Get to Know Our Growing Team!

This past year and a half has been a year of changes for everyone (but you knew that already!). At 3Points, we’ve been fortunate to experience some welcome changes amidst the more difficult ones. On the services side, we added a new virtual event package, VPaaS, and greatly expanded our branding and design capabilities. On the personnel side, we added a stellar team of interns, two of whom have transitioned to full-time team members.

We are grateful to be able to keep growing, especially given that not all small businesses have been able to do so. With the team and skills that we have, we are excited for what the rest of 2021 will bring.

Keep reading to learn a little more about our newest team members and how they’ve stepped up to take on new challenges and move our business forward.

Shelby Ponder: From PR Intern to Pro

Shelby Ponder joined 3Points as a Fintech intern in December 2020 and quickly dived into learning about the industry. After a few months, she joined full-time as an account coordinator in March 2021. Her effective communication and desire to learn something every day enable her to develop successful client and media relationships.

Tell us a little about yourself!

I was born and raised in Atlanta, GA, and moved to Chicago in 2019 after graduating from the University of Georgia with a degree in public relations and Spanish. I grew up visiting Chicago and knew it would be a great place to try post-grad — and I’m loving it. Outside of work, I am always on some sort of adventure. I am a big soccer gal and am currently on two adult leagues that I look forward to playing in every week.

Going from intern to full-time team member, what is the biggest challenge you’ve experienced, and what are you looking forward to?

The biggest challenge I faced was going from the notetaker on calls to being the speaker. It can be intimidating to run meetings with executives at financial firms, but once you get the first one out of the way, the confidence builds.

I’m looking forward to learning more about the fintech space as the industry and 3Points continue to grow.

Danielle Cervelli: From Intern to Designer

Danielle Cervelli joined the team in November 2020 as a design intern, then in April 2021 joined the team as a graphic designer. Since her first day, Danielle has been creating outstanding design work for both 3Points and our clients.

Tell us a little about yourself!

I graduated from Illinois State University with a bachelor’s degree in graphic design and also have previous design studio experience, which assisted me in transitioning from intern to member of the 3Points design team. Outside of 3Points, I am often playing around with different mediums of art to see what I can create. I also spend a fair amount of time gaming with my friends over Discord; Valorant is currently my obsession.

As your role has been increased over time at 3Points, what are some of the new projects you have gotten to take on that you’ve enjoyed?

Some of my favorite projects I have gotten to work on have been the Regiment Alpha logo design project, Score Priority’s vector headshots, and in-house 3Points marketing materials. While designing for clients comes with its limitations, 3Points has an environment catered for creative freedom. The team encourages developing and refining new techniques and design skills that assist in the creation of forward-thinking, modern design. This mindset allows for amazing team collaboration on designs that not only exceed our expectations but the clients’ as well.

Do you have any advice for other designers out there trying to get opportunities in the communications industry?

My advice for designers trying to get into the communications industry would be to put in the extra effort of researching the target audience and be aware of design trends that are happening within the industry. Research is the key for inspiration and growth within your skillset as a designer. It is what has helped me the most in developing my skills and figuring out my strengths as a graphic designer.

Will Brendza: Leading the Social Push

Our summer Chicago Tech intern, Will Brendza, has a last name that may sound familiar to anyone who has been following 3Points. Will’s brother Chris was part of the 3Points team for two years before moving to Washington, D.C., this past June. Will’s writing skills have helped drive great results for our Chicago Tech clients and his creativity on 3Points’ Twitter has elevated our social media presence.

Tell us a little about yourself!

I’m a rising senior at the University of Notre Dame, majoring in marketing with a minor in history. I’m from Park Ridge, Illinois, which is northwest of Chicago — making me a Cubs fan, for better or worse. Outside of school and work, my favorite pastimes include watching movies with my friends (if we can decide on one; sometimes we just watch trailers), eating Italian food with my family (my favorite is gnocchi), and finding new music.

Being the second Brendza to walk in the door at 3Points, what was one piece of advice your brother gave you before starting?

Chris, as any good older brother would, for the most part let me dive into the deep end. He did give me some good advice, however — he recommended that I be proactive about speaking up to coworkers with edits and jumping in on calls. His general life advice to me is that I should be more like him, but (apart from attending the same college and working at the same company) I don’t always follow that too closely.

What has been the most enjoyable part of taking over the 3Points Twitter?

It’s been a great creative outlet so far. I’ve been on Twitter since I was in middle school, but I’ve never been much of a tweeter, so it’s been really fun to work with and bounce ideas off of people with a little more experience. It’s definitely been a lot of fun trying to keep up with social media trends and #memes and integrate them into topics that matter to us, like PR work or life in Chicago.

Is there anything in your internship up to this point that has surprised you?

One thing I learned early on is that you can’t do effective PR work without really knowing your client and the space it operates in, meaning you have to truly immerse yourself in its mission, values, and industry. This being the case, I’ve really enjoyed building a base of knowledge related to the industries in which our clients work — especially tech and sustainability. I’m looking forward to continuing to learn (ABL!) not just about our clients and the PR industry from an operational perspective, but also how we can help move our clients closer to their mission and the things they really care about.

Clare Moser: Bringing a Finance Degree to Fintech

Clare Moser joined us this summer as one of our two Fintech interns. With her knowledge of finance and marketing, Clare jumped right into the action, acing both client-facing materials and pitches from day one.

Tell us a little about yourself!

I started at 3Points this summer as one of the Fintech interns. This position felt like the perfect opportunity for me after graduating in May from the Lacy School of Business with a degree in finance and marketing. Not only do I get a little bit of action in both of those areas, but I also get to expand my public relations knowledge.

Growing up in the western suburbs of Chicago, I always knew I wanted to end up back here near my family and friends. In my free time, I like to try out new recipes, listen to music, and find new ways to work out. Most recently, my favorite workout activity has been riding the Peloton bike.

Learning a new industry can be tough. What has been the most interesting part about that learning?

I agree that learning a new industry can be difficult, but I hit the ground running at 3Points. The team allowed me to get my hands dirty and start working with clients almost immediately. I appreciate this approach because I learn best by doing.

The most interesting part of my internship so far has been being part of a prospective client proposal my first week on the job, then watching that company become a client. Seeing that from start to finish was awesome. I am now the secondary person on that account and am getting a ton of experience with the industry.

Given that you often work directly with Drew, what have you learned from him during your internship?

My last two years of college, the most important years in my opinion, were surrounded by COVID-19. Not only was I unable to attend in-person classes or meet up with teachers, I was also unable to use our career services office or develop any type of mentorship. This was something I felt I needed, and upon my arrival at 3Points, Drew filled that spot. He took me under his wing and made for an easy transition into the business. I think I have learned a lot through exposure. Right off the bat, Drew was adding me to his client meetings and new business proposals. As my internship continues, I hope to continue immersing myself in the PR sector while also expanding my financial literacy.

Carly Cao: From Bio to Bitcoin

The newest member of our team, Carly Cao, became our second Fintech intern in July, but has already hit the ground running. Whether she’s writing a pitch or executing client social media content, Carly brings a can-do attitude and gets it done.

Tell us a little about yourself!

I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and graduated from Trinity College (Hartford, CT) in 2020 with a degree in biology, concentrating in organismal and evolutionary biology. I initially intended to be a pre-vet student at Trinity, but quickly realized it wasn’t necessarily the right path for me; still, my love for animals and wildlife is prevalent in other aspects of my life.

In my free time, I love finding and listening to new music, being active outdoors (currently I’m on a yoga kick and I love rollerblading on the lakefront), and spending quality time with my friends.

What are you most excited for in your internship, and how has it been up to this point?

Coming from a science background, I’m eager to immerse myself in a new industry and to learn the ins and outs of fintech and PR. Regarding the internship specifically, I am excited for the opportunity to work directly with clients and be part of the action. So far it has been great! I am already learning a ton and, although it can be daunting, it’s rewarding to expand my knowledge and vocabulary.

Have you learned anything new or unexpected about our clients or the industries we work in?

Absolutely. I’ve of course learned so much about fintech and am continuing to absorb as much as I can, but I have also learned a ton about PR. The crossover between the two is unique, and it is definitely keeping me on my toes. One client I am super interested in is BitGive. It is a nonprofit organization that utilizes cryptocurrencies and blockchain to facilitate philanthropy. It is pretty cool to watch this space (crypto) bleed into other industries and work toward a tangible goal.

As you can see, the 3Points team hasn’t just grown in numbers, but in new skills and perspectives. Our interns and new full-time hires have been making an amazing impact, whether they’re creating new exciting visuals or crafting expert posts and pitches.

We hope you enjoyed learning more about our growing 3Points team. If you’re interested in becoming part of our team, please check out our careers page.

PR & Communications for Fintech & Chicago Tech. www.3ptscomm.com