Designing Rewarding Careers
Graduates of Stonehill’s Graphic Design program find success helping to shape messaging for major brands.
Some of the best-known brands turn to Stonehill graphic design graduates to help them communicate their messages – companies such as SiriusXM, Hasbro, Live Nation and Tom Brady’s TB12 Sports.
Given the multiple strengths of the program it is not surprising that each student in it has a unique story to tell about how the program helped them maximize their talents and launch their careers.
For Sara Shevlin ’18, it was the robust internship program. Through her internship at Live Nation Entertainment in Los Angeles, California, she gained professional experience and career connections that led to her being hired by the company as an operations manager at Xfinity Center, its renowned concert venue in Mansfield, Massachusetts.
Shevlin also credits her seamless transition from the undergraduate program into Stonehill’s master’s degree program in marketing, which allowed her to supercharge her graphic design background with a thorough understanding of marketing strategy. From budgeting live concerts to designing posters and social media content, Shevlin said she uses the problem-solving and creative skills she learned at Stonehill in her career.
“The professors did a great job preparing us for the real world not only as graphic designers but as professionals,” said Shevlin, who earned her master’s degree in 2019. “I am able to create signage around venues and think from the perspective of guests to help improve their experience.”
Pre-Professional Approach Sets Up Students for Success
Professor Gary Stanton, director of the Graphic Design program, said that courses are designed to encourage students to incorporate their career goals as they build their design portfolios.
“We are very much hands-on pre-professional,” Stanton said. “We offer courses such as Advertising Design, Interactive Design and Advanced Study in Graphic Design that are focused on areas students may specialize in.”
That emphasis on pre-professional preparation includes the opportunity to join InHouse Design (Stonehill’s student-led design studio) as well as the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA). The Stonehill chapter of AIGA is a professional design organization where students enhance their graphic design skills by networking with professional designers, while InHouse Design gives them hands-on experience producing design work for on-campus clients as well as off-campus nonprofit organizations.
Emphasis on Networking Opens Doors
Like Shevlin, Billy Palmer ’19 also credits both the Graphic Design and Marketing programs for equipping him with a broad skill set that has made him successful in his career. He currently works as an art director at Digitas North America in Boston, where he is responsible for coming up with ideas for advertising campaigns; designing deliverables for social media ads, billboards and commercials; and working with a production team to bring ideas to life.
While Shevlin singled out the internship program, Palmer points to the Graphic Design program’s emphasis on professional networking. He said he gained practical advice and interview experience from alumni working within the industry in a Graphic Design Portfolio course with Professor Cristy Morgan.
“This was just one of the ways that the program helped prepare me as I began my career,” said Palmer. “Over the past few years, I’ve had the ability to return the favor to current students.”
Digital Software Classes Inspire Confidence and Spur Creativity
Courtney Coutu ’06 originally delegated art as a hobby but had a breakthrough moment when she took an Adobe Illustrator course with Professor Stanton. Originally majoring solely in English, she later declared graphic design as a second major.
Now she works as a creative manager at Hasbro Inc.’s Global Design and Development division, which brings innovators together to explore products and concepts.
“Stonehill was able to provide me with the realization that I could create a career out of graphic design and the degree to prove it,” said Coutu.
A Program Where Exploration Is Encouraged
Graphic Design major Liliana Jobity ’23 said she always had an appreciation for typography, package design and film posters and thought that graphic design would be a fitting career choice.
“This program really has allowed me to explore the different mediums in design and how to work specifically with each medium,” said Jobity, who interned with Food Truck Festivals of America in Stoughton, Massachusetts, where she was the lead designer in developing a merchandise store website and creating social media content to promote the festivals.
“My time at Stonehill and with the design program allowed me to explore a real-life design job and figure out what works best for me with a company and use that as I begin to explore design jobs for my future,” Jobity said.
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AIGA, Stonehill’s branch of the American Institute of Graphic Arts professional organization for designers and students, arranged for nine students to visit Design Communications Ltd.
From publishing and advertising to screen-based design, Stonehill’s graphic design students graduate with a distinct advantage thanks to extensive internships, a professional design studio on campus and professors with deep roots in the field.