A few weeks ago I was one of the speakers at the Upstate NY AIGA Portfolio Building Workshop held at The Foundry for Arts, Design + Culture in Cohoes, NY. 13 talented designers, educators, artists, and design/creative business owners talked about their experiences in the field relating to hiring, job searching, interviewing, portfolio making, and more. It was a hugely inspiring event, not just for the 80+ design students who attended, but for me, too.
Events like this always remind me of why I love doing what I do. There are so many talented designers and creatives out there, and we all have something to learn from each other. This topic of life after college was especially appealing to me, as I had a particularly hard time finding a job right out of college.
I went to school for graphic design and science, technology, and society studies. I also received my masters degree in STS after a combined dual BS/MS program that took 5 years at RPI. I thought for many years I’d be involved in academia or politics, but ended up loving graphic design. Once I graduated, I had a hard time narrowing down what I wanted to do, and finding my path to it as a career.
At the workshop I talked about this struggle, and the things I learned from it that can be applied to any job search. I loved the chance to speak to and with these students, and to have the chance to connect with other professionals in the area. This was my first time speaking on any topic to a crowd outside of college – and I had a great time. There is something to be said about speaking about a topic you’re passionate about, to others passionate about the same thing, while being inspired by all of the other speakers around you. I’m hoping for a chance to do this again soon.
Below you can find my talk (a bit abbreviated without the notes).