Visual Communications Trip Broadens Horizons for Students, Instructors

Visual Communications Trip Broadens Horizons for Students, Instructors

Sara Plummer
Visual Communications Trip Broadens Horizons for Students, Instructors

Thirteen students and four instructors from OSU Institute of Technology’s School of Visual Communications piled into two vans and set off for Nashville earlier this month to spend five days in the city visiting creative firms, photography studios, and advertising and marketing agencies.

“It was enlightening,” said Will Johnson, a graphic design student. “It was good to see behind the doors of different studios and the different things you can do in that setting.”

Dean of the School of Visual Communications James McCullough said the group visited seven creative agencies in Nashville including television production studios, print shops, design firms and an animation studio.

“We saw a spectrum of things you can do with what we’re learning— broadcast, logos, branding,” said graphic design student Kirsten Cowan.

Most of the students who went on the trip haven’t gone on their internship yet, so this was a chance to see graphic design, photography and 3D modeling and animation in a real-world setting.

“It gave us an opportunity to learn more about the workplace and how to apply for jobs and internships,” said Cristhofer Villegas, who is studying graphic design. “We learned a lot, and we had a lot of fun.”

The students aren’t the only ones who benefit from seeing what different agencies and studios are creating.

“This is a huge professional development trip. It rejuvenates, it reinforces, and it gives us feedback we wouldn’t get in other ways. We get a perspective of different areas and what their expectations are for potential employees,” said McCullough, who has gone on 34 of these annual Visual Communications trips. “It’s great for us because we’re constantly trying to keep up with what is being done in the industry. We can bring that back to our students.”

The trip to Nashville was the ninth one for Brian Caldwell, a Visual Communications instructor

“It recharges me creatively. As an instructor it reaffirms, yes I’m doing something right, or this is something I need to feed into my classes,” Caldwell said.

In addition to going to the creative agencies, the group also enjoyed being tourists and visited places like the Country Music Hall of Fame, Gibson Guitar Museum and Parthenon Museum as well some fun activities like bowling.

The students said the entire trip, including the hours and hours spent together in vans, was a great bonding experience.

“You’re definitely a lot closer to everyone in your class,” Cowan said. “Going on this trip, it’s so valuable, especially if you’re new. I didn’t know these guys nearly as well as I do now, including the instructors.”