Maybe you’re still operating under the delusion that the Dos Equis man is the most interesting person in the world. But then you probably haven’t met ISG Creative Manager Carey Dueweke (who actually prefers a nice porter). A former Senior Graphic Designer for the CIA, Carey developed visuals for the President’s Daily Brief, supported missions in Counterterrorism, and assisted the greatest museum you’ll never see. Now, the licensed Skydiving Coach and black belt in taekwondo brings her love for intense and high-paced assignments to ISG.
Tell us about your move to Minnesota.
I was born and raised in the densely populated suburban area of Northern Virginia, a stone’s throw from Washington, DC. When you meet someone from Virginia they are likely to clarify the region of the state they reside in as opposed to just claiming the whole state as their place of origin.
“You know you’re from Northern Virginia when you tell people you live in DC because it’s easier.”
Jokes aside, it was a beautiful place to live, rich in history and things to do. I do love the Blue Ridge Mountains and the hundreds of miles of Shenandoah National Park trails that I’ve hiked all my life. I originally moved here to follow love (aww), my husband—an Air Force SERE veteran and Minnesota native. He is attending the University of Minnesota to finish his degree through the GI Bill and I have quickly realized it’s a great place to live. We bought a lovely old house in Minneapolis and dug our roots in deep. I love how motivated people are to go outside, bike everywhere, and say hello to strangers. I’ve found my new people!
What did you do in the CIA? That you can tell us about, that is.
I worked for the CIA for 12 years as a Graphic Designer in the Directorate of Analysis. My role in the government required me to be a multi-disciplinary designer that could provide support for many types of graphical needs. These included logos, publications, presentations, interactives, and environmental design. I worked collaboratively with intelligence analysts to conceptualize appropriate visuals for various intelligence topics. We then determined the best platform suited for the delivery of the product. Visuals are often created under high pressure and tight deadlines to meet time sensitive intelligence requirements for US policymakers, law enforcement officials, warfighters, and the President of the United States. Most of the work I created in those years are classified and not approved for public release. You’ll just have to trust me.
What do you enjoy most about working at your new assignment (kidding of course) and firm that you own (ESOP plug) ISG?
It’s been a bit of a shift for me to go from never talking about work, to suddenly being able to share and discuss everything I do. My mom actually enjoys listening to my stories now that I can be more articulate than “I worked on a cool thing that went to a thing and they said good job.” That’s one of the really amazing things with ISG’s work in the industry as well—their work is all around us and I’ve built upon my appreciation of the architecture and engineering that I’m exposed to every day.
How did you start skydiving?
It was something I always wanted to do and when I finally got to make a tandem jump, I found out that there were people that did it as a hobby all the time! Two weeks later I was back at the drop zone (Skydive Orange, in Orange, Virginia) starting the Accelerated Freefall (AFF) program. About 250+ jumps and a coach rating later, here I am!
What lessons are applicable from skydiving to your life and profession?
Communication, trust, and community. The skydiving community is a close knit group of professionals that know how to have fun and also know when to put the party on hold and get down to business. I can go to any drop zone in the country (or the world) and meet other passionate supportive people. It’s like having a million aunts and uncles with couches to crash on. In freefall you can’t hear people, or even yourself, speak, so you have to rely on proper briefing communication on the ground. That brief also demonstrates to the other people you’re jumping with if you can be trusted or if you can trust the other jumpers. Skydiving is challenging and can be competitive, but it is also fun and exhilarating! Just like a career, if everything you do is always stiff and competitive, are you actually enjoying what you do?
How does working as ISG’s Creative Manager fulfill your inner adrenaline junkie?
It’s a brand new work environment, new people, new state, new clients, new professionals, new everything! It was terrifying to leave everything I knew behind. I had worked hard to climb the federal ranks and prove myself and I considered all the colleagues as family. Jumping out of a plane is much easier. However, having a fun-loving group of new co-workers, who are expert gif-ers that know how to GSD (get stuff done) and support each other have made this transition feel far less scary for me. I feel like I’ve been here much longer than I actually have!
What’s the most Ingenious/Creative thing you’ve ever done?
I’d have to say the wedding invitation I made for my faux wedding in Mexico. It was an origami boat that came out of an envelope that looked like a bottle. I made a video of it here: https://careydueweke.myportfolio.com/packaging-custom-wedding-invitations
What are six other things people don’t know about you?
1- I have a 50% hearing loss in both ears but most people forget. If you think I’m ignoring you, I’m not. (Except when I am).
2- My favorite color is green. Most people figure this out on their own just looking at me.
3- I crochet a lot.
4- I was originally an illustration major in college, but my University’s art department lost a lot of funding. This occurred while I was a student and I was told I needed to declare a different major. Graphic design seemed like the most natural fit for me. (Now the art dept. has lots of money, so “yay” for them).
5- I enjoy traveling and seek opportunities to continue doing so. The farthest place I have been is New Zealand.
6- I have a lot of technical knowledge and experience in many of the disciplines that fall under the umbrella of graphic design. I come from a print design background, but my previous role required me to be a cross-trained due to limited resources. Some of those skills include: interactive design, UI/UX, branding, teaching, and data visualization.