Hey Bloggers! When I started writing for Where Creativity Works back in August 2022, I was so nervous to make sure I had blog topics to talk about. Over time I began thinking about design deeper in the classroom and paying attention to more things outside as well, things that were interesting, thought provoking or sparked my curiosity. As I sit here to write my last blog post, I can’t believe how quick these past few months have gone and how much I have contributed to the blog and vice versa. Within a few months of writing for the blog, I became the Junior Editor spending time each week to edit, revise and schedule the blogs for the week, making sure everything was in check.

As I venture out into my new, emerging life that has me in a limbo between Scranton and Philadelphia, I am bouncing from homework and studying to paying bills and moving into my new place. My new job (you can read about it here) starts June 5th and I couldn’t be more excited about graduating and starting work.

On that post (mentioned above) one of my readers asked me, “how did your experiences at Marywood University prepare you for this opportunity and what advice would you give to other design students who aspire to work in the sports industry?” As I went to respond to David’s post, I found myself writing this blog in response, as it doubles as my last blog.

One of the graphics I made for the Volleyball Club I worked with, where it all started.

To give a little background, the journey I have been on starts a bit before I came to Marywood. Sometimes the lower points in life lead you to the best decisions and happiest journeys. Before coming here, I was at a point in my life where I fell out of love with art and I was just wasting paper, materials and time and I was going through a lot, mentally and physically. I decided to take the year off of school, when I truly discovered my second passion of coaching and working with young athletes. At the same volleyball club, the opportunity emerged to run the social media pages and have creative freedom to make sports edits.

I knew I wanted to go back to school, eventually, so as my mental and physical health improved I applied to Marywood (again) looking to transfer from my school in Brooklyn. Taking the year off and coaching, set a foundation for my mindset going back into school, it was really the reset I needed. I was so excited to learn and play volleyball again and I was determined to make it the best I could. With that, I started to fall back in love with art, so I chose to continue that as my major paired with this idea that I could do sports design, realizing now I could combine my two greatest passions.

Coming in with the right mindset, Marywood gave me everything I needed to truly succeed. Firstly, it gave me friends. I have the same group of fellow design students in all of my studio classes that have supported me and provided a sounding board for my designs, on top of good memories. The small class sizes have allowed us to get to know each other on a deeper level and really focus in on key design topics, led by our amazing professors. The staff here treats us as designers, not just students. Relating to us on a professional level and providing a space that we can spark ideas, gain direction and have a true mentorship with amazing professors like Sue Jenkins, Chris Medley, Steven Brower, John Meza and Kat Bondi. I have been able to reach out to them with questions I have about outside commissions as I navigate my young career as a graphic designer.

Additionally, the courses that are required in the curriculum are super great too and have benefitted my career. Ranging from web, interactive, package and print design, I tailored most of my projects to be sports oriented (check out my portfolio here). On top of that, my senior year was full of courses like Business Production, which focuses on a semester-long company redesign including style guides, menus, merchandise and mini lessons on how to manage clients, charging prices, contract agreements and options to start your own freelance and what you need to pay attention to. Following this class we also take Portfolio Development, which had me building my resumes, cover letters, where to look for jobs, redesigning my website and organizing PDF’s of my work in order to successfully apply to jobs.

I think the biggest influence during my time at Marywood that help me develop and grow into the sports industry has been Sue Jenkins. Not only is she a wonderful person and artist inside and out, but she really supported me in every way she knew how. If it wasn’t for Sue, I would have never been connected to my internship with Lackawanna College Athletics, which was so pivotal for me as an aspiring sports designer. When I was going through my interview process with the Flyers over spring break, Sue and I had a long zoom meeting going over preparation points for my interview, since I don’t have a lot of interview experience.

Outside of the design program at Marywood, I can say that the athletics department here has been awesome to work with. Being an athlete, I was able to make graphics for the program and my teammates, making senior posters and social media designs. I was able to tailor some projects for our social impact class to work with athletics and put floor decals in the gym stating, “Kindness Lives Here.”

I also got the opportunity to work with the track and field team after being a newbie as a sprinter for one season. I got to design their season schedule and even take pictures of my fellow athletes. This past season as well, I got to take pictures with the tennis team attending their home matches and providing some actions shots, Sue Jenkins strikes again by putting me in contact with their coach who was looking for a photographer.

So, David, to sum up your question, coming in with the right mindset, the professors, students and classes here have been nothing shy of supportive of my dreams and the Marywood community is very involved with each other and overall always looking to help others. Although I am pursuing my dream career down in Philly, I will miss being on Marywood’s campus with these awesome people everyday but I surely plan on coming back to visit.

If I had to give advice to anyone aspiring to work in the sports industry, it would be to take that team mentality of the game and apply it to the field. I think being an athlete has been a huge influence on the way I was able to go about my career. Just like sports, design is always being looked at through a lens and constantly asking yourself, “how can I do this better, how can I be better?” Working towards the bigger picture, thinking about the small things in your skillset can work towards a stronger end goal, that showed up for me as I found myself constantly saying, “this will be great for my portfolio, or how can I make this about sports?” The last thing I constantly think about with sports and design is the team mentality, what is your niche that you’re going to bring to a design team?

Thank you to all of my readers, classmates, friends, professors and family, that have continuously showed up time and time again at my art shows and volleyball games. The support is unmatched, undying and unforgettable and I couldn’t have done it without any of you guys.

Left to right: Nicholas Morrow, Shannon Corr, Caitlin Belcher, Anna Warkentin, Marla Gambucci, Kara Hurne, Jennifer Flynn.

3 thoughts on “Homestretch

  1. Shannon, how lucky we are that you decided to study design with us at Marywood! You are an amazing catalyst for positive change. Your passion, dedication, enthusiasm, kindness, generosity, and all around good nature is electric. It’s been incredible to witness so many things fall into place due to your focus and creativity, like the blog editor role, your internship with Lackawanna College Athletics, photography gigs for Marywood’s sports teams, and now an incredible position with the Philadelphia Flyers who will soon discover how lucky they are to have you on their team. You are truly inspirational Shannon. It has been a sincere joy to be your professor and mentor.

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