Amy Ha has attended New Design School and currently works as a Design Project Manager at Miller Zell in Bentonville, Arkansas. Here we ask Amy a few questions about her experience at New Design School and graphic design work at Miller Zell.
Why did you choose New Design School?
Amy: I had been interested in attending New Design School for a few years, but was not sure if it would be a good match for me. Then in 2012, I made the decision to change my career, and I heard about the school from a friend and how it offered a certificate program that focused on graphic design. I knew this would be a stepping stone for my career change.
What skills that you learned at New Design School do you use most often?
Amy: My job requires mainly Photoshop and InDesign skills. I create a lot of signage and disply renderings and other photo manipulations in Photoshop as concepts to present to the client. I also edit a lot of manuals and style guides via InDesign.
What skills do you wish you would have learned?
Amy: I wish I could have completed all 21 classes in the graphic design certificate program! I really wanted to take web design, photography, collaboration and portfolio development. I believe I would have had a larger skill set, knowledge and experiences to the job.
How did you get your job at Miller Zell?
Amy: I heard about the position from a friend who works at Walmart and he said I should apply for the position. I thought I would never get it because I had no work experience as a designer and did not have a substantial portfolio but I gave it a shot. The classes at New Design School and the portfolio pieces I developed there helped my interview tremendously. It showed what I could do. I'm still learning at my job every day and eager to continue learning the business while adding to my existing work experiences. I applied and got the job!
When did you begin working there?
Amy: I started in July 2013.
Did you have any other work experience or education outside of New Design School that you feel helped you gain this job?
Amy: After I graduated from the University of Arkansas (U of A), I went to the Art Institute of Los Angeles in summer of 2007, and I learned fundamentals of drawing and design, but I returned to Arkansas soon after moving there. In fall of 2008, I returned to the U of A and took a few design classes and it helped me along the way. I've done a few freelancing jobs - wedding invites, a business sign for a roller skate place in Springdale, and posters. These are the small stepping stones that have helped me get where I am today.
What do you like most about working at Miller Zell?
Amy: I like the variety of work I get to do: concepting ideas, developing renderings, seeing projects come to life, managing projects and and designing web pages.
What advice would you give to someone who wants a job like yours?
Amy: I would say to learn and know how to apply graphic design principles. Graphic design does not only apply to print design, layout, package design but it also spans over to other areas such as environmental design/architecture.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
Amy: In five years, I see myself a) still working for a company and designing or the ultimate dream goal. b) freelancing and owning my own business as an art director, designer, writer and film maker. In ten years, I hope to be getting better and more awesome at option b as stated above.
Would you like to share anything else?
Amy: New Design School is a place where I've had to chance to connect with industry creatives and fellow designers while collaborating on projects and events. It's just a great place to develop and grow as a designer.