3rd Quarter, 2007
Vo-tech Scholarship Winner
“I’m currently a junior and double majoring in Graphic Communications and Integrated Marketing Communications. My current GPA is 3.9 and I’m working hard to maintain high grades. I’m an active member in TAGA, the Technical Association of Graphic Artists, and I spend a lot of time in our press shop working on jobs. I have experience in many different styles of printing ranging from lithographic to screen printing as well as several years of digital design for print and web media to back it up. I spend a lot of my free time working on computers with networking and hardware configurations.
Another great hobby of mine is crafting. I’ve spent a lot of time learning new arts like needlepoint and painting. I also make many things with knitting and crocheting. Crafts give me another way to showcase my creative streak outside of printing and digital design. Scrapbooking allows me to show off all of my photography and gives me something to show off for years to come.”
A Portion of Jessica’s Winning Essay:
Ever since I was very young, I have been interested in computers, art and design. As I grew older, I understood that the combination of these interests could lead me to a career. Since that point in time, I have begun to research different careers and paths that I could take to unify those desires and create a fulfilling career out of them.
Around my sophomore year of high school, I realized my focus would be in graphic design or visual communications. I enjoy the opportunity I have to communicate ideas through print media. The manipulation and art of photography, both digital and 35 mm, also fascinates me.
Beginning in my junior year of high school, I searched for possible colleges to attend.
When I began, I first had to decide what kind of college I was interested in attending. The bombardment of information had just started to flow in from different colleges following my ACT testing over spring break. There were four-year colleges and universities, two-year trade schools, community colleges, and specialized schools, all calling on my doorstep. At some point, the sheer variety was just overwhelming. I decided that a year round school would fit my needs the best. The individualized attention of a small school also piqued my interest.
Once I decided the kind of school I wanted to attend, I had to decide which of them would provide the best overall curriculum for me. Several of these schools contacted me, and I researched them extensively, focusing on the environment of the school this time.
I attended the Illinois Institute of Art – Schaumburg for the first year and a half of my college education. Unfortunately, the cost of tuition became too much even though I took on a 50 hour a week full-time job to help cover the remainder of my costs.
I took a short break the following summer, and transferred to College of DuPage for fall semester of 2006. My application to Illinois State University would be sent too late for me to begin in fall, and I transferred to ISU in Spring of 2007.
What I saw and learned about the school fascinated me. Who knew such an interesting place could offer an affordable college education? Optional choices for alternative credit earning drew me in; there are so many opportunities for both co-ops and internships to earn credit towards my bachelor’s degree. The vibrancy and attentiveness to detail in the student’s work presented in the graphics lab shows me what everyone is actually learning and improving upon, creating an example of what I could accomplish. As I walked the halls, I could not help but think, “This could be my work. I could actually learn these new techniques here”.
I have been learning new methods and design theories in high school, but I have desired to accomplish more, and to have the ability to work with professionals on their level, perhaps considered a professional myself. I have already accomplished a lot in my chosen vocation, mostly through volunteer projects. Nonetheless, my work has already made its way into the world and is on display proudly by those who have asked for my assistance.
Since I was young, I also have been involved with the Great Lakes Poodle Club of Chicago and conformation dog showing. I have been heavily involved with the club over the years, and my involvement has increased since I graduated High School. One of the main focuses of this breed club is to inform the public not only about the breed, but also about canines in general. Through the club’s functions, public awareness about genetic testing, temperaments, training, and canine health has spread. Often, the board members have come to me for my expertise in spreading knowledge in an efficient and eye-catching way. I have produced several publications, brochures, flyers as well as tee shirts for the club.
I have searched through many, many colleges and have found only a few that have satisfied my selective tastes. The proper learning experience is essential in my mind, and I feel as though a person could never be too selective in deciding their future. I hope to achieve a greater knowledge of design concepts and theories and develop my designing abilities. Illinois State University offers many degrees and courses of study that compliment each other in areas of specialty. I have debated for many years my love for Graphics and my love of Advertising. Being at Illinois State has allowed me to combine both experiences by having two majors that will award me with two bachelor’s degrees.
My degree in Graphic Communications will allow me to proceed into the field with the technical and aesthetic knowledge required to succeed in either design or printing. The knowledge that I will receive by the end of my program will allow me to achieve a role of higher status as well as the ability to work with and understand the roles other members of my team. A well-rounded degree that focuses both on design and production will allow me the opportunity to expand my horizons and pursue any path that is available to me. The program teaches knowledge in both the design aspect and printing realm of Graphic Communications. Through mostly hands-on experience, the program teaches software applications, design principles, output methods, and printing operations.
My degree in Integrated Marketing Communications allows me to explore the world of Advertising. The program teaches management, business organization, advertising principles, business economics, and public behavior and requires knowledge in accounting and mathematics. This will allow me the knowledge to succeed in the high functioning business world. Marketing shows me an inside look at the pre-production stages of advertisement, and allows me the opportunity to have knowledge of the entire process beginning with the client.
I desire to expand upon my current knowledge and to broaden my horizons by learning more about the subjects that are my passion. I am eager to learn the skills that are required of the people I would be working with in order to communicate ideas more fluently on joint projects. I believe I have found one of the few schools that can offer me the opportunity that would allow me to accomplish this. I would love to learn more about image manipulation prior to final printmaking using 35 mm film. The design concepts that can be shown through the simple use of basic physical filters is the actual basis behind what we normally just exhibit through a few keystrokes or clicks of the mouse in Photoshop. That originating value through its foundation draws me to the beginnings of advanced photography.
Over the years I have studied hard to advance my knowledge in both areas as well as expand my horizons to new and different techniques in design. My ideal career is to work in advertising, either profit or non-profit, for a company that works towards educating their audience rather than popular manipulating found in large retail corporations. My hard work in school and my experience with clients and projects that I have already produced will give me the final edge I need to succeed. I will wow the world with outstanding and original designs and insight into the minds of millions.
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