A dedicated and quick-witted writer, Monica Chen’s skills in marketing are undeniable. The face behind much of FableVision’s social media content and client communications, Monica is constantly changing and adapting to the demands of her role. Clients are always in good hands with Monica—a professional, yet personal, experience is guaranteed when Monica is leading the charge.
Monica juggles countless tasks throughout her days as FableVision’s Marketing Coordinator, and balances her responsibilities skillfully. A master manager of schedules, spreadsheets, and creative communications projects big and small, there is no job that Monica cannot handle.
“A lot of my focus as a writer has been on the human experience,” Monica says. “I definitely think that translates into how I approach writing marketing content for the studio because I constantly try to consider how the people we design and develop media for, not just our clients but also the audiences who will be using the product, will read the content and internalize the messaging.”
Monica is a 2018 graduate of Ithaca College with a passion for writing, music, and Chipotle. An admirer of art in all forms and a passionate storyteller, Monica blends seamlessly into FableVision’s mission of making “stories that matter, stories that move.”
Tell us about your FableJourney! How did you hear about FableVision and what brought you here?
I heard about FableVision when I was introduced to Sarah Ditkoff, FableVision’s Communications Director, by an Ithaca College (IC) alum. After emailing back and forth with Sarah a couple of times, I came in for an informational interview at the studio. During that meeting, I told Sarah a bit about my life, what I studied at IC, my previous marketing experiences, and where I was in the job search process. She gave me some more information on FableVision Studios, as well as advice for me as someone looking to enter the marketing field fresh out of college. I remember leaving that meeting and texting my best friend in the elevator before I even left the building: “This place is everything I’ve ever wanted in a job. I want to work here so bad.” At the time, there were no open positions, but a few months later Sarah emailed me about the open Marketing Coordinator position, and I immediately jumped at the opportunity to apply.
How do you approach marketing and outreach for FableVision? From your vantage point, what’s unique about our place in the industry?
When I first started working here at FableVision, I really appreciated and continue to appreciate the time and care we put into how we talk to our audiences and how we talk about our projects. When we speak with clients and prospective clients, we’re not just marketing products, but really we’re marketing the talent and skills in the studio. We’re marketing the experience of working with us and the impact that the product—whether it be a game, an app, a website, an animation, or something else—can have on the people our client wants to reach. In our outreach, we focus on the learning outcomes and the positive messages of our projects to provide helpful resources and supplementary tools to help learning spaces engage students. And because of where we are in the edtech industry, we can focus on the larger goal of fostering creativity and lifelong learning in everything we write and post.
You recently graduated from Ithaca College. Tell us a little bit about your education there!
I majored in writing and minored in integrated marketing communications and the Honors Program. Although I chose not to pursue a specific concentration within the writing major, a large part of my focus was on fiction and poetry. I had some incredible mentors in the Writing Department and, with their support, I was able to complete a lot of projects I am quite proud of, including a number of short stories, a collection of poetry, and a short novel. In my minor courses, I studied a wide range of marketing-related topics, including strategic communication, public relations, advertising, copywriting and art direction, graphic design, and generalized marketing strategy.
Outside of my courses, I also had the opportunity to participate in many extracurricular activities, student organizations, research projects, and community service activities. One of my favorite projects was the Ithaca Pan Asian American Film Festival, which I helped plan during the last three years of my undergraduate career. As part of the festival planning process, I took the film festival class. In the course, we watched and discussed Asian American films, studied the historical and social context behind Asian American representation in media, helped organize and plan festival activities, and corresponded with festival participants, filmmakers, and sponsors. One of my main roles on the marketing committee was designing our marketing materials. My first year with the festival, I just started learning graphic design in my minor, so I had to teach myself how to use Photoshop (with the help of a lot of YouTube tutorials) in order to create the posters and brochures we needed. The following two years, I designed the majority of the posters, brochures, flyers, and other marketing materials. It was a great learning opportunity for me and the skills I gained from creating those deliverables helped me a lot in my marketing and advertising courses, as well as in my internships and eventually my marketing career after graduating.
As both a practicer and consumer of art, what is your favorite art museum that you’ve been to? What is one you’re dying to visit?
For practically my whole life, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston was my favorite art museum because when I was growing up, my dad would often take me there on weekends and during school vacation. It will always have a special place in my heart; however, the Van Gogh Museum is definitely another top contender. I was able to visit the museum two years ago when I took a trip to Amsterdam during my semester abroad in Ireland. Vincent Van Gogh has been my favorite artist for years and seeing his life chronicled through his art was incredibly moving. I cried while watching a documentary showcase at the museum—the way he captured the beauty in the world around him despite his intense internal struggles has always had a big impact on my view of life and of my own art and writing.
One of the museums that has been at the top of my list to visit is MORI Building DIGITAL ART MUSEUM: teamLab Borderless in Tokyo. Digital art is definitely something I have become more interested in as I have learned more about graphic design. Also, from what I’ve seen in pictures and videos, the museum has some really captivating and beautiful exhibits.
If you had unlimited time and resources to pick up one new skill or hobby, what would it be?
I would love to learn how to make videos, including filming and editing. As someone who has spent countless hours watching videos on YouTube, I am always in awe of the creativity of a lot people on the platform. While some of the YouTubers I watch have backgrounds in media production or film, the majority of them taught themselves filming and editing tricks over time as they continued to post content, or they got help from other YouTubers. I think video is an exciting avenue for storytelling, especially with the mix of visuals and audio. I am always impressed by those who experiment with language, music, transitions, animation, effects, and so on in their videos. Video is something I’d love to explore in both a personal and professional manner.
We’ve heard you’re really into seeing live music! If you had to pick any three bands or artists, what would be your dream concert lineup to go see?
This is an incredibly difficult question, so I’m going to start off by saying that my number one dream concert lineup would probably be 5 Seconds of Summer, Panic! at the Disco, and Queen.
I’m going to follow that statement up, however, with a list of other dream concert lineups because I’ve always been terrible at picking favorites: All Time Low, Blink-182, and 5 Seconds of Summer. All past and current members of Celtic Thunder, in any combination to create a three band or artist lineup. Little Mix, 5 Seconds of Summer, and Panic! at the Disco. All Time Low, Marianas Trench, and 5 Seconds of Summer. Mayday Parade, All Time Low, and My Chemical Romance. Paramore, Fall Out Boy, and Panic! at the Disco. ONE OK ROCK, All Time Low, and 5 Seconds of Summer. Waterparks, ONE OK ROCK, and 5 Seconds of Summer. Go Radio, Mayday Parade, and State Champs. 2NE1, Epik High, and Big Bang. EXO, GOT7, and BTS.
Favorite Panic! at the Disco song: “Nine in the Afternoon.”
Fiction or Nonfiction? Fiction.
Sunrise or sunset? Sunset.
Early bird or night owl? Night owl.
Book or Kindle? Book.
“Modern art,” yes or no? YES.
Favorite genre of music? Pop punk.
Best Boston sport? Hockey, of course (I grew up playing ice hockey)—go Bruins!
Chipotle order: White rice, black beans, chicken, mild and medium salsa, corn, cheese, guacamole, and lettuce. I also like to add the Chipotle and regular Tabasco sauces on top. I would eat this every day for every meal if I could.