A Pandemic Pivot

defined as an unexpected career change due to an unforeseen global crisis

After losing my job at an award-winning restaurant in Brooklyn, I began the ultimate pandemic pivot into the exciting field of design. What started as a quarantine project to refresh my personal website quickly turned into a new-found passion. Since June, 2020, I’ve worked with emerging small businesses to nail down their brand strategy and voice, visual identity, and build converting websites that show off their signature services.

While this career change came unexpectedly due to a global crisis, in hindsight it doesn’t feel that far removed. From 2015 — 2020 I grew through New York City’s hospitality industry while simultaneously assisting women-led creative entrepreneurs such as commercial and editorial photographers and a founder of a small online magazine. 

The service industry taught me what it means to give an exceptional experience that goes above expectations and anticipates needs, even before they’re known. Working with strong female founders showed me the importance of creative thinking, a willingness to explore the unknown, and the power of collaboration. 

I am currently seeking a full-time position in UX/UI design or project management. After a year serving freelance clients, I'm most excited about User Experience & User Design that taps into big-picture thinking that extends to all corners of a brand's digital presence and ultimately turns users into loyal brand advocates.

Brand & Web Designer — Big Wave Studio, May 2020 - Present
Guide creative small businesses to share their brand story through consistent imagery & design
Design and develop websites for service providers & emerging e-commerce brands

Virtual Assistant — Quill & Co. Design, August 2020 - April 2021
Assisted a brand and web designer with social media content creation, copywriting, email marketing, funnel development, and sales page creation
Utilized tools such as Flodesk, Zapier, Deadline Funnel, & Notion for operational tasks 
Executed website changes to studio website for sales pages for course launches 

Blog Writer — Rose Bowman Photography, July 2020 - October 2020
Wrote both session recaps and informational/educational blog posts for a growing wedding photographer based in Atlanta, Georgia 
Built blog layout design in Squarespace and curated images for blog posts

Studio Assistant — Yumi Matsuo Studio, November 2019 - March 2020
Duties included helping on sets, culling and organizing images, writing blog posts, developing canned email responses, and email newsletter content creation

Photo Assistant — Freelance, October 2018 – March 2020
Helped photographers stay organized throughout commercial, editorial, & corporate shoots
Responsible for lighting development, set-up, and break down 

Server — Lilia, April 2019 - March 2020
Worked as a team player at a chef-driven, award-winning Italian restaurant 
Possessed in-depth knowledge of a complex food & beverage program that changed daily

Studio Intern — Winnie Au Photography, October 2018 - January 2019 
Wrote copy for quarterly newsletters, client email correspondence, and social media posts
Assisted both photo and styling teams on commercial photoshoots
Executed with website changes to maintain an updated portfolio 

Editorial Assistant — New Worlder, June 2016 - January 2018
Assistant to the editor-in-chief of a food, travel, & culture online magazine 
Developed social media copy and strategy across all platforms 
Grew a new Instagram from a few hundred followers to 10K
Responsible for website layout, photo editing, editorial planning, and newsletter content creation





Brand & Web Designer — Big Wave Studio, May 2020 - Present

— Guide creative small businesses to share their brand story through consistent imagery & design
— Design and develop websites for service providers & emerging e-commerce brands

Virtual Assistant — Quill & Co. Design Co., August 2020 - April 2021

— Assisted a brand and web designer with social media content creation, copywriting, email marketing, funnel development, and sales page creation
—Utilized tools such as Flodesk, Zapier, Deadline Funnel, & Notion for operational tasks 
— Executed website changes to studio  sales pages for course launches 

Blog Writer — Rose Bowman Photography, July 2020 - October 2020

— Wrote both session recaps and informational/educational blog posts for a growing wedding photographer based in Atlanta, Georgia 
— Built blog layout design in Squarespace and curated images for blog posts

Studio Assistant — Yumi Matsuo Studio, November 2019 - March 2020
Duties included helping on sets, culling and organizing images, writing blog posts, developing canned email responses, and email newsletter content creation

Photo Assistant — Freelance, October 2018 – March 2020

— Helped photographers stay organized throughout commercial, editorial, & corporate shoots
— Responsible for lighting development, set-up, and break down 

Server — Lilia, April 2019 - March 2020

— Worked as a team player at a chef-driven, award-winning Italian restaurant 
— Possessed in-depth knowledge of a complex food & beverage program that changed daily

Studio Intern — Winnie Au Photography, October 2018 - January 2019 

—Wrote copy for quarterly newsletters, client email correspondence, and social media posts
— Executed website changes to maintain an updated portfolio
— Assisted both photo and styling teams on commercial photoshoots 

Editorial Assistant — New Worlder, June 2016 - January 2018

— Assistant to the editor-in-chief of a food, travel, & culture online magazine 
— Developed social media copy and strategy across all platforms 
— Grew a new Instagram from a few hundred followers to 10K
— Responsible for website layout, photo editing, editorial planning, and newsletter content creation





Systems & Skills:

Project Management

Adobe Suite

User Design

Adobe XD

Figma

User Research

Big Picture Thinking

Brand Strategy

Copywriting

Interests:

Education:

Experience:

Canisius College, Buffalo, NY: Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and Spanish with an Integrated Marketing Concentration, All College Honors Program, Class of 2015.

Canisius College, Buffalo, NY:

Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and Spanish with an Integrated Marketing Concentration, All College Honors Program, Class of 2015.

Resume:

ABILITIES:

Direct Communicator

Fast Learner

Excellent Writer 

Team Player

Universidad de Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain, Spring 2014
Semester program with coursework in Spanish writing, translation, and history 

Lorenzo de’Medici International Institute, Florence, Italy, Fall 2013 
Semester program with classes in international advertising, marketing, and public relations

Universidad de Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain, Spring 2014

Semester program with coursework in Spanish writing, translation, and history 

Lorenzo de’Medici International Institute, Florence, Italy, Fall 2013 

Semester program with classes in international advertising, marketing, and public relations

INternational Studies

"I have worked with Liz since the end of 2019 and she has been such a driving force behind my business. 

She poured her heart into my photo studio and really took ownership of her role. Her passion and commitment towards her job is something you can't teach and I felt that right away. She started off as a photography intern culling and assisting on set, but she quickly made herself an invaluable part of my business and was promoted to be a part-time assistant. 

She is very creative and resourceful in the way she works, and was constantly looking for new solutions and systems for my business. She would check in with me often to see what could be improved upon and took feedback very well. She has excellent written communication skills and I found myself handing over most copy related items to her. 

She sets a very high standard for herself - good enough is not a part of her work vocabulary - and I am confident that she will demonstrate the same level of excellence and dedication towards her next position. 

Liz exemplifies many qualities of a good assistant, but above all, it is her reliability and trustworthiness that makes her such a strong candidate. She grew into this position on my team by putting in the hours and being an incredible support system that I could rely on."

— Yumi Matsuo, Founder of Yumi Matsuo Studio

"Having worked with Liz for nearly a year, I can speak to her integrity, attention to detail, and a commitment to a job done well. In her time at Lilia, she swiftly moved from server assistant - assisting captains in meeting our guests' needs - up to captain, where she delegated to our service team and guides our guests through flawless dining experiences. Liz is reliable, diligent, hardworking, and an absolute pleasure to be around; her commitment to the craft of anticipating others' needs is unparalleled."

— Alicia Blegen, General Manager of Lilia Ristorante

"Liz Harter was an able, curious, and responsible right hand for my editorial brand, New Worlder, for over two years. In addition to keeping our day-to-day edit on track, she was adept at social media, scheduling, regular correspondence with media and writers, as well as organization of assets for articles including photos and images. As our blog writer, she also managed our blog vertical, creating original posts about daily ongoings in the restaurant and travel spaces, as well as curated and compiled our monthly restaurant openings columns and seasonal hotel and book round-ups. She’s pleasant and kind, additionally, which made working with her a pleasure." 
                                        
— Marie Elena Martinez, Founder & Editor of New Worlder Magazine

Kind Words From Past Employers:

"Liz was an absolute joy to work with. She is organized, communicative and thorough. She takes the time to understand your vision to accurately execute on the first try. I have absolutely loved working with her and cannot wait until we do so again!"

— Rose Bowman of Rose Bowman Photography

"Before I hired Liz I was so overwhelmed with all of the tasks that needed to get done in a day. But I was really hesitant to release control over different areas of my business. I interviewed a handful of VAs and I instantly connected with Liz. I loved her energy, enthusiasm and she was really easy to talk to! 

Since I've had Liz's support, she has helped me with so many different things, from writing content like blog posts and newsletters to helping me set up tech and sales funnels. Liz is prompt, organized, eager to learn, and a self-starter. I couldn't recommend Liz enough!"

Marisa Messick of Quill & Co. Design