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What do you do on a day-to-day basis?

Design creative assets for the University of Wyoming Athletics department and athletic teams. These include posters, program covers, game tickets, newspaper ads, magnets and other print items. A large portion of design time is spent working on all social media graphics that are posted to the team's accounts. These can include graphics made for event marketing, showcasing stats, infographics, player features, etc. Other digital work includes web, digital, email graphics and advertisements and motion graphics. Designing unique event logos, t-shirts, and large-format signage. I also assist with recruiting templates for individual sports programs. After office hours I freelance design projects, other than athletic and sports design.

How did your experience at CMU prepare you for your career?

To be broad in my skill set, manage my time well, and never be afraid to say yes to a new type of project. My day-to-day consists of jumping from project to project or putting one on hold to dive into a more time-sensitive one. It is hard to solely focus on one project before starting a new one, so time management is a key skill. Saying yes to new projects and different types of jobs helped me fine-tune skills and my ability to always learn. It also helped expand my network in the graphic design industry.

What was your transition like from being a student to your current career position?

Getting used to a fast-paced less structured environment was difficult. I swam at CMU for 4 years, with swimming and being a full-time student my schedule was tight and structured. Leaving school means you have to take ownership of your own time, and not forget about continued learning. Sometimes I found it hard to make sure I kept up on learning new skills. Don't forget about continued education graphic design is an ever-changing world.

What do you think set you apart from the other applicants for your current position? 

One thing that set me apart would be my diverse background, and the timing of moving to Wyoming. After graduation, I had been a freelance designer for some years, worked in a very small web design company, as well as an in-house designer for a health insurance company, this allowed me to develop a wide variety of skills. When I moved to Wyoming, my fiancé had taken a job in sponsorship sales for the athletic department, and when they heard I had a graphic design background, they offered me a Graduate Assistant position in graphic design/marketing for Wyoming Athletics. I never thought I would go back to school to earn a Master's degree, however, I took the position. Learning to say yes to new experiences helped me land my current position. In 2019 I graduated with a Master's of Arts in Communications from the University of Wyoming. After graduation, the Athletics department made my current position full-time.

What advice would you give to incoming college students?

Be open to opportunities, even if you never thought you would be a part of them. Small moments and taking risks can turn into job opportunities and new networking contacts.

Connect with Jackie on LinkedIn
Published 2/26/2020