I knew I wanted to be in graphic design when I was a freshman in college and took my first college art class as an undecided major.
2. What classes/activities/clubs did you take in high school that you think were helpful in preparing you for your career?
I took several art classes in high school that definitely made me interested in the art field, but I wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to go until college.
3. In what activities or clubs did you participate in college that helped you achieve your goals?
I was a member of the Students in Design club. This club did various design projects around campus. It was a fun way to do different projects around campus and learn more about working with clients. I was also the graphic designer for the Student Government Association.
4. What courses/programs of study did you take in college to work toward your career?
The classes in my major included illustration, painting, and sculpture, as well as my graphic design courses. These all helped me advance my ability as a designer.
5. Did you participate in an internship/cooperative education program?
Yes, I had two internships.
6. What was your first job out of college?
My first job out of college was at the London Science Museum in a work abroad program. My first job in the design field was at Hobsons, a multimedia publishing company.
7. What are the required skills that are needed in your field?
You need to have good working knowledge of all the standard graphic design computer programs, but you also need to have the ability to think creatively and put abstract concepts into something visual.
8. Was there any kind of special training involved for your career after college?
Each company will have its own way of doing things, so any new place will probably involve some kind of training to adapt to a different way of thinking.
9. What kind(s) of compensation can a new graduate expect in the field of graphic design? What about after five years? Ten years?
The compensation can vary city to city and between smaller and larger companies. Typically, a recent graduate would start as a production artist or junior designer and would work up from there.
10. What kind(s) of personality type works best in this field?
Any type of personality can work with the design industry. You just have to be passionate about your craft and always be willing to learn and have an open mind.
11. Are there any physical demands to the job?
You definitely need to be able to sit long hours working on the computer.
12. What are the three most important pieces of advice you would give someone who is interested in the field?
- Even when the classes get tough, specifically in your first year, stick with it because it will get better.
- Don’t limit yourself by medium; explore all the options in the design industry.
- Be inspired by everything around you; read design magazines, and attend seminars.
13. What do you wish you would have known about the field before you became a graphic designer?
I wish I would have known about the many options and venues to use my talent. You just have to decide where your passion lies.