Five Rounds – Round Five


For the last round of 5 Rounds, we’re talking with our experts on the perks. As a reminder, our experts are:

Deanna Dionne, Creative Contractor
Jim Masie, Senior Graphic Designer at AmTrust Financial Services, Inc.
Chris Haas, Art Director at Flourish Agency

If you missed the first four rounds, read them here: Round 1 (the office), Round 2 (the work), Round 3 (the people), Round 4 (the worst).



DD: Per job. I did have one client who I’m on a monthly retainer with. I would keep track of my hours just so we understand how much time I’m spending on projects.

JM: I am paid every two weeks on Friday. I am a salaried employee. Money is direct-deposit into my banking account.

CH: Bi-weekly, salary


DD: Never in my life. I get as many vacation days as I want, if I’m smart about scheduling projects and managing my finances.

JM: My last vacation was July 2016. I can take 25 days (15 vacation, 5 personal days, 5 sick days). I’m a big believer of taking time off to re-charge my batteries. Normally, I take off a full week for summer vacation and during the Christmas/New Year’s Eve holidays. I take some time off around Easter Break as well. That ranges 3 to 5 business days.

CH: Every year you get a set amount of paid vacation time, this amount differs per person based on employment length and negotiated amount. I receive roughly 2 weeks


DD: No, I’m responsible for my own healthcare cost. Don’t get me started.

JM: Yes, but I do not patriciate in my employer’s healthcare program (my insurance is through my wife’s employer).

CH: Yes.


DD: I work in an artist’s community, and we all don’t have 9-5 jobs, so when I start feeling cooped up I might go hang out at the recording studio down the hall or see if someone wants to grab lunch. If nobody’s around and I’m sick of being alone, I love Cleveland coffeeshops…!

JM: My favorite part is the people; I’m blessed with a great supervisor, and quality co-workers. AmTrust truly hires the best talent and pays well for it!

CH: Being in the heart of downtown, coworkers, and the type of work we produce, flex time.


DD: The freedom to dictate my own time. This has allowed me to start my own business and not miss out on opportunities, like setting up an upcycling display for EarthFest at CSU on a Wednesday– I don’t have to ask anyone’s permission.

JM: My supervisor allows for total creative freedom, so am I able to design without limitations (long as I am within our brand standards). Also, there is no micromanaging and/or somebody looking over my shoulder.

CH: I have enjoyed the amount of creative freedom I get on all of my projects.


DD: I love working with small businesses one-on-one to really understand what their aim is and what I can do to help. I also love being multi-faceted and being able to have my hand in every aspect of a business’ needs. And then applying everything I’ve learned to my own business has been extremely rewarding.

JM: My reward is when my client/supervisor/co-workers are happy with my work. Especially when I receive special recognition or a simple thank-you. I take a lot of pride in delivering quality creative in a timely and efficient matter. To me, that is the greatest reward as a Graphic Designer.

CH: Seeing your work out in the wild and having creative work that is semi-permanent or permanent.

By Kassey Sikora
Published November 28, 2017