say that it doesn't matter how much experience you have. Starting over can be very humbling, but it will be okay. Just take the leap of faith."