Fair Haven, NJ
Where are you employed and what kind of work do you do?
I work at a design firm called Desantis Creative. Since we’re small, I was given a lot of responsibilities up front, but I also have a team of other designers to lean on and brainstorm with. I do a lot of print, web, and identity design. Not all designers have a lot of contact with clients, but I speak with mine every day!
What is the best thing about being a designer?
Getting paid to do something I love — thinking and making things look good! I love solving the creative problem. The “design miracles” and “aha!” moments carry me through the week. Design is a fairly humble art — not many people will know your name, but you’ll feel a great sense of pride when you are walking down the street and see something you created, and think “I did that, and it looks awesome.”
How did the graphic design program at SU prepare you for the real world?
I could not have possibly been more prepared for my job as a designer. Knowing design software is one thing, but being able to THINK as a professional designer is something else entirely. At Susquehanna’s design program you learn more than just how to make something look cool, you learn how to visualize the solution to a complicated design problem — and that’s what agencies really want. I also learned the importance of surrounding yourself with other good designers and learning how to take and grow from criticism. I walked out of SU with the confidence and portfolio to get exactly the job I wanted — and then I got it!
What are your favorite memories of the graphic design program at SU?
Late nights in the studio were when my best work and best times happened because I was with my very talented peers. I thoroughly enjoyed all four years’ worth of struggles, from jamming out together in Reed Hall’s common area and working on our freshman fine arts class projects to putting our senior show together and going on a trip to Europe that last spring break. It was stressful at times, but worthwhile because we all did it together.
What advice do you have for someone choosing a college design program?
GO TO SUSQUEHANNA! No, really. I can promise that if you spend your time in the Mac Studio, learn to work with and support your classmates, and listen to your professors, you will excel in the design world. Go to a program that will push you to think, create, learn, and you will walk out with a superb portfolio.