Meet a communicator – 5 questions with Taylor Assion

August 14, 2020

Name: Taylor “Tay” Assion (she/her or they/them)

Department: Ancillary Services

Title: Manager of marketing and sustainability


Q1: How and when did you arrive at SFU?

I’ve been employed at SFU since March 2019 and came from a position as a Brand Manager in the restaurant industry in Vancouver.
The company I worked for previously, although Canada-wide, was a chain of only three restaurants which was still quite small so I ended up wearing a lot of marketing and communications hats including graphic/web designer, social media manager, event and community outreach coordinator, menu copywriter and more; although I always had a lot to do, I was able to grow and learn how to do hone new skills quickly. Thanks to my time there, I learned how to be nimble and adaptable in a fast-paced business environment while still prioritizing customer experience and community thus Ancillary Services was a natural fit.

Prior to that, I had worked at a creative services coordinator while attending the Communication Design Essentials program at BCIT and Emily Carr and freelancing in my spare time. Prior to that, my educational background comes from UVIC where I attended for my Bachelor of Arts double majoring in Linguistics and Germanic Studies.

Q2: What attracted you to communications work?

As mentioned previously, I studied linguistics for my undergrad and I’ve always been fascinated by the methods that human beings have found or created used to their thoughts, feelings, and ideas while also building a community around that shared understanding. I initially got into communication design because I wanted to communicate ideas visually but found that using language strategically can be just as much an art form as design; when used together effectively, both of these tools can forge a real connection to communicating really powerful and influential ideas with multiple levels of understanding.

Q3: What achievement at SFU are you most proud of?

I’m quite proud to be a part of the Ancillary Services team because we actually achieve quite a lot of things around campus by helping to create and lead impactful community initiatives like the Fair Trade, and Re-use For Good programs or the great StreetFest! event we help put together every year. Personally, as a part of the Physical Distancing Taskforce, I’ve put a lot of work into the COVID Signage Toolkit but I’m quite proud of the number of tactical assets we’ve been able to create working with Document Solutions to address the needs of the campus so quickly.

Q4: What advice do you have for new communicators?

Don’t be afraid to go outside your comfort zone a little especially if it provides you an opportunity to learn something new or provides a new experience that you can draw from later. Also, nobody knows or specializes in everything so it’s totally okay to ask questions or for support if you need a bit more guidance.

Q5: What is one thing about yourself that would surprise most people?

You may be surprised to find out that in my spare time I’m an improviser and comedian that can be found on an award-winning Dungeons and Dragons live-play podcast called Adventure.exe and on an RPG Livestream called What The Quest?! every second Tuesday on Twitch.