One of the best ways for a graduate to get that first job out of college is to impress a prospective employer with his or her capabilities, and that’s what graduating Visual Communications students at OSU Institute of Technology are well equipped to do. The students, who specialized in the areas of graphic design, photography and multimedia, presented their portfolios to members of the division’s Advisory Board and employers seeking talented graduates to hire.
“The advice of the advisory board members and industry professionals about their portfolios is vital to students and their future work,” says Kurt Stenstrom, Capstone class instructor at OSU Institute of Technology. The Portfolio Review is the final step in each student’s program of study. In Capstone they devote an entire semester perfecting a portfolio that showcases their best work. “The quality of their graphic design, web sites and photography in the portfolio determines the quality of jobs and level of salaries they’ll be offered.” Another requirement of the Capstone course is that students set up interviews with a minimum of three potential employers to give them experience with job interviewing.
“OSU Institute of Technology’s Visual Communications program is widely known in the graphic design industry as the premier technical program in this region,” says Pat Braithwaite, Vice President for Student Affairs and Chair of OSU Institute of Technology’s Visual Communications Division. “The economy in Oklahoma is rebounding, so the number of jobs in visual communications is increasing and the salaries are excellent. We’re hearing from many employers who are eager to hire graduates to infuse fresh talent into their creative departments. We need more graduates to fill those jobs.” He advises anyone with ability in any area of visual communications to visit OSU Institute of Technology for a tour to get an in-depth look at the Visual Communications program.
A member of OSU Institute of Technology’s Visual Communications Division Advisory Board, Lloyd Cullison, is the Administrator for Creative Services at ConocoPhillips in Bartlesville. He was impressed with the quality of the portfolios. “OSU Institute of Technology’s Visual Communications program incorporates into the students’ curriculum the skills that businesses require for today’s communications.”
David Halpern, well-known Oklahoma photographer and former OSU Institute of Technology photography instructor, says the Visual Communications division has the premier photography program in the region. “Each year, the quality of students coming into the program improves, and the skills taught in the curriculum move up to a higher level, also. The photography portfolio I saw was extraordinary. That student’s work could stand up to any photography graduate of any other prestigious photography school in the nation.” Halpern added this is a reflection on the students’ talent as well as a reflection on the high quality of the instructors and the curriculum.
Cody Johnson of Wyandotte is graduating with a degree in photography. Soon after he enrolled in the photography program, Johnson felt he chose the right career path because he discovered his passion and talent for photography. “I love photography, and I feel I have learned a great deal. The photography curriculum is very intense and I feel it has taught me the skills I need to know and helped me perfect my talent. I’m ready to work as a professional photographer.”
Dwayne Wegley of Claremore is graduating with a degree in graphic design. He thinks OSU Institute of Technology’s Visual Communications program has prepared him well for a career in graphic design. “I really enjoy graphic design, because I can express my creativity when designing an advertisement or other piece. I like designing, because it gives me inspiration in my life. For example, after I was in a car wreck, I used my creative skills to work through that tough time by writing a song and designing a CD package.”
Jeremy Jones of Bixby is graduating with a degree in graphic design. He thinks the Visual Communications program has prepared him well to work in the industry. “In my internship, I created ads, logos, magazine covers and book covers with the skills I learned at OSU Institute of Technology. This portfolio review today is beneficial – hearing positive feedback about my work is very rewarding.”
Brian Clark of Owasso is graduating with a degree in multimedia. He says he chose this career field because he’s always loved computers and web sites. “I’m graduating with a lot of knowledge that I gained from this program - it prepared me extremely well. My internships were especially beneficial and helped me build a well-rounded portfolio.”
Peggy Billups of Mannford is graduating with a degree in graphic design. She says throughout the portfolio review she received many positive comments from the industry professionals. “I enrolled in this degree program because I needed a career that would pay me well enough to put my children through college, and realized I have a talent for design that I have learned to perfect in this program. The graphic design curriculum is very challenging, and I feel I am well-trained for a career in graphic design.”
Stephen Cox of Muskogee is graduating with a degree in graphic design. He says in addition to his classroom training, his internships provided him with a great deal of on-the-job experience. “OSU Institute of Technology’s program has taught me the skills I need to know and helped me perfect my talent. My internships have prepared me to work in the real world in graphic design, and I’ll be able to choose from a variety of career options.”
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OSU Institute of Technology's Visual Communications Graduates Present Portfolios to Prospective Employers" border="1" style="border-color:#ff6600" /> OSU Institute of Technology's Visual Communications Graduates Present Portfolios to Prospective Employers" border="1" style="border-color:#ff6600" />
Image #1: Dwayne Wegley (right)
Image #2: Jeremy Jones (left)
Image #3: Stephen Cox (left)
Bottom Center: Brian Clark (right)
Bottom Left: Peggy Billups (right)
Bottom Right: Cody Johnson (right)