My Senior Project Recap - Rocky River High School

My Duo Experience


Hello! My name is Ellie Milius, and I am a graduating senior at Rocky River High School. At the end of our senior year, we have the opportunity to shadow a professional of our choice for two weeks, something we call “senior project.” When I heard about this opportunity, I immediately knew that I wanted to take advantage of it.


Growing up, I spent the majority of my time creating things. You could always find me with paintbrushes and markers in my hands. I often designed signage for the many lemonade stands that my sister and I had. I simply was in love with designing anything that I could. As I got older, the creative spirit inside of me only continued to blossom.



I’ve always known that I want to have a job that allows my creative spirit to get to work. Being a people person, I also want to be able to help others every day. With these ideas in mind, I ventured to the internet to see which professions would fit my interests. Almost immediately, I found that graphic design and marketing did just that. Helping businesses grow while designing at the same time? Just my cup of tea!


My next step was to find a company in Cleveland that would be willing to teach me the ropes. Punching a few keywords into Google, I quickly stumbled upon Duo, an incredible company that would give me one of the most illuminating experiences I’ve ever encountered. I contacted them, and they quickly responded, more than happy to take time out of their busy days for the next two weeks to give me a glimpse of their world.


So much! More than I ever could’ve imagined! The world of Duo is incredibly intriguing to me. I learned just how impactful correct marketing and branding can be on the growth and success of a company. We spent each day focusing on certain topics:



We started this journey by talking about Duo’s onboarding process. Duo takes a company’s marketing problems and comes up with creative solutions to solve them. They take the time to explain what they do to their clients (web design, branding, and marketing). They learn about the goals and dreams of their clients and do what they can to achieve them. This process is important for gaining the necessary information to get the project moving.



This was one of my favorite topics because I observed how something I use every day can be used to help a company flourish. With social media booming these days, it is incredibly beneficial for companies to create content that potential customers can view and share with others. Connections are everything. It was so interesting to learn how Duo takes high-quality photos for the social media platforms of their clients. Along with this, I learned how important planning is when it comes to social media. A consistent output of content piques the interest of customers and keeps them coming back for more.


I loved learning about branding. A company’s brand is like a person’s personality. What colors do they like? What is their goal? This is what differentiates each business from one another, what makes them stand out. I was lucky enough to learn how Duo goes about designing a company’s brand with tools like Adobe Illustrator. I was delighted to see the logo of a company come to life before my eyes!



It was fascinating to see all of the difficult work that goes into making an incredible website. I never realized how much time and organization goes on behind the scenes. This is a process with steps. Duo designs a website by first creating an intricate sitemap, showing all of the pages that they need to create. Next, they make wire frames to lay out the format of each page. Lastly, they use tools like WordPress to create the site. So cool!



The last topic we covered is email marketing. As a company, staying connected to your customers and potential customers is crucial. One way to stay connected is by emailing them. Once again, we explored the importance of organization. Sending out emails at specific times of the day helps to increase the action of the receivers. I loved learning about how Duo uses Mailchimp to check up on their email analytics.



All in all, I had the most wonderful time conducting my senior project at Duo. I was able to learn so much while also observing their current projects. I enjoyed watching them take photos for the social media platforms for Randy’s Pickles. They also were kind enough to bring me to a meeting with Wickens Herzer Panza, where I was able to see how they communicate with their clients and help them achieve their goals.


Not only are they fantastic teachers, but they are also amazing people. I loved getting to know Chris, Pat, and Margot. I really admire how they all work so efficiently together while also managing to have so much fun. I truly hope to have as strong of a bond with my future co-workers as these three have. They have opened my eyes to the world of graphic design and marketing and have certainly got me interested in this profession. I am super excited to start taking classes in the fall at The University of Wisconsin to help me explore this captivating profession even more.


Thank you Duo!


Bonus Content!

Ellie had several questions to ask as she was wrapping up her time with us. We wanted to make sure we captured these questions because they are similar to questions we get asked by clients! Give a listen below!