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Graphic Design Alumni

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Emily Combs
BFA Graphic Design, 2009

Emily graduated only two years ago and she is just getting started on her design career. She recently started a job as a the Junior Designer for a B2B marketing agency, Koroberi, Inc., based in Chapel Hill, NC. Landing this job took a while. After graduation, she lived at home with her parents for a while and did freelance design before moving to Carrboro, NC where she would be close to friends and more job opportunities. She worked briefly at Staples before finding a part-time position with Capstone Design Group, LLC.

Right now, she says her main focus is "to be as good at my job as humanly possible. I'm spending some outside time on freelance so I can broaden my scope of projects, but mostly I'm reading a lot of design periodicals, checking out websites, and trying to use my brain as a sponge for design ideas! Fun!"

She says her education at Appalachian, helped her develop an eye for design and the ability to execute designs as well as she wants to. "I learned a lot of basics that were a good stepping stone to the 'real world.' I learned how to analyze design and find inspiration to use in my own work."

"I would say my art training was quite broad, offering a little taste of a variety of subjects leaning towards a focus in graphic design. While I was in the department, I encountered a lot of wonderful artists, made good friends, and learned a lot from some very intelligent professors. It was an experience that helped shape the person I am today, and allowed me to grow as a designer."

She has this advice for new students: "Take time to figure out who you are and set goals for yourself early on. Ultimately, you're in charge of how good your own experiences are, so try hard and stay healthy so you can make the most of the great opportunity of being in an artistic academic environment."

"I stretched myself very thin. I put a lot of effort into every single class I took so I could have that stellar GPA I wound up with, but in the end I realized that doesn't really matter as much as being excellent in your trade does. I would rather have put 100% into design and maybe less effort into things I knew wasn't as interested in. I'm not saying feel free to fail, but definitely don't feel like you have to get an A+ in every class."

August 2011


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