In college, I feel like I didn’t come into my own until my third year of school. I was so busy with DAAP work and my sorority events that I totally missed all of the great opportunities I had in front of me. I decided that I wanted to get serious about getting involved and making a difference on our campus. The University of Cincinnati has so many diverse groups, clubs, and organizations that elevate the ordinary college experience. It’s just a matter of finding one that works for you and provides inspiration.
What can you do to enhance your college experience while carving a path for your future?
Strive to make change in whatever you get involved with, change will get you noticed. I was accepted into Student Alumni Council during my third year and immediately sought to make a difference in the group.
I co-chaired the Red & Black (a UC spirit and traditions book used for recruiting) that year and made it more accessible and relatable to both alumni and students everywhere.
I began working on a campaign for the student body presidential elections the following spring and was proud to see my designs around campus. Because of my work with the campaign, I was elected for two years to the position of Student Government Design Director and began creating collateral that appeared across campus.
Through my work with student government, I got a job in the Department of Campus Services designing pieces for UC programs and activities on Main Street. I began to see my place in the university. So much of my work emerged in buildings, bulletin boards, signage, and other parts of the school. I had worked with the university and student government’s branding standards so much that I soon had colors, fonts, and sizes committed to memory. Through my design work I found a new passion for our school.
How did all of this finally pay off?
In the middle of my fifth year I volunteered to organize a Dinner of Twelve Strangers through Student Alumni Council, aimed at joining DAAP students and professionals for a night of discussion and collaboration. I found two alumni willing to sponsor the dinner at their office, Jeff Klump & Rick Posey of K4 Architecture. It was at this dinner that I learned that K4 was interested in hiring a graphic designer. I emailed them the next week and asked about the design position. It is at K4 that I am currently working my first job as a graphic designer, all due to my involvement in school and connections through the university.
I have continued to remain involved today, both in groups I was a part of in school and in new organizations. Not only has being involved benefited me through making connections, finding new passion in my school and work, and meeting new people, but I have also learned so much about myself. I found that I do my best work when I am busy and involved in multiple things at once. This knowledge has helped me professionally as I entered the work force and sought out new opportunities to enhance my working life. I can remain focused and creative at work as well as during my free time. This is the best advice I can give anyone: get involved and stay involved. It doesn’t have to end when you leave school, move, or begin a new job. Once you learn how to put yourself out there and get into something, you’ll see that your river will continue to cut new paths, leading to new opportunities.