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Transition from Student Designer to Career Designer

Paul Carew


Accelerate to Cruising Speed


Now that you have safely merged, you still have some work to do in ensuring you are a part of the team you’ve joined.

1. Keep your eyes wide open

Now that you have joined a creative team, you have an opportunity to learn how the organization and industry works. Spend time with your peers, but also copywriters and account executives. Widen your view to the big picture, as it will help you become more valuable in your role.

2. Check your ego

We work for clients who represent a deep industry knowledge and first-hand experience of their customers. While they may not creative, they have an important point of view that is of huge value to the work being done. Combine your view with a creative vision and an open mind to be successful in your new job.

3. Ask questions

Be sure to ask lots of questions. Many organizations will assume you are up-to-speed on all aspects of design and production. Make sure you clearly explain your abilities and set expectations with your supervisor. Then, exceed them.

4. Learn to collaborate

Playing well with others is crucial to surviving in this competitive career. Working with other creative people is a skill that is important to develop quickly. Being able to share ideas will only make them stronger and more marketable to your clients.

5. Design is a lifestyle

Stay up-to-speed with design trends and culture. Continue to strengthen your creative passion beyond what you do during the workday. Stay fresh.

As Students, you have honed your creative craft and built a great foundation of skills and knowledge. Incorporate these steps into your job search process and you will have a smoother ride. Once you are on the freeway, you can choose your route to move through your career.

Featured Author: Paul Carew, Carew Co.
Designing for “print + web” comes naturally, as Paul has held positions in many segments of the creative industry. Before starting Carew Co., Paul was creative director at Oliver Russell, a brand marketing agency. Paul helped the agency enter the interactive scene in the late 90′s, when he discovered his infatuation with all things digital. During his decade-long tenure, Paul performed strategic planning, design, and oversaw interactive work as a part of cross-media campaigns.

Paul’s clients have included 1-800-COLLECT, A&W Root Beer, Albertsons, Charles Schwab, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Cinder Wines, and J.R. Simplot Company.

Carew began his career in New York City, serving as art director for Messner Vetere Berger McNamee & Schmetterer. He is a graduate of Tyler School of Art and has received numerous awards for his designs, including recognition by Print Magazine. Paul is also the Founding President of AIGA Idaho.


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