Leslie Sakamoto

Leslie Sakamoto

Brand Designer


Taco Bell

Milestones

My road in life has been direct.
Made an early commitment and went into college declared to get a leg up on my impacted program.
Took a job at a residential firm during the recession to keep working in a related field.
Made the jump from residential to corporate to flex my technical muscles.
Stayed flexible and diverse in the projects I pursued to get experience and keep my options open.

Education

High School
Bachelor
Interior Design
California State University-Long Beach

Career

Brand Designer

Brand oversight and strategy for franchise and new build locations.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Business
Design
Problem Solving

Day to Day

Drawing reviews for projects about to start construction; this includes freestanding, license, and urban inline/cantina locations. Site strategy sessions for new freestanding and urban market locations with real estate team; we have to evaluate a site to determine if it will be successful or not based on population metrics and local competition. Construction conference calls for all projects under construction.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

Taco Bell specific standards, construction fundamentals (best learned on construction sites), civil fundamentals related to site design (I learned this at Taco Bell!), and customer service/clear communication skills, project management and understanding the flow of a job from start to finish.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

Design and Architecture are big time commitments in college and in the professional world. It requires a "dual-brain" approach: technical and creative, and those two tend to fight one another; which explains the large time commitment. If you're ready to commit, jump in as a declared major as most college programs are impacted. If you're not ready, take a few courses at a junior college to see if it's what you are passionate about and then transfer to a school with an emphasis on the technical.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:

undergrad
Bachelor
Interior Design

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

"Creative fields don't provide job security."