company culture

Team continued: six sides to Melissa Ruscitti, associate art director

At continued, we have a team that is more like a family. What’s our common DNA? A willingness to collaborate, high levels of motivation, an appreciation for others, creative thinking, and a passion for lifelong learning. Get to know our family member Melissa Ruscitti and how she illustrates the six sides to our story

In addition to graphic design, Ruscitti enjoys hand drawing anything from maps to her family (pictured). She has produced many hand-drawn illustrations for continued’s website and branding materials.
Melissa Ruscitti joined the continued family four years ago as a graphic designer and was recently promoted to associate art director.

She is part of the small but mighty team that designs all branding materials for continued and its family of learning sites. 

Before joining continued, Ruscitti spent a decade in the classroom teaching art to middle and high school students. She transitioned to continued’s 100 percent virtual team before the birth of her now 4-year-old son, which has afforded her better work–life balance and the ability to pursue her interest and talent in graphic design full time. 

Ruscitti lives outside of Philadelphia in Sicklerville, New Jersey, with her husband and son and enjoys being an easy drive to both the beach and major metropolitan areas. 

"I am the luckiest—I get paid to draw things, and I am usually in comfy pants when I do it! The best part of my job though is collaborating with super talented and passionate people and getting to learn new things all of the time."

Ruscitti catches up with CEO Tony Perlak and colleague Jennifer Wetzel at the 2018 company meeting in Atlanta. Ruscitti says some of her favorite company memories come from these annual company-wide gatherings, which are filled with hugs and a lot of laughter.
What do you like best about your job?

What is not to like? I always say that I am the luckiest—I get paid to draw things, and since we're virtual, I am usually in comfy pants when I do it! The best part of my job though is collaborating with super talented and passionate people and getting to learn new things all of the time.

What is your remote office like? 

I have an office in our rancher, so I’m never too far away from the excitement! My son started school recently after being home with a nanny for the past four years. My two cats are still there to keep me company and usually sleep in my office (but always need to leave as soon as I close the door and get on a call!). I just got a motorized standing desk (thanks to our company's wellness stipend!) that I love, and there is always coffee (cream, no sugar) and a planner on there—I still prefer notes and tasks analog versus digital. 

"Trust in the process." - Melissa Ruscitti

One of Ruscitti’s many hand-drawn illustrations.
When you were growing up, what was your dream job? Is any part of that still true?

I wanted to be an astronaut, but that dream quickly changed to artist. Being an astronaut would have never worked for me—I get sick on Disney’s teacup ride—but the artist dream stuck and is still what I love to do today.

What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?

  • I am an obsessive doodler. It helps me focus, listen, organize thoughts, and calm anxiety. 
  • I like to draw maps. I’ve made over 500 maps for people all over from Quito to Queens.  
  • I got married to my love and partner on our 12-year anniversary. It was really awesome to stand up in front of our families and choose each other even after all this time. 

"I would recommend this company to anyone without hesitation. No matter what rung of the ladder you’re on, you’re made to feel you have a seat at the table and are respected for the work you do."

Melissa Ruscitti with husband, Dave, and their 4-year-old son, Nate.
Excluding faith, family, or friends, what are three things you can’t live without?

  1. Coffee
  2. Cats
  3. Pens of all kinds 

Is there a particular mantra you live by?

Trust the process. It started as an art-making mantra but evolved to really represent my entire life. It’ll be messy at times, but as long as you’re making that next step, not overthinking, and still moving, the process will get you somewhere—maybe not where you thought but someplace important.

Meet more members of our team 

09.13.19


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