Pam B., Public Art
Q: What was the course like?
Student Status: Alumna
Course: GRD 4200 Corporate Identity Design
Opportunity: Hyatt Mural Project
A: This course is different because unlike all the other design course I took, this class was like real world studio. Jeff Boortz started with an organizational document that showed us the way studios function and what each person’s role was. We were able to understand our roles within the larger framework. It wasn’t just a bunch of graphic designers doing a group project; there was more meaning to it because it was set up differently.
We had a team of about 11 people. In my role as a producer, or project manager, I worked with an interdisciplinary group of design students. Throughout the semester we worked with three different clients, and my role included things like creating the schedule, dividing up the work among the designers, preparing client presentations, communicating with the clients and making sure that we were pushing the envelope creatively while at the same time delivering what the clients wanted, basically helping things run smoothly. We met with Jeff Boortz once a week for guidance and then the other day I set the agenda for our group to help us stay on track.
Q: What would you say is your favorite part about the experience?
A: Being the in-between person between client and design team was my favorite part because I like communicating and connecting people. My friends/designers love my guacamole, so I would bribe them with food and energy drinks. This way the long hours we put in sometimes were more fun. I liked being able to do that and stay up late with the creative team, but then getting all dressed up the next day and present to clients. It was just a different experience. It was cool how the whole process worked and how we worked as a team. That is when I really realized I like the process of being both with the creative team, and with the clients.
Q: What were some of the benefits of the course?
A: In terms of skills, just learning how a studio runs from the inside was amazing. I learned how to manage resources and that was definitely huge. I could utilize people’s strengths and say you guys are really good at this, go do that project and you guys come with me and do this one. And, it worked perfectly because everyone got to work on a project where their skill set aligned with the what the client wanted.
If I didn’t have this experience I probably would have gone and worked as a designer for a while not knowing my other options, but now instead I am entering my career knowing exactly what I want to be doing. I just got a job at Turner, which is a really cool place to be entering right out of school and I would say 90% of the reason I got this job is from this experience. Because what I am going to be doing there is exactly what I did for this course. Being a producer or project manager is usually learned on the job, but thanks to this class I got a little taste of it while in design school. In the future, I hope to own a design studio, and that stems from being in this class and having this experience. Thanks to the format of this class, I discovered that I can float between the creative world and the business world. I learned that my love of working with people, my organizational skills, my interest in business and my design background translate into a job position that I did not know existed before. It’s been huge, and I’m super grateful to Jeff Boortz for putting this class together. It’s completely changed my career.