I get lots of e-mails and inquires from folks looking for advice on making a career change to the design industry. Its tough for me to give any sort of advice, its a personal decision that depends on personal circumstances. Many of the students in my classes at CDIA-BU have made the decision to go back to school and become designers, and I think it is an incredible feat of courage.
A few years ago, my best friend began considering this very possibility. Keri, who I have known since the 6th grade, decided that she wanted to drop everything and change her life to pursue a design career. Keri has always been interested in design, we became good friends because we were both on the staff of our middle school yearbook and later took art classes together in High School. While other friends have come and gone, Keri and I have always shared the bond of appreciating creativity, design, making things, and art.
In college Keri fell in love with Spanish and chose a major in it, graduated and got a pretty good job in Richmond Virginia making good money. As an Int’l Customer Service Rep. for Alcoa Inc (thats Reynolds wrap, ya’ll) she managed client relations with customers all over the world exercising her proficiency in spanish. But one day it hit Keri that this is was not the career path she wanted, and began the long journey of leaving her well-paying job, adorable little house, and the awesome town of Richmond (can I get a hell yeah for the fan?) to move to DC and attend the Art Institute of Washington DC.
Something I have noticed about students who decide to go back to school for a career change is… they don’t f*ck around. They realize the importance of building a great portfolio and leverage their experience and maturity to buckle down and crank out great work. They are fast, efficient, interested, and mature designers. Marry all of that with a proficiency in Spanish and you have Keri.
Keri recently graduated from the Art Institute and I am really proud of her. The courage and tenacity it takes to go back to school and seek a new job in a new career path during these economic times is pretty amazing to me.
I encourage you all to please check out her work, reach out with any leads or feedback, connect on LinkedIn, and welcome Keri to the design community. After all this hard work she is excited to get started doing EVEN MORE work, design work. If you know of any entry level design positions in the DC area, please consider contacting her.