University of Massachusetts
What kind of work are you doing now?
I’m a graphic designer at the University of Massachusetts – Boston. I am part of a team of designers that creates publications and marketing materials for the university. We are responsible for maintaining the school’s brand and public image.
What is the best thing about being a designer?
The best part about being a designer is having a job that I absolutely love. I don't know many people who get the chance to be creative and design exciting projects everyday — and never get bored or tired of what they are doing.
How did the graphic design program at SU prepare you for the real world?
By showing me how to creatively solve problems. I learned how to not only design well visually and on the computer, but to also be conceptual, which adds another level depth and sophistication to my work.
What are your favorite memories of the graphic design program at SU?
Most of my favorite memories were from the classes where we showed our thumbnail sketches, when everyone on the class would sit around a table, far away from the computers, and share their ideas for the project at hand. The bad ideas were always the funniest, because they always seemed to have a ridiculous thought process behind them. That’s OK though, everyone has the occasional bad idea. I also thought physically putting projects together for critique was a lot of fun. Everyone gets the chance to bond with classmates — which is easy when you are covered with spray adhesive!
What advice do you have for someone choosing a college design program?
Try to choose a program with small class sizes where you really get to learn. The professor can give you an abundance of attention, and you get to know your classmates, with whom you form a close-knit group. Make sure to choose a program with experienced professors — it’s surprising how graphic design teachers often have no real-world design firm experience. It’s essential to learn not only about the theories of good design, but also about professional practices in the real world.