Monday, March 5, 2012

Next Generation: Part 2

I received another email from a local student here in Wichita wanting to know more about graphic design and what to expect when she graduates. 

Communication in the workplace:
Since we are a small ad agency, everyone helps to answer the phones here. I am regularly directing phone calls and sometimes making small talk with callers if they need to hold for a short time. I will also make presentations with clients, about projects we are working with them and what changes need to be made. It is important to be able to discuss your work and why it looks the way it does. Creating a design usually means work with intentional input from color, type, and image; and you should be able to explain why you used those. Everyone develops his or her own presentation style, but the presentation is one of the best ways to "sell" your work. Most of my communication is oral between my boss and my fellow employers. Since we have graphic designers, web developer, and media buyers here; we all work on different parts of the projects such as buy the ad space, schedule the ad, and then development. Keeping up -to-date with what coworkers need me to do is essential to projects being done on time.

Essential Skills:
Time management is the most important skill you can learn. There are usually many client jobs that are due, and being  able to prioritize is essential to getting things done. Taking good notes is always appreciated. I take notes during clients meetings and will usually send a word document to my boss so she can keep track of everything that has been discussed, and she really appreciates it. The marketing profession is increasingly becoming about staying on the cutting edge or at least up-to-speed which can mean some self-teaching once you are out of school. Trying to keep the mentality of a student/constant learner is a good mind-frame to have.

Preferred communication:
I prefer my visual communication. I became a graphic designer because I like to see rather than speak. Even mundane tasks, such as, making a an excel sheet of all the ads we worked on in 2011. I color coded the emails, print, billboards, and organized them based on their subject matter or I will make a graph for a client to use in an annual report. I sometimes will use quick sketches in initial meetings with clients to show them a possible options, because images can speak louder than words. Using visual cues helps me organize information, which can make that info easier to comprehend for me and others.

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