What does your typical day look like?
I work at an advertising agency, so everyday is different. Just depends on what project, what business pitch, or what client I am working with. Which is one of the things I love about my job – the variety.
My job includes brainstorming with our insights team, a lot of sketching, communicating with clients and our account service team, and of course designing. So far in my career I've designed/created everything from as simple as banner ads and POP materials to TV spots, websites, and 360 campaigns. I'm lucky to work at an agency that has everything from small local clients in Dallas to national organizations, so we really get a sizable mixture of projects coming through our door.
In what ways were you involved at Clarke? What activities did you participate in outside of coursework?
I was really involved in the art community at Clarke. Yearly I participated in the ADDY awards, attended gallery shows and openings, and Fall into Art. I also was part of the start of BLUEPRINT Collective, a Clarke University Marketing Research group that participates in the National Student Advertising Competition.
There are also a lot of volunteer opportunities at Clarke. My friends and I participated in Into the Streets where we went out into the community of Dubuque and would help out a local organization accomplish a task.
What advice do you have for current students who are getting ready to look for a job after graduation?
This is one thing I wish I knew more about before I graduated!
Be proactive. Finding a job doesn't happen over night and takes a lot of determination and effort to find the job that best fits you. There will be plenty of days where you'll be discouraged but if you treat looking for a job, like your job then you will find yourself at a place where you will be really happy and can excel professionally.
Knowing where you want to go geographically after graduation helps. I zeroed in on the Dallas/Fort Worth area and then made a list of every design agency, boutique, and marketing firm that I could and spent every day researching the businesses culture, projects, and people to see if they were a good fit for me.
Don't be afraid to send your portfolio or resume to a place that doesn't state that they aren't hiring. If you find a place and really dig their work – you should apply! Craft your cover letter to not only bring out your personality but also makes you fit into their organization culturally. Companies like when you take the time to get to know them.
Did you find any aspect of your Clarke education especially helpful in landing a job after graduation?
Clarke's art program and professors really had an impact on the start of my professional career. The coursework at times seemed vigorous but I graduated with a student portfolio that really displayed my own design capabilities and made myself stand out amongst the competition.
Clarke also does a great job at encouraging its students to get professional internships. It was through my own internships that I discovered that I wanted to work at an agency rather than being an in-house designer. Clarke does a spectacular job at getting its students involved in organizations and competitions that help craft their resumes and prepare its student's into individuals that are ready for the professional world.