from school to career

i’m looking a MID programs and curious how many of you out there actually feel that your school/profs helped you find a job? contacts, internships, etc.

i have a bfa and feel that although my career center was supposed to be “top notch” all i got was someone to review my resume. now, part of that was the fine art major, but it still makes me wary.

so, did you get you first ID job because of some school connection or because of a professor? what school? is pratt really that adventageous because of its location?

hey sorry i don’t have a job and can’t answer you. i’m in the same boat as you are. but i can tell you that pratt is a great school and yes, they do help their students with their portfolio a lot more and yes, new york is location location location. what school did you go to and are you sure you want to go to mid program right away? i’m still trying to find design-related things to do. it’s tough but i think you should have some experience before going to mid or any other masters program. good luck and believe in yourself.

If whay you are asking is will a MID from a top noch school get you a job, when your BFA of BS ID has not…probably not. Sorry to be harsh but this is ususally the case. You and everyone in ID really needs to get 3-5 years of real world experiance under your belt before entering a MID program. the BFA/BSID get you the basic knowlege of the field, but the experiance is were you really learn to cut the mustard so to say.

If you just graduated work on your portfolio, this is ususally the cause of non-interested would-be employers. Work on improving and enphasising your all of your strengths. And network…school is the easiest part, marketing yourself is hard work, but if you have the skills, and the visual and verbal comunication skills to show off these skills there are jobs out there. Average search right out of school is 12-18 months. I was lucky mine was only 6, but I new people, and worked my a$$ off in school to have strong projects. I also spent the first 3 months honing my skills and having a couple of professional review and critique my portfolio.

BTW I sent out @600 mailers, had 23 interview (10 over the phone), and was offerd only one trial project. Three weeks into the 6 week contract I was offered a six month contract, 3 months into that 6 month contract I was brought on full-time. Now 2 years later I am the lead designer.

It is about selling yourself as a designer, and showing the value that you and only you can offer the employer.

I’d agree with cake that Pratt’s location is a big plus, but its worth pointing out that their career center will do very very little to help you take advantage of it. Not sure if it’s worth the money just to make connections – you might be better off moving to New York, finding a crap job, working like mad on your portfolio, learning new skills and going to as many industry events as possible.

This is one great thing about NYC – there is always something design related going on, often free or cheap. Go to lots of them, meet people, hand out cards, ask them how they got where they are, etc. I’m not quite six months out of school, and am just discovering how necessary all this legwork is. It has resulted in some freelance work, and a lot of contacts that may very well lead to jobs (“Hey, you’re smart…you should give us a call, we’re always looking for people” etc). Time consuming but requisite.

Pratt does have a lot of working designers on its faculty, which makes a great entry, but if you don’t but a lot of effort into making something out of the contacts, it’s not going to do you much good. Join the IDSA and take some night classes.

First job in the design profession is tough. Hard to get in and the pay is usually lousy… but the rewards come do come.

Hang in there. If this is what you want to do keep looking… even if it takes a few years.

thanks for all the feedback.

to clarify, i have a fine arts degree in photography, 1999.

i have a lot of design sketches and tons of ideas, its jsut how to get into the id world that i’m having trouble with. that’s why i thought going back to school for MID would help.

Yes you do need a degree in ID to break in.

not always needed to have a desgree in ID to get a job in production.

I might just be a freak accident. but I go to Parsons school of design. major in communication design. and well long story short I have been designing shoes for the last yr. I have gone to china to put out samples and am planning trips to italy germany and brazil in the summer for work. I did outside work on my own time. taught myself kinda thing. plus I had a great mentor whom i owe alot of it too. he is the only profesor at the school who teaches shoe design. and well he has helped me. but I have done all my home work I went to libraries and talked with professors in other majors like product design and just tried to talk to everyone. INTRODUCED myself to everyone. they might not remember your name but they will be like “thats that kid who loves …and he aint even in that field studying…” and they will remember. and keep in touch with your professors. I have all there emails and every so often i drop them a line to see how things are. your professors can help you alot.

I agree NYC is a great place to get work but its cut throat–its flooded with designers. I graduate 2006. and just am trying to be a spong soak in everything. if you go back to school. I agree try something other than fine arts or photography. those fields are probably the two hardest to get a job from. I would say fine arts is the hardest. mainly because from what i have heard you make your money from selling at galleries-i am not so sure about photography but like most design careers like also illustration freelance is what is the option. not a 9-5 stable job anymore. the lives of designers has changed and is even more in NYC.

I believe you should take some ID classes this will get people to take you more sereous and also the classes will help in making your ideas a reality and understand what it takes to make a product. ( i am not sure of your knowledge just making a statement)

one last thing…the photography and fine arts and a ID combination could be a interesting combination. I think the more education you have the better.

keep me updated…

just wondering>> wht types of products you into designing??

There are tons of athletic shoe companies in the Boston area.

Does anyone know anything about the program? Any current students out there who can share there experiences?

None really helped. The portfolio reviews and school show (for graduating seniors) helped make contact but in this economy no one is really hiring entry level yet.

If your looking for schools to get a job, you cant do better than UC. because of the co-op program nearly all of the roughly 50 graduates each year get placed somewhere they’ve already worked

With a photography degree you will most likely need to have the ID training under your belt. It is possible for GD to get into ID, but then the validity of ID often falls within that company due to the initial lack of the manufacturing process and restraints. In the increasingly tight time lines required of many design teams it is crucial to have designers who have the ability to do far more than just simple styling, they need to have the marketing, research, artistic, mechanical, and manufacturing knowlege to control and complete nearly the entire project without utilizing specialist due to time and budgetary restraints.

I agree that UC would be a good choice, but the school only gives you a door to the world. It is your legwork, project work, and Passion for the process that will get your firt foot through.

I found a job fairly fast once I got out of school but I also had a nine month long internship which gave me the experience I needed to get people to listen and give me a shot.

The best advice I can give anyone trying to start out who doesn’t have a lot of experience is to do research on companies in your area that you think might be a good fit. Then call them and ask to speak to someone in the design department and NEVER someone from HR. Check the company website and see if you can find out who the designers are, especially creative directors or people with similar titles. Then offer your services and see what they have. My office has given overflow work to freelancers and we have then brought those people in later because of the great work.

In my own personal experience I was hired and the company figured out pretty quick that I could do what a lot of the current staff couldn’t do and as a result when times got tough and the money went down to a trickle, I stayed and the older people went. I am now in a much better position to be trusted on larger projects and my resume and portfolio has grown substantially because of it.

The big thing to also remember is to never lie about what you can do. Ive had a slew of people recently who said they could do something and when we actually tested them they failed miserably. This goes mostly for computer programs but also for presentation skills, sketching, or whatever. I saw one highly polished portfolio where the guy could do amazing 3D renderings, but when we asked him to work on some projects everything looked the same. It came down to the fact that the guy had created a scene for photorealistic renderings and no matter what he did he just threw everything in the same scene and there was no originality. A client wanted something different and the guy didn’t know what to do. If you have a skill promote it but be ready to back it up.