Marc Scibelli, Chief Creative Officer of Infor, is an ambitious creative. Under his leadership, Hook & Loop is reimagining Infor’s brand identity and reinventing its products with a user experience that’s intuitive, engaging, and purposeful.
As an Infor Scholar, I was interested in learning about Marc’s own internship experience—and in interviewing the CCO, of course! Read on to find out about Marc’s career beginnings, the best advice he’s ever received, and why he thinks creatives are natural-born leaders.
In college you were an intern at New York’s Newsday. What was that experience like?
It was the most important thing I’ve ever done. Just to set the scene for you: I was 18 years old and attending a decent—but not prestigious—university, majoring in visual communications, all while working retail and other odd jobs full-time.
Newsday always felt like a big deal to me. They’re based near my hometown and college campus and, at the time, they were the sixth largest newspaper in the country. Their internship program was well-known because they hired dozens of interns every summer—but mostly Ivy League kids. I knew if I wanted a chance, I needed to stand out. I tailored my portfolio to Newsday’s graphic style—I spent weeks creating new maps and infographics. I guess I impressed someone there—I got the internship, and it was great. Eventually, I was even hired full-time when I was still in school.
At Newsday I learned how to be humble, how to meet deadlines, how to constantly improve—all things that are still helpful to this day. And, maybe for the first time in my life, I learned my value. Every day my illustrations made it into the paper with my name in six-point type in the corner. That kind of frequency was unusual.
What advice do you have for leaders who work with millennials?
I’ve heard many managers express that they're worried about millennials taking their jobs or marginalizing them. Good—you should be. This cycle has been going on forever. You just need to add value. Nurture those behind you and everything will work out. Bottom line: don’t be scared, be better.
What’s the most surprising thing the Infor Scholars will learn this summer?
The Scholars will need to become great problem solvers—and I know they will—but actually feeling the weight of that responsibility will be challenging. Other than that, this experience, I hope, will give them a taste of real life. They’ll learn that no matter how cool a job seems, it’s still work, and, sometimes, it can be boring. It just hits you at one point—the realization that you have to be somewhere every single day.
What do you think young people who are starting their careers bring to the workplace?
Young hires—they’re so enthusiastic, and it’s great when they’re excited to dip their hands into every project they can. When they come in with the attitude that every challenge opens a new possibility, then they are tremendously appreciated.
What guidance can you give to creatives who are currently in the workforce?
Now that business leaders are learning how dynamic creatives are, they’re bringing them closer to the business side of their organizations. Creatives have this innate flexibility that is necessary for success in business. They don’t just attack a problem through one lens. They look at all of their options and figure out a plan of action—one that might be unusual, but will work.
But here’s the thing, it’s essential for creatives to get out of their comfort zones and educate themselves on the business side. Coupled with their natural curiosity and problem solving skills, I believe creatives are a natural fit for leadership roles.
Do you have any words of wisdom for the Infor Scholars?
Add value to your team. Get into the thick of it and try to help however you can. If you see something that needs to be rethought or changed, speak up. If you’re asked to do a simple task, do it right—and if you think it can be bigger, make it bigger. When you add value to your team you become an asset, and that’s how you’ll succeed here.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Shut Up.” Seriously, stop trying to show everyone what you know. Ambition is great, but cockiness isn’t. Take it all in. Just listen, digest, and when you have insight, it’ll be received.
Adam Poplawski is an Infor Summer Scholar on the Hook & Loop writing team. He attends Macaulay Honors College and is a part of the CUNY Baccalaureate Program. This fall he will study abroad in Prague.
Photos by Dominique Goncalves. Dominique is an Infor Summer Scholar on the Hook & Loop video team. She attends the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.