College of Architecture + The Arts

Florida International University
College of Architecture + The Arts

Modesto A. Maidique Campus
Paul L. Cejas School of Architecture Building
11200 SW 8th Street Miami, Florida 33199

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My First Job as a Graphic Designer for FIU BBC Campus Life

Name: Carina Vo

Hometown: Hialeah, FL

Degree/Major: Digital Media Studies

Where are you working? Title? Jr. Graphic Designer at FIU BBC Campus Life

How did you get your job?
My friend who also works at FIU showed me the job listing, knowing that I wanted to work here and in graphic design. I sent in my cover letter and resume, did phone and in-person interviews, and was invited to start this past Spring!

What was your greatest fear going into your first job and how did you face it or overcome it?
At first, I was afraid of being unequipped since my major is not specific to graphic design. But once I started on my first assignment, I realized that I do have the skills and that I shouldn’t be embarrassed to ask questions. It’s important that I’m always willing to learn new tricks and take on challenging projects.

What surprised you the most about your first job?
I have way more creative freedom than I expected! I already knew that this is a creative department, but it didn’t really hit me fully until I created my first flyer.

What advice do you have for those beginning the job search process?
Be open! Many of my internships were in fields that I worked in for the first time, from research to marketing. This is my first time working in a position specifically focused on design. First jobs are a great way to figure out what you like and what you don’t like, so there’s no better time to take that leap of faith.

What does a day on the job look like?
Sometimes, I’m working on long-term projects, and sometimes, I’ll create promotional materials in less than a week. Whatever the case is, most of my time is spent designing and asking my officemates for input on anything from color palettes to typography to illustrations.

How does your job connect back to your coursework?
I gained so much valuable experience with Adobe Creative Cloud, especially in my Multimedia Production classes and capstone. From editing photos to creating animated graphics, my coursework helped me build my visual design skillset. However, it was my internship with SCJ that helped me understand the marketing aspect of design and what it’s like to work with others to fulfill a vision.

How has your transition from school to work? How do you balance your time?
Being able to work where I went to school has helped me transition smoothly – this campus has such a great environment, and I’m already very familiar with it. When it comes to time management, my planner is a must. I set a goal of what I’d like to have done by the end of the day, and I anticipate what I should be doing next. Since I don’t usually have take-home work, it’s essential that I stay on top of everything at the office.

What’s been the coolest thing about your job so far?
Seeing materials – flyers, postcards, calendars, etc. – that the department has created all over campus is always exciting. As a recent grad, it’s cool that I can still contribute to the student experience in a creative way.

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