It’s hard to describe how exciting it can be to sit in on a student’s final portfolio review – the last requirement before we send our graduates out into the “real world.” Seeing what a student can accomplish through the course of the DCA program can be quite a privelege. Recent graduate Ena de Guzman was kind enough to answer a few questions for us.
What was your favorite class and why?
User Experience Design taught me to design for functionality and end-user experience, not just for aesthetic value. Icons, Logo and Logotype is a favorite because I’ve had this thing for revising logos that have the potential for a stronger concept. Graphic Design Career Launchpad was a great opportunity to see what kinds of work environments are out there, what other creatives are doing and how they got where they are, learning what employers will be looking for.
As a designer, what does a potential project need to have for you to feel passionate about it?
I work on projects in industries that I am very interested in – Fashion and Beauty. Creativity flows more freely when you work with something you already love.
Your online portfolio is clean and easy to navigate. And, most importantly, the work is allowed to speak for itself. Any advice for students putting their online portfolios together for the first time?
I put myself in the shoes of the employer, looking at a number of resumes, clicking through project after project, waiting for the images to load. The process is so time consuming. I wanted to solve that and create a site that I could go through easily without having to wait a minute for every photo to load. I maximized the use of the scroll function and minimized the number of clicks you need to get around the site.
When it came to selecting pieces, I had difficulty choosing. I got attached to my work and wanted to put it all up. I eventually learned that I can’t do that if I want to make an impression. I had help in choosing with my Mentorship teacher, Masaki. Only put your strongest pieces up. It helps to get other creative’s opinions too. I had the opportunity to go to an AIGA Student Portfolio Review Day. I got a lot of comments and insight from Creatives who took a look at what I had. From there, I weeded out, made revisions and arranged my work in sets.
What are you currently working on?
Aside from working as an in-house Jr. Graphic Designer, I have been working on branding and identity projects for clients in the beauty and fashion industries.
You rank among those of our students who’ve found full-time design work before finishing the program. Any job-seeking advice for those students who are almost ready to begin their search?
Select pieces from your portfolio that show your strongest ideas and skills and package your work. From your portfolio to your website to your resume and business card, a theme should be established. All these will represent you and the work you do so be sure to have it all reflect your style in a coordinated presentation.
Where do you see yourself professionally in five years?
I’d probably be a Senior Designer at a firm and still doing fun projects on the side.