This week AIGA Upstate New York hosted an event at RIT called Emerge. We asked 5 incredible local speakers to come give tips to students about to enter the “real world”. These speakers really brought their A-game!
The first speaker was Taira Perrault, who works at Partners and Napier. Taira talked about her journey from graduation, to landing her dream job. Taira took a humbling retail job after school, but had her eyes set on a job with Partners and Napier. She crafted a very specific piece for the CEO of Partners, and hand delivered it. They were blown away by her creativity, and she landed an interview within an hour. The rest was up to her. Having a portfolio, a resume, and a website often isn’t enough, but that extra step showing that you did your research and are ready to go above and beyond – that’s what really counts. Promote Yo’ Self people!
Melanie Rogala spoke next, and talked about her experience as an in-house designer. She talked about the benefit of working on a small team, about advocating for yourself, and broke many stereotypes about working in-house. Melanie loves job, has a great team, and a lot of room to play. As she said “Money doesn’t buy happiness but it buys gold foil and spot UV printing!” She also made a great note about how wonderful blazers are, and how marketing people are basically unicorns. Basically her metaphors were on point.
TC Pellett spoke next, and talked about social media. TC owns his own business (note I didn’t say “is a freelancer”) and talked about having your own voice online. He reminded everyone that the most important thing we can do for people as designers, is to tell a story. He reminded students to be consistent and be human with their online presence, and to engage with people. He’s worked with so many agencies in the area, so it was really great to hear so many case studies from his clients.
Patrick Haney is not a sausage. His 10 minute talk was all about your web presence, and leaving an impression. He has an amazing ice breaker that people remember him by, and stayed with him for years. Him and his wife run Hanerino, and they’re my neighbors (they seriously live in the coolest mid century house). He also pointed out some cool ways that students can show their work online without building a custom site. While making online connections are great, he encouraged people to meet offline as well. If you can’t find a group that fits your needs, go make one! His “ice breaker” made everyone laugh, and reminded everyone that you should embrace your weird, because it makes you stand out!
To finish off our event, Katelin Pellett (TC’s wife – talk about a power couple!) talked to everyone about what she does at Causewave, paying it forward, and how to ask people for advice. Katelin took a job she loved, and believed in, she might take a smaller paycheck, but her passion for her job WAY outweighs that. Her job motivates her, and that’s worth everything. She serves as the president of the RAF, and encouraged students to get involved. The professionals involved in RAF and AIGA are the ones who can give these students jobs when they graduate (or internships!) so getting involved, and getting off campus is SO important! Katelin’s got serious style, and she speaks so eloquently to a group. She speaks with confidence, and enthusiasm, while infusing her personality throughout.
I was blown away by the professionalism, the advice, and the crowd. We had great questions from the audience, and the information proved to be really valuable for the students. Thanks again to everyone who came out!