Lamar University's Graphic Design Department Blog
Recent Lamar Graphic Design Alum, Elizabeth Quebedeaux Discusses Her Experiences in Graphic Design.
Hi, all! I’m Elizabeth Quebedeaux and I graduated from Lamar University in August 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design. I know it hasn’t even been a month since I graduated, but it is an amazing feeling knowing I’ll never have to study for an exam or finish up a project at four in the morning ever again!
I had an internship in the Public Relations Department on campus that was supposed to end at the beginning of September (the month after graduation), BUT my bosses graciously asked me to stay on until I landed my first job! So as of right now, I am still doing work for Lamar and (unfortunately) waiting tables at Texas Roadhouse, womp womp. I’ve always done a bit of custom invitation freelance work, but now I’m getting to charge for it, and that makes my wallet very happy! Other than that, my main focus has been virtually “hitting the pavement” looking for that ever elusive first job, and let me just tell ya, it’s extremely intimidating!
Having my degree now makes me less worried about charging people for my services because it sounds super legit when I tell them I’ve got a degree. Also, it seems to keep people from wanting to take advantage of me as a designer, which is always a plus.
I’m hoping when someone eventually calls me up and gives me a job, it will be in a design agency. I’ve done the in-house bit and it gets kind of stagnant. I want to work on a plethora of projects that just keeps my brain and knowledge and skills expanding and growing. My main fear about getting a job would have to be that I’d get complacent. The main reason I went into the design field was for the variety. I wanted a job that I could do every day and not get sick of it because it’s not counting numbers every day or dealing with the same sickness every day. I don’t do well with boredom.
While I was at Lamar, one of the best things I did was get involved with AIGA. Not only have I gotten to listen to, meet, talk to/joke with/drool in front of and TAKE A PICTURE WITH MY ALL TIME IDOL (Jessica Hische) through AIGA, but I’ve made lots of connections with the people that run AIGA in Houston. They’ve been in touch with me after a portfolio review asking for my resume (even though I haven’t gotten hired) and have been helpful in getting my name out and about in the design world.
Things I’ve learned about the design world in my short-lived freedom from higher education would be 1. It’s fast paced and if you don’t jump in ASAP, you’ll get left behind. 2. Maybe I should get my Master’s so I could make myself more marketable when it comes to job searching or at least I could have a fall back on teaching if I can’t find a job. I’ve always had a plan to maybe go into teaching after I’ve had a good bit of time out in the world at an agency or something, but the teaching field seems even more limited/intimidating than the design field. 3. It takes a long time to go through the process of getting a job. (obviously, because I haven’t even finished that process.)
One of my favorite things I got to do while at Lamar was lettering. It’s something I’ve tried to expand upon in my free time to better myself in a unique way that I really enjoy. The main thing I wish I could’ve gotten more in-depth knowledge about while in school would be web design. I know there are a couple summer courses offered, but with design becoming increasingly more relevant in the digital realm, to have web design classes that covered the more up-to-date programs (i.e. Word Press), I feel like I would have a little more of a chance when it comes to job hunting.
So my number one thing to new Graphic Design students would be to try to at least self educate about web and digital design as much as possible. Also, 2. Know your typefaces and B. take one project and display it over everything. People want to see how your logo/branding/layout is used over web, print, apps, t-shirts, etc. Don’t just do the basic requirements of the projects at hand. Try to get out in the world of creatives NOW while you’re still growing and forming your own style. Oh, and get an internship like YESTERDAY.
Hope some of that helps y’all out!
—Elizabeth Quebedeaux, http://www.behance.net/e_designs