Alumni Update with Kristen

The cool part about graphic design is that every business needs it. This means that you can work for many different industries and you can utilize your other interests besides graphic design in your career. This week’s alum works for one of my favorite companies: Gertrude Hawk! Below alum Kristen describes how her education at Marywood helped her succeed in such a cool job.

Kristen ShemanskiKristenShemanski

Graduation Year/Major: Class of 2008, Graphic Design

Marywood Clubs/Activities: Student Graphic Design Club, Zeta Omicron (International Art Honor Society), Delta Epsilon Sigma (National Scholastic Honor Society)

Current Occupation: I’m currently a graphic designer at Gertrude Hawk Chocolates. I design packaging, retail signage, brochures, and other printed materials for the company. I also manage the company’s online presence, including social media and the company’s e-commerce website.

1) What was your favorite part about Marywood?

My favorite part about Marywood was the smaller class sizes. It allowed for a lot of one-on-one instruction from professors and for a tight-knit community. And I really loved the facilities. I lived in the art buildings when I was a student.

2) Any advice for current art students at Marywood?

Try everything and do as much as you can! It’s really the time to soak up as much experience and develop who you are as an artist. You can really take your time and hone your skills in college, things move much faster in the professional world.

3) How did your art education at Marywood help your career?

I’m fortunate that every job I’ve had since graduating from Marywood has been in my field. A strong liberal arts background along with the reputation of the art program at Marywood really helped.

4) What is your favorite part about your job?

I get to work with chocolate every day and my office is in a chocolate factory! I get to do so many different things and I have a voice an opinion about my work. It never gets old.

5) The question on everyone’s minds….do you get to eat a lot of chocolate?

Chocolate is everywhere! I’m not biased or anything, but we really do make some of the best chocolate. I don’t eat a lot, but a piece once in awhile is unavoidable… especially when we’re doing photo shoots or trying new products.

Images courtesy of Kristen Shemanski.

Are you interested in studying graphic design?

The BFA 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 with real clients. Regular class critiques and portfolio reviews are repeated throughout the program. LEARN MORE

Marywood’s MFA Program “Get Your Masters with the Masters” is a low-residency program for a 60-credit Master of Fine Arts degree in graphic design or illustration. It’s 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. LEARN MORE

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