We spoke to Sonia Prusaitis, General Manager of argodesign’s Austin studio, about her adventurous streak and how it’s informed her work and world view. Sonia grew up in Austin and moved around throughout her 20s, living in Florida, Sydney, Las Vegas, and Seattle. As General Manager of argo’s Austin studio, she focuses on client partnerships, studio operations, and bridging design delivery with backend operations.
You’ve consistently thrown yourself into challenging situations that developed your skills and prepared you to take an entrepreneurial risk with argo when it was in its infancy. Tell us a little about your path here.
I moved to each new place sight unseen. As in, I packed my bags and bought a one-way ticket without ever having been to the city I was moving to. I was spontaneous verging on impulsive, and optimistic with a dash of naivety. I simply assumed I could enjoy life and find a community anywhere. Worst case, it’d be interesting to experience each place, and I could always move on if it didn’t work out.
In Tallahassee, I was hired by my marketing professor at his market research firm right after graduating. This was my first project management job. I learned so much in that role that I still use today, including basic professionalism, communication, and other soft skills. This is also where my love of Excel was born.
After Florida, I sold most of my things and moved to Sydney. I found this beautiful room in a house two blocks from the beach with German and Dutch roommates. I was happy to land in a great role at an insights, analytics, and strategy company that had an impressive roster of clients. The work opened the window to the world of product design for me. I became more engaged than ever in my professional life. Suddenly it wasn’t ‘just a job’ anymore. Our office was in a repurposed warehouse on a pier in Walsh Bay overlooking Sydney Harbor. I rode the ferry to work. It was a special time.
When I returned to Austin, I was hired in a project management role at frog design. I loved working with designers and technologists in an environment where we were hired to envision possible futures and people were encouraged to bring their unique…