Essay Question #2: Please indicate in essay form your major goals for your career and how your education is furthering them. I have always wanted to be a graphic designer. I got a taste of the visual arts industry while working on my high school year book and newspaper staffs. I doubled as a photographer when the story assignments called for an extra hand; otherwise, I managed all the advertising that ran in the newspaper and the year book. Though I enjoyed writing stories and following leads, I preferred the hands-on job of actually laying out the stories on the computer and tackling the complicated process of preparing photos for print. Little did I know that I was setting foot into what would become my chosen career path. The more that I worked, the more serious I got about wanting to pursue a degree as a designer. Having decided early on that this was my calling, it was not hard choosing a major when I got to college. Triggered by the limited exposure to the industry while in high school, my first goal was to immerse myself even deeper in the trenches of the advertising industry. I bought a camera and took a formal class to learn the basics, while tackling sporadic freelance work as a portrait photographer. Even though I found the work to be very challenging, I always enjoyed presenting the final product. After talking to my professors during my early semesters of my major, I learned that I would be more marketable in this field by developing as many multiple task-related skills as possible. The first thing I needed to do was to learn industry-specific skills that would help sell my portfolio. Academically, I needed to be at the forefront of industrial technology. Professionally, my every intention was to find work as an intern or apprentice at a major ad firm as early as possible in my college career so that my class work could mirror real-world experiences. My ultimate goal was to gain enough experience in the field early in my career so that I could eventually start my own company and use all of my acquired knowledge and skills to secure a foothold in the industry. The first step in my career path was to make sure that I finished my degree. Having already been exposed to the industry, I thought that my classes would be a breeze. Boy was I in for a surprise.**Expand on the last statement, what difficulty did you encounter?** I benefited from having a minor familiarity with the material. I had come to terms with the inner workings of an age-old industry. I dug even deeper in the design field when I got my first internship. I felt at home in front of the computer, muscling through layouts and designs. I got hands-on experience with the technology associated with this particular field. I learned to use a varied array of software titles that were essential to one's success in the field. I also familiarized myself with the not-always-friendly hardware that was beginning to serve as an industry backbone. As my required coursework grew more demanding towards the end of my degree, I began to tackle more challenging internships within the industry. Those not only complimented my coursework, but they also allowed me to apply what I was learning in the classroom to real-world situations. However, the more challenging the projects became, the more I realized that there was more that I needed to learn about the industry if I was going to succeed in the field. So it came as no surprise that my march across the stage to receive my degree was less than satisfying. I knew that there was still more for me to learn. I still wanted to sink my teeth into my keyboard and shake it around a bit. I wanted to put every ounce of my
Essay Question #2: Please indicate in essay form your major goals for your career and how your education is furthering them. creative energy into wrestling with the hierarchies of rigid conceptual thinking. I yearned to push beyond the limitations of conventional thinking! I wanted my ideas to break new ground, push the envelope, tear the seal, and take flight. I wanted to believe that change was still a revolutionary concept borne of a sketch on the side of paper cup. And if the secret to success was truly "constancy to purpose," then I had to continue the quest to amass as much knowledge as possible that would guide and nurture my drive to succeed in this dynamic business environment. I realized that a graduate degree would give me the knowledge, experience, and flexibility—tools to not only survive, but to plant the seeds that would bear success throughout my lifetime. After graduation, I continued my internship at an advertising firm for nine months. I did not have any classes to complicate my learning process, so this allowed me to immerse myself even deeper into the hands-on learning process. I especially concentrated on sharpening the skills that I developed during problem solving exercises in the classroom. I coupled that experience with a continued, diligent effort in attaining industry-specific computer skills as an accent to my creative skills. While at the ad firm, I applied the classroom experience into real-world situations. I attempted to solve a myriad of advertising campaign complexities with a shallow pocket of experience. I made it a point to learn from failure. I learned that not every idea is going to ignite a passionate response from the Senior Art Director. I learned that the best ideas are often spur of the moment thoughts recorded on napkins, refrigerator doors, or paper cups. This proved true when I was hired to design and produce the 2002 edition of the Dallas Cowboys Family Cookbook. After more than a week of sketching and working through less–than–stellar computer renderings, I stumbled on an idea while having dinner with some friends. Ever the doodler, I was halfway through defacing a napkin before I realized that my nonsensical sketches had sparked a solution to my cover-idea. Subsequently, I was hired to design this year's edition of the cookbook due to last year's success. Armed with a comfortable creative industry skill set, I left the ad firm in pursuit of more challenging work. Hypnotized by the excitement of making it on my own terms, I set out as a freelance designer and photographer. I was determined to make my degree work for me. I wanted to see the efforts of my labor bear fruit. I blended the best of my talents in photography, design and advertising into a "unified solutions" formula that will serve as the basis of my business model. One of my major goals is to see my business grow year over year. One of the tools that will help in reaching this goal is more education. For example, my experience as a graphic designer has taught me that it is not enough to produce pretty designs and pictures for clients; as a creative director, I have to go a step further and assist the clients in realizing the full potential of an ad campaign that correctly addresses the target audience they are trying to attract. A complimentary degree in Marketing will benefit not only me but also my customer base. Currently, I have managed to implement my skills into solving everyday client problems. As the
Essay Question #2: Please indicate in essay form your major goals for your career and how your education is furthering them. business grows, so do the needs of my clients. I hope to combine all of my skills and talents into a viable business plan that will cater to every facet of my clients' needs. Eventually I hope to expand my business into an international firm where by I can make an educational investment in Uganda and pass on my skills to up and coming designers eager to carve out their own niche in this increasingly competitive global market.