My Path to Design

In retrospect, design was not something I intended to do with my life. I actually didn’t even know what design was. When I started college, I picked the path my cousin thought I was good at. She sold me on communication major at La Salle University. In my mind, communication sounded cool and I would be controlling the board in a TV station or a music production. In my freshman year, reality struck. Communication was the least that I wanted to do. I hated public speaking. I still hate doing it now unless I have to.

After getting through the first year, I wanted out. I was going to switch to Computer Science, even though I didn’t have any passion for it. Ms. Cross at the Upward Bound Program got me into Millersville University with a major in Computer Science. I was ready to move back to my mom’s house, but then I heard about a new major coming out at La Salle called Digital Arts & Multimedia Design. The new major sounded way cooler than Computer Science so I decided to stay.

The very first class of the program was learning Photoshop and I was hooked. In my sophomore year, I landed a paid internship at Trump Maria as a graphic designer. I got to stare at a computer screen all day. I didn’t even know how to use Mac OS 9. I told my mentor that I had decided not to become a graphic designer. Not sure what prompted me to tell him that. Maybe it was out of frustration. It turned out to be a good decision. I was able to focused my time and effort on web design.

In my junior year, I landed another paid internship at Unisys. Once again I was geting paid for doing nothing. I got bored, quit and joined my classmates at WePlayIt, a startup gig. We made the site and created some Flash comic strips. The site launched all of us was let go.

After graduation, I bounced around advertising agencies. They wouldn’t hire me fulltime. They just called me in whenever they needed me. I ended up working at Staples and Donnelley. One day I got a call from Vassar and that when design took off for me. I spent five years at Vassar working with a handful talent designers on both print and web. I also took on small freelance gigs on the side.

Then I moved to the George Washington University School of Business as a web developer. As my full-time job moved me further and further away from design, I took on more freelance projects to keep my design in the game. When I took on the web services developer at George Mason School of Law, I am moving even further away from design. In addition to maintaining the school’s various CMS, I am also responsible for server administration.

Then I learned about the graduate graphic design program at George Mason School of Art, I handed in my application and was accepted. Now I am back learning where I started in graphic design. I still have no passion for graphic design. It costs way too much money and papers. The design concept, however, would help me tremendously in my web design. I really hope that the Art School would include more web design classes in its curriculum. I will be taking advanced web design next semester. We’ll see how that goes.