The stepping stones towards a degree in graphic design

alecmajerchin2

I came to Harper College knowing that I wanted to pursue graphic design, but was unsure how to go about it. I left Harper with much more confidence in myself and my abilities to begin my career. 

Harper provided the stepping stones for me to learn how to continue growing and developing both my technical and creative skill sets, both within and outside of class. I was encouraged by my design instructors to think about design differently and attempt projects in greater scope than I had previously considered. Even if I ended up with a design that was less than stellar or not up to my personal standards, the instructors at Harper used these moments as teaching opportunities. Instead of the ‘failure’, they focused on growth, and what I could do in the future to develop an idea into a more cohesive message. 

Collaboration with other students was also a large part of my success at Harper, particularly the constructive criticism sessions in my higher level design classes. I’ve always been a defensive designer, so these were great exercises in articulating my processes to a group, as well as helping others further develop their ideas. I would come out of these sessions much more energized about my designs, with fresh energy and input from my peers that I could utilize to help inform how to further develop my work. 

My most important piece of advice for aspiring graphic design students at Harper is this: Do not sleep on the portfolio show final. The set up involved for this event was extremely helpful. Creating a personal brand, resume and portfolio has been a tremendous help outside of school. I will always continue developing these pieces, but being pushed to create them while still in school prepared me much more than if I did not have that opportunity as a part of my studies. While being beneficial in learning how to present yourself and your designs, the portfolio show could also be a wonderful networking event for you. Personally, I received an internship offer that I was able to start directly out of school which was a great learning opportunity, and added more professional, public-facing work to my design portfolio. 


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