The following are messages from Graphic Design alumni about their current employment and educational endeavors.
Chase Hagerman '10
Chemi Nutra, Business Development & Marketing Manager, Minneapolis, MN
After graduation in 2010, I took a job and moved back to Minneapolis, MN, with the company my father incorporated about 12 years ago. The company, Chemi Nutra, is a business to business supplier; we make and supply functional nutrition ingredients to nutrition, sports nutrition, and energy drink companies.
"My role is two-fold and falls in line with my marketing major and design minor. Part of my duties include working closely with prospective customers and aiding in new product development. The rest of the time I'm doing something relating to marketing and branding.
"Over the past couple years I've experienced a lot and have been granted a ton of liberty to flex my muscles and knowledge (which I realize is not always granted to young employees in the hierarchy of corporate structuring). I have become well-versed in advertising and media, made many great connections within the industry, and have learned a ton working with talented printers, packaging, ad agencies, and media folks.
"If I'm not working in design applications, design has played a roll somehow in what I do. Whether it be nitpicking the most minute details in an email or ensuring packaging labels be as consistent as possible, everything I see, touch, and create makes me a better designer.
"Outside my full-time work I do consulting and design work (branding, marketing, logo, web, etc.). I also recently started an LLC auto detailing company this past summer. Like I said, my design skills have come in handy in everything: building the website, inspecting imperfections in the paint, and perfecting the vehicle for final presentation.
Kendra Stewart '06
Stewart Design Studios, owner, Denver, CO
After graduation in 2006 with a BA in Graphic Design and Studio Art, I started working for a professional photographer, first with photo editing and enhancing, which led me to learn how to use a camera and become a photographer's assistant. During that time I decided to take a course at the Interior Designers Institute in Newport Beach and there realized I needed to go back to school. I found a school in Denver, Colorado and moved, continuing my education. In the meantime, I was able to find work with a photographer in Denver.
"In April 2009, I started Stewart Interior Design, LLC consulting clients on space planning, color coordination and design. When I graduated with an AA in Interior Design in 2010, I decided to expand my business to become Stewart Design Studios specializing in Interior Design, Graphic Design and Photography.
"Just this past week I put in my last day at my full-time job at RK Mechanical, working in their AutoCAD department, to pursue my design business full time as of January 1, 2013.
"Stewart Design Studios is a full service design studio. Currently, I am overwhelmed with my graphic designs including invitations, announcements and branding in my Etsy shop. I can completely brand a wedding from beginning to end. Starting with engagement photos and save the date cards to invitations with coordinating programs, menu, table numbers, etc. Also, floral design, venue setup and display, wedding day photography, thank you cards, etc. I can completely customize a bride's dream day! Along with that, holiday cards, birth announcements and business branding keep me busy year-round.
"I couldn't be happier surrounding myself with creativity and design, doing what I love every day! I am constantly inspired and refer back to my graphic design days at Concordia often, remembering how much I learned and how far I've come.
Current student in M.F.A. in Entertainment Arts and Engineering with a Video Game Art Emphasis, University of Utah
Club Smarty Pants, Intern, developing iPad/iPhone game for children
I am currently getting my M.F.A in Video Game Art at the University of Utah (full title is M.F.A. in Entertainment Arts and Engineering with a Video Game Art Emphasis. Long title, I know). I will have a published game soon on the iPad/iPhone (title still in the works) and have been the lead artist on several prototypes as well as our thesis game, Zodiac. Currently, besides finishing up my school projects, I am finishing up an internship to make an iPad/iPhone game for kids for the company Club Smarty Pants, and I am in a competition to get an internship at Ubisoft in Canada (the makers of Assassin's Creed). I am absolutely in love with making video games and can never imagine doing anything else. Random side note: graphic design skills are very handy in video games, especially when designing the menus and user interface. I have certainly been a sought-after asset for most of these projects because of my graphic design background.
1010Collective, PHP Developer, Las Vegas, NV
I have moved to Las Vegas and am enjoying it here, working for an Ad Agency as a PHP Developer. I am no longer doing any graphic design work. I am strictly building website applications and sites. I am very much enjoying the advertising world and have been exposed to some very interesting and innovative things. I have been on contract with Wynn Las Vegas and worked very closely with IT and Marketing on a number of projects, including their current site and coming mobile site. I am involved in the local WordPress developers group and have been spending a lot of time developing WordPress themes and Plugins along with SaaS Products built on the WP framework. I am also working on a start-up company that will be launching hopefully at the beginning of next year.
Optimist LA (Nike Sportswear agency), Project Coordinator, Los Angeles, CA
I'm currently living in Los Angeles, working for Nike Sportswear's agency, Optimist LA. My official title is Project Coordinator, but I take on various roles and projects, some including graphics but mainly on the marketing side. We execute most often at NSW's energy space in Hollywood, The Montalban Theater with exclusive events, shoots, product launches and bespoke customization. It's amazing to get to work with such a huge brand tying my love for sport and creativity together.
Ocean Media, Digital Media Planner, Huntington Beach, CA
I am currently working at Ocean Media in Huntington Beach as a Digital Media Planner. Unfortunately not working a lot with the creation of media, but more so, the impact certain creativity has on the consumers for the clients we are working with. I am a part of the Digital department which currently consists of four people, but we are looking to grow as the company continues to gain more clients. The majority of our business is focused on the TV ad side of things, so that is why our department is so small, but we are currently a growing company and just moved to a new office building.
Avid Ink, Graphic Designer, Newport Beach, CA
It's been about a year that I moved to Newport Beach, working as a graphic designer for a company called Avid Ink and for Nike South Coast Plaza. Over the past 3 months I have been working on the side as a freelancer for one of my clients who is an entrepreneur from Taiwan. Starting January I will be working full-time with him as his personal assistant/graphic designer traveling back and forth to Taiwan.
I have moved back to my hometown of Ukiah, CA. I have been the head basketball coach at Mendocino College since 2007. Since then I finished my Masters in Sports Management. I use my graphic design skills in creating our team program each year and advertisement for our games and recruitment. I also assist my sister in her fashion blog and actually helped design her logo. Recently we traveled to China to get her new product pillowcase line designed and manufactured - got to go inside satin and sewing factories. Interesting to say the least! She recently launched her product line. I'm assisting her in shipping and creating a strong brand, which I will use when I launch an ice cream company! I've been working on that logo and packaging as well! I often help with photos, designing, product ideas, and graphics...all which I learned at Concordia! I am thankful for the wonderful education - and fun education. I loved all of the classes.