Path to Success for student designers
It isn’t always easy coming up with new content for blog but as always inspiration can find you when you least expect it. Today I was watching a YouTube video from Derek Halpern, which got me thinking about writing a series for those who are deciding to pursue the Graphic Design field in college. This series is going to be based loosely on looking back at my experience and pointing out things you would benefit from by doing differently as it relates to being a graphic designer.
It is sometimes hard to find the benefits in what one is doing in that moment. In general you know that you’re going to school in order to be formally educated, get a degree and be able to find a job. So, if you are like most students you want to get those grades by hook or crook (studying hard or cheating) because at the end of the day as long as you get those A+ grade and graduate that’s all that matters, right? Wrong! The most important thing to realize is to begin with the end in mind.
Why is this important? It is important because it will help you determine how to chart your course in college so that you end up where you need to be years later. It will also help you make the connections in the choices that you make. Most colleges generally make you take diverse Gen-Ed classes in order for you to figure out what you like and to also have a more complete education. The upside to this is that you are exposed to various subjects. The downside is that you could waste years and money bouncing from one thing to the other as time flies.
Watching the Derek Halpern videos today brought it home for me why I should’ve taken marketing, psychology, public speaking more seriously in college. Beginning with the end in mind would require you to know what is to be expected of a Graphic Designer in today’s work force; hence a deeper appreciation of taking the right classes, seeing how they apply to your field in the real world and investing in them.
How should you go about becoming a Graphic Designer today for tomorrow? I will explain more in my next post. In the time being, where are you in your current college pursuits? If you are done with college how many semesters did it take you to make up your mind?
Alright, so you’ve decided that you want to become a Graphic Designer after all? The first thing I would advise you to do is join a relevant club. It could be for photography, art, video, movie making, public speaking etc.
Why is this important? Well, for example as a Graphic Designer in the real world you will be working with photographs or photographers. So, if you develop your photography skills not only will it help you to find a good photographer but it will also come in handy should you need to do it yourself. Trust me sometimes doing it yourself will save you a lot of money and also not having to depend on others. What of public speaking? As a Graphic Designer in the real world you might be required to present your ideas in front of a group of directors who have lots of money on the line based on your design ideas. It would help a great deal to be able to effectively communicate these ideas to them.
Being in one of these clubs will help also be good for your resume especially if you are playing an active role in the running of the club. A lot of times schools allocate funds to clubs for events such as trips. A photography club might visit a photo gallery, which will in turn give you more exposure to the real world. Not only for educational purposes it can be fun taking a road trip or going on an excursion. These times allow you to form friendship with your club mates. So, the trick is to find out how the club you are involved in today will benefit you tomorrow. Besides the clubs you have on campus there are other organizations like AIGA that will be relevant to you even long after you have graduated.