A Graphic Design Success Story

Mar 18, 2024 | Alumni Success, Testimonials

Through feedback and employment reports from alumni students, we have recently been able to connect with a few alumni to talk about their experiences as a DWC student, any current professional endeavors, and how their time at DWC shaped their professional lives.

Not happy with the jobs you’ve had since graduating college? Michael knows the feeling. He found us through researching alternative ways of learning new skills and we were able to help him transform his professional career. Having graduated from a traditional education back in 2006, Michael Weaver didn’t feel satisfied with how his professional career was turning out. Finding us was exactly what he needed. Through our hands-on approach to learning and a focus on career development, our instructors were able to help Michael go from a beginner to a confident graphic designer. Now, Michael is happy in his current role and is eager to return to DWC in the future for further upskilling needs.

What led you to choose us as your education and why did you decide to take the Advanced Graphic Design Certificate Program?

I graduated college back in 2006 from just a traditional university and I just wasn’t happy with, you know, what jobs I was getting. I wanted to go back to school, but I didn’t want to go back to a traditional university. So, I was doing research on different trades that you could do and graphic design kept popping up. The more I researched it, the more I thought this might be something I’d be really interested in.

What do you remember as your most enjoyable part as a DWC student, such as skills that stuck out to you or a class that you really enjoyed?

So I took the Intro to Graphic Design course and Jake N. was the instructor and I was interested. I was still interested. I thought I made a good decision. And then we started with Adobe Illustrator and right away, the class sizes were great. There was hands-on instruction where Jake would come around and check with all of us when we were working on some kind of new skill for each part of the book. It just felt like somebody was right there with you, really helping you one on one. Even if you felt like you were lost a little bit, he’d come right over and start helping you out. So I really liked that aspect of it. As somebody as seasoned as Jake, he’s been in the business of graphic design for, I think like 30 years; he was right there helping out someone who was their first day. I thought that was really great.

How do you feel as though the classes you took and maybe our instructor, Jake, prepared you for the current workforce that you’re in right now?

That’s what was great (about your instructors) because he is part of the graphic design world. His career is so vast. So we’re learning technical skills, but he was also giving us a lot of real world situations, whether it’s working for a big company or doing freelance. When it came to doing design specifically for digital or print, he was able to give us so many examples and answer so many questions, things that I didn’t even really would know apply until I started doing it on my own. And so that was, that was really, really helpful.
Graphic Design Courses

That’s awesome; that’s really great to hear. What are you currently doing now? Any professional endeavors?

I’m a pre press designer for Leapin’ Lizard Labels and they do banners, labels, stickers. I am at the end of getting people’s submitted work and designs and I get it ready for printing. There’s a lot of back and forth. The customers we’re working with, the majority of them don’t really know much about design. If they have a designer, the designer, you know, sent them the file and then they gave it to us. And sometimes even that designer doesn’t really know how to set it up specifically for print. There’s a lot of things we have to do with those design files to get them ready for printing. So it’s really technical graphic design. It’s mostly technical, there’s not a lot of creativity. We do occasionally do some creative design, but it’s really on the technical side of graphic design.

Did you feel as though the classes you took at DWC help you with the technical part of graphic design?

Absolutely, 100%, Because when I started the job, I hadn’t had any other graphic design job. That was my first entry level job. And I was nervous of that imposter syndrome of “I don’t know if my skills are going to be worthwhile in this position,”, but as I was training my first couple of weeks, it was like everything I had learned was pivotal to what I was going to be doing for that job. And then a lot of things I’ve learned from the other designers there that have been doing it for a long time, it’s just piggybacked on what I already knew. So you know, if I hadn’t had such a good foundation from Digital Workshop Center, I think I would have really struggled with that. But I felt after that first week or so, like, Wow, I really know these skills. I can do this job. So that was what really helped my confidence.

What advice would you have for someone considering us as a school for tech skills and specifically for graphic design?

I would encourage them. I’ve talked to other people outside of graphic design and you know, they’ve talked about how they need to learn new skills for their job. I’ve encouraged them to go check out Digital Workshop Center. I thought about taking some other classes that I think might help kind of boost my resume because I found a lot of other skills that go with graphic design that, you know, maybe I could use some classes that could help me seem like a more complete candidate for other positions that I might want in the future. If I met anyone that was interested in any kind of tech skills, I would recommend Digital Workshop Center for sure.

The personalized attention and real-world insights offered in classes equipped Michael with both technical skills and practical knowledge essential for his role as a pre-press designer at Leapin’ Lizard Labels. His seamless transition into his job underscores the effectiveness of DWC’s curriculum in preparing students for the workforce. For anyone considering DWC as a pathway to acquiring tech skills, especially in graphic design, Michael offers resounding encouragement. He emphasizes the relevance of DWC’s courses in today’s job market and recommends us to those seeking to enhance their skill set. Michael’s endorsement serves as inspiration for individuals aspiring to embark on a similar journey of professional growth and fulfillment through DWC.

As you contemplate your educational and career paths, remember Michael’s story—a testament to the transformative power of education and the opportunities that await those who dare to pursue them. Whether you’re seeking to pivot into a new career or enhance your existing skill set, consider joining the DWC community and unlocking your full potential in the dynamic world of technology and design.

Watch Michael’s Interview: