A Creative Mind: Interview with Stefanie Torossian


In the Fall of 2019, Stefanie Torossian joined CIANA’s team as a Communications Intern. Under the supervision of then-Director of Development and Communications Maria Eliades, and later under NYIC VISTA Micah Dicker, Stefanie made a significant portion of CIANA’s fliers that are visible at CIANA, online, as well as around Queens in local businesses. Stefanie sat down with Micah to reflect on her experience at CIANA and how she will carry it into her professional life.

Micah Dicker: How long have you been at CIANA?

Stefanie Torossian: I’ve been at CIANA for I believe four months, since the beginning of September, September 3. I think it’s been about 4 months, or 3 and a half months.

MD: What kinds of projects have done while you’ve been here?

ST: I’ve done fliers, graphics, and I would say general administrative stuff, like scanning documents and assisting with anything else that needs to be done.

MD: What drew you to CIANA? How did you hear about us?

ST: I was looking for internships and when I noticed CIANA’s internship, I knew I wanted to apply. I thought it would be cool to help immigrants and to make designs. I really love making designs, so that’s what really attracted me to the internship.

MD: Cool! How long have you been making designs, posters, and fliers and things like that?

ST: I would say it’s pretty recent. This is the second semester I’m majoring in Design, so it’s still pretty new, but I really love it. The field I want to get into is called UX/UI, so everything I’m doing right now, like figuring out the visual hierarchy in fliers, what people see first, I really love that. So I figured by doing a lot of design work, I can improve my experience in that area and try to gravitate towards UX/UI.

MD: What’s the field called again?

ST: UX/UI: User EXperience/User Interface- where you create the user interface for apps and websites.

MD: Oh ok, cool. What’s been your favorite that thing that you’ve promoted during your time at CIANA? ST: I would say the flier where I encouraged immigrants to vote, because I thought it was really fun having to play with the type and putting designs. Instead of treating text like just reading information, you learn more about what the flier is promoting, and I wanted to add design to it, so that was pretty cool.

MD: What were some challenging moments you had when making designs?

ST: A challenge was, in the beginning, brainstorming what a design could look like. What would really help me was just making basic wireframes, where the text and images could be placed. I would say that’s the most challenging part, and then I would make a few different versions of it, so it’s not like I’m stuck with one.

MD: Are there any other memories at CIANA that stand out?

ST: Just coming here, especially in the beginning when I started working here, it was really cool being a part of a non-profit because I’ve never worked for a non-profit before, and seeing what it was like and everything that CIANA offers, like free classes to immigrants, it was just really cool being a part of that.

Some of the fliers and graphics that Stefanie made have not been used yet, so even though she is no longer at CIANA, her work will still be a part of us.

#career #volunteer