Idea Ambassador

Job Titles of the Future: Kristin Shanley Milburn

Who: Kristin Shanley Milburn
Company: 2think Inc.
Age: 31
Has held title for: One year
Previous title: VP and account supervisor at Medicus Communications

Sometimes the global staff of 40 design and development free agents at 2think needs a little shuttle diplomacy. That's the job of Kristin Shanley Milburn, idea ambassador for the New York-based digital design firm. 2think creates Web sites and interactive tools for clients such as CNNSI.com, General Mills, and the U.S. Navy.

As an ambassador, who are your constituents?

I represent the ideas themselves. In this new digital industry, lines are often blurred between disciplines. So we have to champion good ideas no matter where they originate. I'm the go-between for all parties: the designers, the programmers, and the clients.

How do you maintain peaceful relations?

I'm definitely more of a diplomat than a dictator. I listen to everyone's ideas, then I open up a dialogue. The clients and the agency boast equally talented people, and I'm the liaison who allows individuals to do what they do best.

Are there language barriers?

Sometimes the clients and the agency staff can't communicate because they're speaking different languages, so I act as the interpreter. If a client looks at a design and says, "We want the logo 50% bigger," I might say to the designers, "The client feels their logo needs more emphasis." The designers can then consider creative solutions to the problem.

Nancy Einhart (n-einhart@northwestern.edu) is a former Fast Company intern.

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