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Advanced DCA student Ana Khachatrian on preparing for the workplace


*Update March 13: Ana just accepted an internship with A Hundred Years!

Our director, Scott Hutchinson, likes to ask one question to DCA students who are almost finished with the program: If your phone rang right now and someone offered you a job, who are they, what firm do they work at, and what’s the job?

Many students don’t have an answer.

Just as research is an essential part of good design, it’s also part of the process of finding work after the DCA program. Apart from preparing your portfolio to be as strong as it can be (we’re here to help! Call 310-206-1422 to schedule a pre-portfolio review anytime) you’ll also need to do homework on which companies or freelance opportunities you most want to pursue.

We’re thankful to advanced DCA student Ana Khachatrian who has shared her thoughts on the process of getting ready to work. She also shares a list of companies and agencies she’s accumulated over the last two years. (They are listed, in no particular order, below.)

You are nearing the end of your DCA studies and it’s time to get serious about taking the skills you’ve learned and transitioning to the workplace. What has that process been like for you?

Throughout the program, I had been developing a long list of companies and agencies in LA that hire designers. As I started to approach the end of the program, I began to do more research on all of them to determine which ones I’d be most interested in potentially pursuing. I also got a head start on putting my portfolio together so that it’s ready once I’m done with school. I’m hoping to eventually code my own site, but until then, I worked on creating a PDF version so that the content is solid and I have something to share, should the need arise. I also put up some of my work on Coroflot to start building more of an online presence until my website is done. Lastly, I’ve been attending meetups and various events to network and meet people in the industry. The community is really friendly and inviting so it’s been a mostly positive experience thus far.
Ana 5
What advice would you give other students who have not reached this point yet?  

Figure out what you want to do and where you want to work and then get yourself out there. Send emails, attend events, ask for help; do whatever it takes, even if it’s hard. It’s always better to try and fail than to not try for fear of failure or rejection. It’s really helped me to figure out where I want to be and what truly excites me as a designer so I have a clear target in mind.

Ana’s list of companies:

Pivotal Labs
Sensing Places
GameDesk
JPL
Belkin
SPINX Digital
Deluxe Media
SoulPancake
Oblong
Huge
Sony
Rovi Corp
Nielsen
ChowNow
GoPhilosophie.com
Two Bit Circus
Possible
DAQRI
Riot Games
Snapchat
Fullscreen
Nasty Gal
strategy&
Upworthy
Vimeo
DEFY Media
Disney
AXS
Iteration Group
Saatchi LA
RPA
A Hundred Years
Big Buddha Baba
Siemens
Get Some Glue
OpenX
Oculus VR
Splice
The Uprising Creative
The Refinery Creative
Signature Creative
CPB Group
RED: ff0000.com
72andsunny
Headspace
Ignition Creative
Brighter Collective
Science-Inc
M-GO
Joystick Interactive
Section Studios
Art+Science Labs
The Noun Project
Critical Mass
hello
Designory
Blitz Agency
Cartoon Network
Factual
Omaze
Tastemade
Zefr
Use All Five
BuzzFeed
frog design
IDEO
Cooper

UX AGENCIES:
CP+B (Crispin Porter + Bogusky)
HUGE
Possible (formerly Schematic)
SapientNitro
BLITZ
Filter
Ogilvy & Mather
Deutsch
RPA: Rubin Postaer and Associates

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