Industry Experts Offer Advice, Opportunities to VisCom Students

Industry Experts Offer Advice, Opportunities to VisCom Students

Sara Plummer
Industry Experts Offer Advice, Opportunities to VisCom Students

Getting face time with those in the workforce and hearing directly from those in industry can be beneficial, and students in the School of Visual Communications have had two opportunities in as many weeks.

Four representatives from Hobby Lobby’s Art/Creative department talked with students about the in-house design opportunities available at the national retail chain.

They spoke about the different teams of graphic designers in the Art/Creative department that design a lot of the items in the store including from fabrics, cards and party supplies, children’s foam kits, jewelry, even the packaging and logos— all done in house.

Steve Gaçonnier, CEO of Janimation Studios in Dallas, spoke to students about his company as well as shared advice on how to have a good job interview and what skills students should take into their professional careers.

“First and foremost, we are craftsmen. We take our craft seriously, but we have fun at the same time,” Gaçonnier told the students during his presentation.

He also incorporated audience participation in his presentation, bringing students forward to go through interview scenarios— good and bad— as well as exercises in how to build a team and be a good team leader.

After his presentation, he also visited individual classrooms and interacted with students.

Gaçonnier said he wanted to take the opportunity to address students directly to help them better prepare for their future careers.

“In my past college experience, it was a rare opportunity to hear directly from a professional working in digital media. Young professionals need mentors and need to hear people in the field echo what their professors have been telling them about expectations in the workplace,” he said. “I genuinely enjoy presenting to artists at this point in their path to help inspire them and give them an unfiltered lens into what the industry can be like and how to get there.”

James McCullough, dean of the School of Visual Communications, said it’s good for the students to hear directly from industry representatives about what they need and expect because it reinforces what the faculty tell them.

“I hope they get a true sense and understanding for what the expectations are, as well as the opportunities that these individuals represent and how our students might see themselves in these career directions,” McCullough said. “I think it also gives a reality check to the students and that they acknowledge what they are learning in the classroom is not only of value to them, but is exactly what these industry folks are looking for.”

Gaçonnier said he enjoyed his time at OSUIT visiting with students and instructors.

“The program and instructors provide an open environment to learn and explore real world practices for visual communications,” he said. “The professors clearly are passionate about their departments and bring an easy working attitude to their instruction.”