Alumni Stories: Meet Ryan McAndrew

Ryan McAndrew

Name: Ryan McAndrew

Graduation Year & Degree: Bachelor of Fine Arts, 2014

Major: Graphic Design

Current Occupation: Marketing Manager

How long at current job: 2 years, 1 month


Instagram: @rymcandrew

What was your favorite part about studying art at Marywood?

My favorite part would be the freedom we had with our design projects and having group critiques of everyone’s work. I really enjoyed those conversations and being able to pick the brains of my fellow classmates. Also, being the only dude in a classroom full of girls was pretty cool. [Editor’s note: Marywood U’s current student demographic is Male 31%, Female 69%]

How did your art education at Marywood help your career?

My art education at Marywood helped me in many ways. The graphic design courses they provided gave me confidence when I entered the design field. The wide range of projects and lessons gave me the experience needed to complete the requirements of my job. Presenting in front of the class made me comfortable when communicating my ideas to others. I still use all those skills that were crafted during my time at Marywood.

What attracted you to this career path?

The wide range of career paths attracted me to become a graphic designer. There are so many different directions you can take on your journey as a graphic designer and there are always new things to learn. I worked in advertising, became a web designer, and now I’m a marketing manager. Each profession provided me with a wealth of knowledge and experiences. 

Did your career path match your vision of a career path? What’s different?

Absolutely not, hahaha. I thought I would be working in the big city with a very important job and on my third marriage by now. Everything is different, but that’s OK. You don’t need to live in a big city to find a rewarding job. Life throws you curve balls, you just have to adjust and adapt.   

What is your favorite thing about your current job?

My favorite thing about my current job is the variety of projects I work on. There are days where I bounce back and forth between designing ads to building a website or working on a window wrap. Every day is different and I like the unexpected.

Are you currently working on any interesting side projects?

I have been really interested in consultant work and starting my own design business. I gained a lot of experience since I graduated and with the new year coming, I plan on seeing what opportunities are out there for me.  So all the other design companies better watch out.

What are some of the biggest rewards in your career?

The biggest rewards would be the friends and connections I made over the years. There are a lot of wonderful people out there who you can learn from and it’s very interesting to see how your professional relationships can lead to some amazing opportunities.

What’s something that would surprise people about your day-to-day?

How easy designing gets. There are still projects that will challenge you but it does become second nature after a while. What is really surprising are the other skills you pick up along the way. Learning how to communicate with people or your fellow coworkers is something I find important. Having the ability to simply talk to people is its own art form.

What inspires you?

I used to look at other designers for inspiration or I would listen to music to get the creative juices flowing, but lately the possibilities of the career path that lies ahead of me has really been a driving force of inspiration.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Birds aren’t real, wake up America! . . . . .But really don’t sweat the small things, never take work home and most importantly have fun. Jobs come and go, there is plenty of time to figure it out.

Any advice for current art students at Marywood?

Lose the ego and be open to other opinions. Being able to listen to your clients and handle criticism will make you a better designer. Focus on the user experience and who your audience is. As I said earlier, designing gets easier the more you do it, the true art is how you choose to present yourself when proposing your ideas. Having the ability to convince your clients before even showing them a single design is what will make you stand out from the rest. Thank you for coming to my TED talk.


Instagram: @rymcandrew


Graphic Design – Bachelor of Fine Arts: Design
Our graphic design program at Marywood will introduce you to a variety of design disciplines. Conceptual development, technical skills and professionalism are emphasized. Students have the opportunity to work independently, with partners, in small groups, with professionals in the field and real clients. Regular class critiques and portfolio reviews are stressed throughout the program.

Low Residency MFAs in Graphic Design and Illustration are offered through our “Get Your Masters with the Masters” MFA for Working Professionals and Educators in Graphic Design & Illustration. This 60-credit Master of Fine Arts degree is specifically designed for working art directors, designers, illustrators, new media artists and art educators who have to budget their time and resources carefully, while continuing with their full-time occupations. While production and technical skills are stressed, the thrust of our program is on creativity and concept.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.