I went to an American school in El Salvador, and while I was looking at American colleges, I saw that Champlain would allow me to study graphic design.
Once at Champlain, I started working in the Emergent Media Center (EMC) as a graphic designer for the BREAKAWAY Facilitator's Guide. BREAKAWAY is an interactive game designed to educate youth about the issue of violence against women using soccer as a global language. I applied my knowledge to turn this document into something approachable and well-organized so that teachers and community leaders could use it to teach about gender inequality. In a recent research study, BREAKAWAY has been proven to have a profound impact on youth, and the way the information is presented to participants in the Facilitator's Guide has an influence on BREAKAWAY's success.
I was determined to introduce BREAKAWAY to at risk communities in my home country of El Salvador. In November 2013, my goal became a reality. After securing financial and logistical partnerships with the United Nations Development Program El Salvador country office and the University of Sonsonate, the EMC team hosted a one-week facilitator training, followed by two 5-day youth camps in Sonsonate.
In addition to serving as a link and establishing communication and a partnership with these organizations, I organized and delivered training sessions to 120 participants. I never imagined that my 4000km journey north would enable me to positively influence change within the youth of my nation.
Mariana, Graphic Design & Digital Media MajorSan Salvador, El SalvadorDIVISION OF COMMUNICATION & CREATIVE MEDIA
Juliette's classes allowed her to get started in her major right away. I've always been a creative person and graphic design seemed like a great way to express that creativity both in the classroom and in the professional field. I think that jumping right into the Graphic Design curriculum during my first year has definitely helped me grow as a student. Initially, there are a lot of preliminary steps you need to take, such as learning how to navigate certain software or how to articulate design language. Learning those skills early on has allowed me to hone my design skills and become more confident in my field.
Being able to see something that starts off as an idea and turning it into a living, breathing entity is definitely something that I love about the creative process. I love seeing how many iterations and changes you need to go through before you can produce something you're really proud of.
In addition to her major-related classes, Juliette finds a lot of value in her Core classes.
While focusing on my major is obviously important, I think that being aware of what is going on around you-both locally and globally-is just as important. Especially being a graphic designer, I feel that I'm very aware of this because I know images can easily transcend cultural and language barriers. They're universal. Because of this, it's important to recognize who your audience is and how your work might be interpreted around the world. Core has helped me think about other cultures and how that might affect my own designs.
On internships and work-study positions... I was the Graphic Design Intern at Burlington City Arts (BCA) in the summer of 2017. My duties included creating promotional materials for events and exhibitions, digital signage and social media assets, as well as printing vinyl signage for events, classrooms and office spaces. I also helped set up and run the Festival of Fools, which takes place on Church Street every summer. Seeing my designs all over Church Street was very exciting and rewarding for me. Having a basic knowledge of the rules and concepts of typography, color theory and design language in general, which I learned in the classroom, definitely prepared me for my internship. I now have connections with people at BCA, who are not only talented designers but also great people, and I can look to them for recommendations or job opportunities in the future. Having that experience on my résumé will give me a competitive edge. I've also worked in the Emergent Media Center at Champlain, and this year I'm working for Nic Anderson, the Director of Transportation, as his Graphic Design Assistant. The work-study jobs I've had have allowed me to continue honing my skills in graphic design. I've been able to apply my skills to real-world situations and learn how to work on a team and collaborate with other designers.
Juliette, Graphic Design & Digital Media majorNorth Yarmouth, MEStudied abroad in Auckland, New Zealand DIVISION OF COMMUNICATION & CREATIVE MEDIA
I've always liked the arts, particularly visual arts. My dad worked for a company that does a lot of printing material with computers, so when I started looking for colleges, I wanted to combine the visual arts with the technical aspect of print. Graphic Design & Digital Media has been a really good fit.
The professors have done a really good job in showing us the different fields of graphic design. They've challenged us to push our design forward by asking questions. They never let you get away with something that just looks good. We have to explain our reasonings, which really makes you analyze your design and logic, and makes your piece stronger.
Back home, I did a summer internship at The Grommet, a small business that launches undiscovered products I got to work really closely with a trade show they were putting together. I really liked having that small business community, so I think my ideal job after graduation is with a start-up or a small design firm. There are a lot of different opportunities available to graphic designers. I think it'll be a little bit of a leap, but Champlain has done a good job bridging the gap between college and the professional world.
Laura, Graphic Design & Digital Media MajorMarblehead, MADIVISION OF COMMUNICATION & CREATIVE MEDIACheck out Laura's website
I originally came to Champlain for Professional Writing. After taking a few classes, I realized how much I missed making visual art. Writing was something I prefer to do for myself, and I realized I wanted to pursue a career in art and design. I quickly fell in love with design and am so happy with my decision to switch majors.
My classes helped me stand out in getting my first internship-not only because of my portfolio, but also because I could confidently articulate my thoughts regarding the design process. Additionally, a keen eye for detail in areas like typography and composition is something I've found is greatly appreciated both in the classroom, where I developed it, and in the workplace, where I apply it.
I learned so much from my internship at KSV, and they even extended it until I went abroad in the spring. There's always a learning curve when starting out in any career, and internships are the perfect opportunity to learn the ins and outs of your field. I've learned important technical details such as how to prepare files properly for print production, how to work with clients, and how to present.
I know that when I graduate Champlain, I'll be confident about entering the job market, thanks to both the quality and the breadth of the education I've received here and from my internship.
Alicia, Graphic Design & Digital Media MajorNorth Reading, MADIVISION OF COMMUNICATION & CREATIVE MEDIA
Rosie was one of three students in the Class of 2013 who switched half-way through their undergraduate degree from the Bachelor of Science Graphic Design program to the BFA in Graphic Design. "I make smart, fun and creative designs through hard work, passion and critical thinking," she said.
As a senior, she was able to participate in the AIGA Show, where she took "Best in Show" for her graphic design marketing campaign for Energize Gym, a human powered gym that harnesses the energy people create while working out. The objective was to identify and promote a possible use for the decomissioned Moran Municipal Generation Station in Burlington, Vermont. "The energy collected will then be used to power the building, and any remaining energy will be pumped back into the grid, for the rest of Burlington to use," she said. "Although harnessing power from gym equipment will not solve the world's energy problems, it will help diversify our energy portfolio."
RosieSalem, MAGRAPHIC DESIGN AND DIGITAL MEDIA (BFA)Check out Rosie's website
Ariana uses her mix of traditional and emerging arts education along with cutting edge technology to build her graphic design masterpieces. "Studying traditional fine arts helps teach us about form, structure, shading techniques, color usage and even abstract theories, all aspects that are also applied to graphic design. Important as it is to learn the latest digital techniques, having a knowledgeable grasp on where the ideas behind such techniques come from is equally important. Having a better understanding of fine arts and how they apply to emerging arts has greatly helped me to improve overall as a graphic designer."
"The division offers a number of assets that I wouldn't be able to find anywhere else. From Day 1, I was taking actual design classes that were both interesting and useful for my career goals. Champlain also offers the latest and best technologies that students are able to take advantage of. Whether it's using the brand new computers and programs in the Perry Barn Studio or equipment like cameras and light kits, literally anything needed for generating the best-quality creative media is made available for free student use."
Her best masterpiece, however, is just that — herself.
ArianaWest Chester, PAGRAPHIC DESIGN & DIGITAL MEDIACheck out Ariana's website
Over the past four years of school, Chris has been challenged to think critically, design creatively, and solve problems through various forms of digital and print based media. His previous experience consisted of classroom based projects, along with professional work from competitions and internships.
"I bring enthusiasm, energy, and creativity to every project I approach. I will work with the clients' needs to solve the problem at hand in a way that best suits them," Chris says. "As I continue as a student so does my work, and I look forward to pushing the boundaries of what I know as a designer."
As a senior, he competed in the AIGA screenprinting competition, where he took "Best in Show" for his "Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros" Gig Poster.
ChrisSaugerties, NYGRAPHIC DESIGN & DIGITAL MEDIACheck out Chris' website
"My four years at Champlain College went by rapidly, but were crucial stepping-stones to where I am today," said Kaitlyn. At the end of her junior year, she managed to score an amazing internship at Driven Studio in downtown Burlington. "I got to put my skill set and teachings in the classroom to use and ended up working at Driven part-time through my senior year."
Upon graduation, she received the Design Achievement award from her professors and accepted a full-time position at Driven Studio as their graphic designer.
"I am excited to see my career continue to grow as I keep pushing myself as a designer," she said. "The industry is constantly changing and growing and by staying in Burlington I am happy I can keep close affiliations with the college. There's always more to learn and being in a community with so many talented creatives is truly inspiring."
KaitlynSheldon, VTGRAPHIC DESIGN & DIGITAL MEDIACheck out Kaitlyn's website