In an interview with a Design Communications and Arts graduate Kelly Cobb, she shares with us the skills she attained by taking UCLA Extension courses. Below she shares some of the work that she produced after the certificate program.
What brought you to the DCA program?
I was working at UCLA in event planning and marketing and when my job took on the sudden responsibility of designing brochures and flyers for events which soon became the favorite part of my day. I looked into many continuing education graphic design programs but quickly found that UCLA Extension was one of the best. It had knowledgeable teachers who are currently working in the industry and had classes that fit my work schedule.
I loved most of the courses at UCLA Extension but my favorites were Packaging Design, Branding, and Photoshop. I think I got the most out of these classes because they were the most challenging. All of the material was really packed in over the 12 week period and was fun to challenge myself to stay creative and create inspiring projects on top of just merely completing the assignments. I felt like that really prepared me for a real agency setting because there is always going to be a deadline and you need to keep the creative juices flowing.
For me there needs to be more of a “why” than a “what”. Anyone can create a product and go out and try to sell it but for someone who has passion and drive behind their product/project and truly try to create a community is something that I’m really drawn to and helps get me motivated to be apart of it.
How have the UCLA Extension classes helped improve your work, and or expanded your professional development in the field?
Not only did I learn an immense amount of technical and software skills, I learned the concept of design thinking. I definitely see the progression I made from my first academic quarter to my last just because I started to incorporate the lessons that I was learning in class. Additionally, I not only made great connections with many classmates but also with my teachers, some of whom I still stay in touch with.
If the phone rang right now and somebody offered you your dream design job, who are they, where do they work, and what’s the job?
I’m incredibly lucky and this has already happened. I came home to Colorado for an internship at Interact, a packaging and branding design agency in Boulder, CO, and I was offered a job at the end of my internship! I love what I do and I wake up excited to go to work. I have loved diving into the world of package design because it is so complex and I am learning new things every single day.
What are you working on right now?
Where do you see yourself professionally in 5 years?
I would love to be in a Senior Designer role in 5 years. I want to try to keep my hands on the projects as long as possible before moving up to a Creative Director position later in the future.